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First Public Natural Swimming Pool in North America
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In August, after years of preparation, BioNova® broke ground at the site of the first public Natural Swimming Pool in North America at Webber Park in Minneapolis, MN, USA. The Minneapolis Department of Parks and Recreation first contacted James Robyn, President and CEO of BioNova® Natural Pools North America, in 2010. There were many obstacles to overcome before this historic project could be realized. For example, in the United States there are no existing standards for the water quality in a public NSP. BioNova® worked closely with the local health department in Minneapolis to draft new legislation to permit the construction of the NSP at Webber Park. You may be interested to know that the German FLL guidelines for biologically filtered public Natural Swimming Pool facilities are even more strict than both the EPA and the local regulations in Minnesota for public chemically treated pools. The residents of Minneapolis also took part in the decision making process. A large majority were in favor of building the public NSP. So the basics were clear, the statutory framework was formed, and the people of Minneapolis had given their approval. It was then time to think about what building methods to use. James Robyn (BioNova® North America) and Rainer Grafinger (BioNova® Global Head Office) conducted several meetings and ultimately reached the conclusion that the Type V Two-Pot building method would be used for the Webber Park NSP. In September 2012, the BioNova® experts started working on the construction plans. After a busy winter, the project was put out for bid in January, equipment orders were placed at the beginning of summer, and work finally began in September 2013. The workers first started by emptying the existing pond. Then they began shaping the basin and laid the pipes which will distribute the water throughout the regeneration zone. The BioNova® proprietary equipment was imported directly from Europe and arrived in October. Construction of the regeneration zone is scheduled for completion in November. The building of the swimming area will commence in spring 2014. The swimming area will have two basins, one designed for beginners with a beach entry and a depth of 1.8 meters (6 ft), and one for swimmers with depth ranging from 1.8 to 3.8 meters (6 to 12.5 ft). For professional swim training, there will also be several 25 meter lap lanes in the swimming area. For further information please visit: http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=1286
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