The energy crisis is forcing companies to save energy when possible and public swimming pools in Brussels are no exception. But each municipality's approach varies, reported Bruzz.
Poseidon, the swimming pool of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, will close during Christmas. Saint-Josse is considering closing temporarily, while other municipalities will lower the temperature of the pools, the showers and the changing rooms.
"Poseidon is the largest energy guzzler in the municipality. We will therefore take measures in the short term to reduce the bill," said Grégory Matgen (Défi), Municipal Councillor for Energy in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, in La Capitale on Monday. According to Matgen, Poseidon will likely close between December 24 till January 2.
"Christmas holidays are the quietest time of the year anyway," said Éric Bott (Défi), Municipal Councillor for Sport. "Normally we do the cleaning outside opening hours during that period, but now we close the swimming pool. This way we can save a lot of energy at the same time. Because our fixed energy contract will end at the end of this year."
In addition, Poseidon may also close for a week during the carnival holiday which is set during the last week of February in 2023.
Lowering the temperature
In Sint-Joost, independent mayor Emir Kir announced that "drastic measures" will take place to save on energy costs. "The closure of the swimming pool is no longer a taboo," he told La Capitale . "In France, they are already doing it. There will be an explosion in energy prices."
"The swimming pool may close at weekends, or only the temperature will be lowered. All slopes are currently still open," his spokesperson told Bruzz.
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Other municipalities in Brussels aren't yet considering closing pools entirely. However, they are following a recommendation to lower heating.
"The swimming pools are the largest consumers of gas in a municipality. So we lower the temperature in the large swimming pools to 27ºC," said Benoît Hellings, councillor at the City of Brussels, to La Capitale.
"We are already receiving complaints about this, so 27ºC is really the limit in terms of comfort. The water temperature in the showers is also being lowered. In Heembeek, the sauna, hammam and bubble baths are closed . We will evaluate the impact in six months."
From now on, the water in the Saint-Gilles and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre pools will be 27ºC, reported La Capitale. Etterbeek is set to follow suit; the temperature of the water there is currently set at 29ºC but will be lowered by one to two degrees.
Ganshoren's swimming pool has a permanent energy contract until 2025, so it will not immediately be impacted by the energy crisis.
Meanwhile, the swimming pools in Ixelles and Schaerbeek have been closed for years due to ongoing construction work.