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Power outage closes Boyce Park Wave Pool

| Friday, July 19, 2013, 1:34 p.m.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
The Boyce Park Wave Poolis closed due to a power outage on Friday July 19, 2013.

Allegheny County officials are pointing to Duquesne Light for power outages that closed the Boyce Park Wave Pool twice in a week, but the utility says it's not to blame.

On one of the hottest days of the year Friday, would-be swimmers were left dry and disappointed.

The pool also closed on Monday, with county officials citing power outages as the reason. Duquesne Light says there were no power outages this week affecting the Boyce Park area and that the pool's equipment caused the problems. The pool is expected to be open from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Amie Downs, Allegheny County communications director, said a power outage in the area Thursday night resulted in water draining out of the pool. Downs said workers on Friday morning found the water level down by 2 feet. She said the pool automatically begins to drain when a power outage occurs.

“There wasn't enough water (in the pool) to open the pool,” Downs said.

To prevent the problem from occurring again, the county is making adjustments to the pool's butterfly valves, which regulate water flow, but the valves did not malfunction this week, she said.

“If the power had not gone out, we would not have had this issue,” Downs said.

Duquesne Light spokesman Joey Vallarian would say only that “customer-owned equipment” caused the outages.

Allegheny County Council Vice President Nicholas Futules, D-Oakmont, said prior to this week, the wave pool had not closed due to a power outage in the six years he's been on council.

Providing the pool with its own generator is cost-prohibitive, said Futules, who chairs council's parks committee.

“I just don't think the county wants to spend that kind of money. ... It's not like the courthouse or a hospital where things like that are mandatory,” he said.

Holding more than 1 million gallons of water, the wave pool is one of the largest in the country, Downs said.

Cars continued to file into the pool's parking lot on Friday afternoon. Patrons looked confused and said they didn't see a sign at the entrance indicating the pool was closed.

The high temperature Friday was 91 degrees, and the heat index was 94, National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Rehak said.

Anna Thompson took a day off work to relax with her daughter and granddaughter at the pool.

“We wanted to go swimming,” said Thompson, 49, of McKeesport. “I'm not sure what we will do. We might go to the movies.”

Staff writer Tory N. Parrish contributed to this report. Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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