With Lincoln's municipal pools closed, eager swimmers looked for other places in town to take a dip and cool off over the holiday weekend.

Or in some cases, swimmers risked a visit from Lincoln police to start the summer with a swim.

While the city's nine pools were set to open on Saturday, Parks and Recreation Department staff delayed the start of the pool season as water temperatures measured late last week were deemed too cold. 

City staff will evaluate the municipal pools' status again on Tuesday.

But as temperatures in Lincoln reached the 80s on Saturday, Sunday and again on Memorial Day, swimmers weren't completely out of options.

The privately owned Meadow Lane Pool in northeast Lincoln saw a small uptick in the number of new faces among its regular guests, which pool manager Priscilla Hutchinson said was unexpected this early in the season.

Outdoor pools at the Fallbrook, Copple and Cooper branches of the YMCA, too, were open for the weekend, and Eastridge Pool, another private pool, was open to members and their guests. 

Hutchinson said Meadow Lane and other privately owned pools were likely able to open on schedule thanks to pool heaters.

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"Standard temperature with rainwater gets a little cold, but we try to keep it 75 and above for our members," Hutchinson said. "If it is under 75 than we like to bump up the heater before the pool opens."

The staff at Meadow Lane was prepared to manage a few additional swimmers. While normally only one guard sits on duty, a second one will join him or her if need be, according to Hutchinson.

"We handle this pretty smoothly," she said. 

According to emergency radio broadcasts, at least a few swimmers opted to test the waters at city pools by climbing fences.

Twice on Monday, police were dispatched to Ballard Park in northeast Lincoln on reports of people swimming in the closed pool.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7214 or eclopton@journalstar.com.


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