• OPENING When pools open in Madrid in 2023

You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of people who, daily, go to the pools managed by the Community of Madrid that opened on May 13. The heat wave caused the regional government to advance its opening to this date, but the sun quickly hid. Since that day and until today, the weather has not accompanied the bathers, so these facilities have been as desolate as in winter.

The purpose was that the people of Madrid, in addition to cooling off, enjoyed the swimming pool season a month more than last year, but it has not been possible. None of the swimming pools of the Community located in the sports complexes of Canal de Isabel II, San Vicente de Paul, Puerta de Hierro Sports Park and M86 Sports Center have reached the estimate that could have been had the days before and hot to its opening.

Even so, lifeguards and medical, security and maintenance personnel have worked in all of them, and even the templates have been reinforced. "They have increased with more than 100 discontinuous permanent workers, 20 lifeguards and 11 health professionals," report from the regional government. Of course, during their workday, they have needed to throw on a sweatshirt and open their umbrellas almost every day.

So have most of the brave bathers that have been counted to this day. "Despite the bad weather in the second half of May, 650 Madrilenians have already enjoyed a dip in the summer pools of the Community of Madrid," says Ricardo Echeita, deputy director general of Sports Facilities of the regional government.

He was the one who managed the early opening due to the heat wave early last month.

On May 13 the pools were ready. That day all the facilities had completed the conditioning and improvement works that have been carried out in low season. Thus, work was carried out on the summer meadow of M86 and the vessels of the swimming pools of the four sports centres were modernised. As for Puerta de Hierro, it has been equipped with a large sandpit to promote active leisure and facilitate the practice of beach sports. Also, from day one, cafeterias and kiosks have been open. "The effort of works and management that has involved having the facilities open and available will be rewarded, because they are perfectly prepared for the foreseeable rise in temperatures that is expected in the coming days. Due to the possible greater influx, even the security personnel necessary to guarantee the best conditions have been increased," adds Echeita.

However, forecasts do not seem to confirm this hope. In Madrid, the month of June will be cooler and rainier than normal, so the numbers of bathers will not approach those of last year. Much less if you take into account that it was then when the fourth warmest June since there are studies was recorded. In 2022 the four public swimming pools of the Community reached the record of 193,837 visitors, 49,613 more people than the previous year.

Everything ready

A month before the opening, the M86 Sports Center started up all the machinery and water filtration and purification systems, the compensation tanks were filled and the water was processed several times so that it was perfectly purified and with all the chemical qualities dictated by law. As for this, in these facilities we wanted to go further to ensure the safety of bathers. "Although it is not mandatory, we have three portable defibrillators at the foot of the pool," explains José Antonio Plaza, director of the M86.

At the Puerta de Hierro Sports Park, where one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in Europe is located, repair work was not left for the days leading up to the opening. "This center is alive all year round. Improvements are continuous. With regard to the swimming pools, the glasses of all have been restructured, the tiles have been fixed, the lines have been repainted...", explains Alicia Jiménez Manso, director of the sports park.

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