Keeping pools open a struggle for some Kansas communities

NEWTON, Kan. For several towns and cities across Kansas, keeping pools open every summer can be a challenge as they seem to constantly face expensive maintenance issues due to aging infrastructure.

One example is Pratt where the city Tuesday had to close its pool and drain the water because of complaints about children's feet bleeding from irritation. Pratt's pools has been around since the 1930's.

In Garden City, the city's pool is leaking thousands of gallons of water per day, even after renovations that replaced pipes and sealed cracks in the concrete.

Wichita last week approved a multi-million-dollar aquatics plan to save pools. In all, six neighborhood pools will be renovated and updated. Six splash pad locations will be constructed as well, using four existing pools and two new locations.

The City of Newton invested in a new pool two decades ago. Parents there say they wouldn't mind spending more toward better infrastructure for pools if that means assuring their children have a place to swim in the summer.