The historic Liberty Bell Pool at Pine Mountain's Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park won't be open for hikers and campers who want to cool off this summer, nor will swimmers get to take a dip in the pool at Florence Marina on the Chattahoochee River south of Columbus.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that those and nine other park pools will remain closed because the state can't afford to comply with the federal Pool and Spa Safety Act, which requires pool drains be upgraded with "entrapment avoidance systems."
A ranger at FDR State Park said adding that safety feature to the Liberty Bell Pool was estimated to cost $15,000. DNR Marketing & Communications Manager Sally Winchester said estimates for other pools were up to $25,000.
The safety requirement is intended to prevent children from being sucked against drains and trapped underwater. The suction can be powerful enough to eviscerate a child, say proponents of the act, which took effect in December.
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The city of Columbus is adding the safety feature to all its public pools.
Other state parks closing pools for the summer are A.H. Stephens, Bobby Brown, Crooked River, General Coffee, Georgia Veterans, Gordonia-Alatamaha, Kolomoki Mounds, Laura Walker and Skidaway Island.
Those parks are contacting guests who've made reservations, offering transfers or refunds. Pools at High Falls, Magnolia Springs and Victoria Bryant state parks will open Memorial Day weekend.
For more information, visit www.GeorgiaStateParks.org or call 1-800-864-7275.