Pool liner problems continue to bubble up in Brownstown


The Brownstown Pool is filled up in preparation for opening day May 26.

While the liner that was installed in 2016 is fine now, pool manager Jamie Temple said it most likely won’t be by mid-July.

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The past couple of years, it has bubbled up as high as 18 inches in some spots, and there have been some leaks.

Despite multiple tests to determine the cause, no one can pinpoint the problem.

Jason Mart, president and chief executive officer of RenoSys Corp., the company that installed the liner at a cost of $85,175, still thinks ground water is the issue. Brownstown Town Council member Sharon Koch, who serves as a liaison to the parks board, said that’s not the case.

While recently meeting with Mart, Koch said Temple asked him multiple times why it took this long to get someone from his company to visit the pool, but he “danced around” answering.

“He told us lots of stories and told us he wants us to be very happy with their company, and we said we would like to be very happy with the liner working correctly,” Koch said during a recent council meeting.

Mart told them it’s not an issue with the gutter system or the play feature in the leisure pool because both of those were tested.

Koch said Mart was most concerned about a 6-inch pipe that goes from the concrete at the top of the slide, which brings the water from the pump room under the concrete slab and up the pipe.

A few days after that visit, Mart had a subcontractor pressure test that pipe. He told Koch if the pipe was leaking, the town would pay to repair it, and if it’s not, he would cover the expense. It was determined the pipe was not leaking.

The subcontractor then told Koch that one of the drains is closed, so it’s possible a pipe cracked because of that. That drain, however, is closed when the pool is filled each year.

The subcontractor told Koch he could take the play feature apart to pressure test the three lines. She didn’t want to do that because the play feature is more than 20 years old, and it would be costly to take it apart.

Koch said she knows of two local companies that have a small camera that could be used to look in the three drains at the pool, but that may have to be done when the pool isn’t filled.

Temple said she recently put 14 gallons of chlorine in the pool and didn’t want to drain it.

“Other than that, I don’t know how to prove that the pipe is broken,” Koch said.

Clerk-Treasurer David Willey said all of the lines and perimeter drains at the pool were tested before the liner was installed.

“We actually paid about an additional $5,000 because (the subcontractor) had to do more work,” Willey said. “I don’t know why we’re having to go through all of this.”

Koch said Mart told her when the liner bubbles up that someone should bring in boards and concrete blocks to pull it flat and then shuffle their feet over it. He told her that would prevent wrinkles, and the pressure of the water would hold the liner down.

She then told him that the liner is supposed to be airtight and have an adhesive that keeps it in place.

“He said ideally, that’s true, so he did agree that once this issue is addressed and fixed that his company would come back and replace a large square of (the liner) so it is then stuck back to the concrete,” Koch said.

Council President Sally Lawson said there are nearly 20 patches and holes in the liner. Koch said Mart told her his company would cover the cost to fix those.

The liner is crafted from a 60-millimeter-thick, custom-textured and reinforced PVC material designed to make a pool watertight. The liner comes with a 10-year warranty, but some pools have gotten more than 15 years out of one.

RenoSys has installed PVC membranes all over the country, including at pools in Jasper and Indiana University in Bloomington.

Before the liner was installed at the Brownstown Pool, the town was spending about $6,000 every other year to paint and fix concrete.

Temple thought having the liner would keep the pool water balanced more often and cut overall maintenance of the pool in half. Some of the pools no longer use algicide and only use chlorine, resulting in a savings of more than $12,000 per year on operating expenses.

Town attorney Rodney Farrow told the town council it needs to hire an expert to look at the pool and determine the cause of the problems.

“That’s what you’re going to have to do because they just keep giving you the runaround,” he said. “If you take them to court, you need to have an expert tell you what the problem is. (RenoSys and the subcontractor) don’t know, and you don’t know, so somebody has to figure out what the problem is before you know how you can solve it.”