Vandalism closes Chesterfield pool, costs community thousands of dollars in repairs

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- An act of vandalism at a neighborhood pool is costing pool owners thousands of dollars - and preventing residents from being able to swim for at least two days.

Early Thursday morning, vandals threw a full trash can and recycling bin into the kids pool at Celebration pool in Hampton Park, causing trash and broken glass to spread throughout the water.

Cory Baldwin, who was hired to  help clean up the mess, said that the decision of the vandals has far-reaching effects.

"It's sad that the actions of few affect the summer for many, people aren't able to enjoy the pool when its not up and ready to go," Baldwin said.

According to Baldwin, cleaning up the pool is a multi-day process, and because shards of glass could be accidentally swallowed or aspirated, it's crucial to ensure that all traces of it are cleaned.

"Cleaning it out yesterday consisted of draining the pool, and today its cleaning and pressure-washing it out to ensure that there's no glass," Baldwin said. "Then shop-vaccing out all the small corners and drains and filling it back up and getting it chemically ready"

Because the pools at Celebration are connected through a equalizer line which allows water to travel back and forth, all of Celebrations' pools must be cleaned - costing the community thousands of dollars in repair costs.

"To be 100 percent sure and ensure the safety of the Hampton Park swimmers, we drain both pools to make sure that there was no glass in either facility," Baldwin said, "and this is not cheap at all, draining and cleaning the pool is just under $1,000 for the service, and then filling it back up is actually the most expensive part. To fill a pool this side we're looking at over $2000."

According to Baldwin, a similar incident involving glass and trash being thrown into a pool was reported at Fox Creek pool in Midlothian earlier this summer.