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Getting answers: Bliss Pool to remain closed for third year due to drainage issue

We spoke with one Longmeadow resident who shared her disappointment over the Bliss Pool being closed once again this season.
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 7:25 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - In Longmeadow, the Bliss Pool will not open for a third summer in a row, leading to questions from residents over why it remains closed.

We spoke with one Longmeadow resident who shared her disappointment over the Bliss Pool being closed once again this season.

“The Bliss Pool had been built around 1955,” said Betsy Port of Longmeadow. “I hope that the town is aware how important our swimming pools are.”

Longstanding resident of Longmeadow and former Historical Commission member Betsy Port told Western Mass News that Bliss Pool has been a frequent summer spot for many years, but the pool has not been open since 2019.

“I understood in the past it was closed during the COVID epidemic because of the COVID epidemic,” Port told us.

We took questions straight to the town manager to find out why the pool will be closed for a third summer in a row.

“It’s a very sad development, but unfortunately, this year we had a lot of new people at the DPW taking a look at the mechanics of the pool and we’ve determined that the drainage is inferior the pool itself, drains directly into Cooley Brook which would be a violation of our MS4 permit,” Town Manager Lyn Simmons said.

Simmons told us a considerable amount of work must be done to reopen the pool, which the town is currently working on.

“Our engineering team is taking a look at designing exactly what needs to happen,” Simmons said. “The pump room itself is below grade, so we need to install a pump to pump the water up to connect it to our sanitary sewer system.”

Port is one of the many people from Longmeadow wondering why this drainage problem was not addressed earlier, and Simmons told us that issue remains vague.

“It’s really unclear to what extent staff knew or didn’t know that there was this drainage issue,” she said. “When the pool itself was constructed years ago, it was in compliance, but state and federal regulations over storm water discharge has changed over the years and become more strict, so now the pool is no longer in compliance.”

Simmons encourages people to check out Greenwood Pool 2.5 miles from Bliss Pool which will open for the season on June 16th.