The Butte YMCA has fixed a faulty filtration system in its swimming pool, so all systems are go for the nearly 400 swimmers coming this weekend for the state short course meet.
“We expect best conditions for the swim meet and that teams and officials will be elated,” said Phillip Borup, Butte YMCA executive officer.
Two large meets were cancelled at the last minute in the past – forcing hundreds of competitors and their families to cancel motel rooms, pack up and drive to another city for the contests.
This time, the Y is ready.
“The Y has worked exceptionally hard to fix the water quality problems they had,” said Susan Huckeby, meet referee and registrar. “We had the Feb. 7 meet and the water was beautiful.”
Borup said his staff remedied the filter problem several months ago.
“Since the November meet cancellation, we have had two successful swim meets,” he added. “A high school swim meet was held on Dec. 13 and the feedback was very positive.”
During the Feb. 7 meet, Tony Popp, of Kalispell, Montana Swimming president and USA Swimming Sports Medicine and Science committee member, inspected the Butte pool and gave Borup and his staff a thumbs-up.
Popp said the staff has sufficiently fixed, upgraded, maintained and tested the pool to his satisfaction.
Chemical testing of the water, temperature, turbidity, water level and lighting of the entire aquatic area were taken into account.
“When I visited in February,” said Popp, “the water was pristine and, although the Y was only about half way through the process of installing the proper light bulbs, the main pool area had a much more inviting and safer feel due to the improved lighting.
“We are very pleased with the steps the Y has taken and are excited to be able to hold the Montana State Short Course Championship at the Butte Y pool.”
The economic ramifications of such a meet are far-reaching for Butte – families spend money for motel rooms and meals – and shopping.
Popp, for example, said he and his family will spend an estimated $1,000 over the long weekend. He expects up to 400 families to come to town to participate the meet.