Update on Civic Pool; City to Close Rainbow City for Remediation

Civic Pool
Civic Pool

Stacey Winton of the City of Davis had this update on repairs at the Civic Pool, where the community this summer became concerned that thousands of gallons of water were leaking each day.

In a release, Ms. Winton stated:

“Repairs at Civic Pool are almost complete. The contractor replaced several skimmers, sealed all other skimmers, sealed the light niches, repaired several pipes under the deck and patched areas of the plaster in both pools.

“The deck leak between the lap pool and dive pool were not as extensive as originally thought. Once tested, the water in the pools did not continue to recede once the water level was brought below the pipes needing repair.

“The leak repair company is expected to complete their work by end of day Thursday, November 6.

“The replacement of the filter system, which was originally scheduled to take place during the regular annual maintenance period in mid-November, was able to be moved up and that work started on Tuesday. Installation of the new filters should be completed by the end of this week.

“Once the filters are up and running, the water will be balanced and ran through several filter cycles. It is expected the pool will be ready for use the middle of next week.

“City Staff has been communicating with Aquadarts and Davis Aquatic Masters each day to provide status updates. The coaches from both pool groups have been very helpful in expediting the work at the facility.”

City to Close Rainbow City For Remediation

(from city press release)

Based on the initial findings of an environmental study conducted on the Rainbow City play structure, the City has decided to close access to the play area until the area can be fully renovated.  The play area will be fenced off on Friday, November 7.  It will reopen upon conclusion of renovations, likely late summer 2015.

Community volunteers built the Rainbow City play structure in 1991 as part of a community build project. Working together, the community provided design input and reached out to local children for their wishes and ideas.  Due to the age and condition of the structure, Rainbow City was scheduled for renovation. The City started the project by contracting with Siegfried, Inc. Landscape Architects to provide community outreach, conduct public workshops and develop conceptual design options.

Over the course of the last couple of months, the City began to engage the public to discuss renovation or replacement of the structure.  Residents expressed concern that the current structure timbers were treated with chromate copper arsenate (CCA) and may have leached metals into the soils in the playground area, thereby resulting in a risk to children who may use the future facility. The City contracted with Conestoga-Rovers & Associates to obtain samples of the soil to determine whether an environmental risk exists.

On October 17, 2014, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates collected samples from the soil, sand and Fibar around Rainbow City.  On November 6, 2014, the City received a final report that indicates a minor historic release that includes higher levels of arsenic than would be normal for the area.  Releases of this nature do not pose an immediate risk or require an immediate response.

While the levels do not appear to have reached those that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) would classify as hazardous, they do indicate a release to the environment and, over time, could pose a risk to human health based on long term exposure to the site.

Based on the report, the City will conduct additional sampling around the site to determine the extent of the contamination.  Once the City receives the report for phase two of the process, we will work with industry experts to determine the amount of soil that needs to be removed to remediate the site. The City will also need to remove the play structure and then report the release and removal to the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

Since the original playground needs to be removed, to the greatest extent possible, the City will save decorative pieces of the original structure to use once the new play structure is built. The tile wall will remain intact.

Since the City is now aware of the condition, the play structure will be closing on November 7, 2014, with removal of the play structure to happen sometime after the first of the year.  The play structure will be fenced off, signs will be posted at the site, and information will be available on the City’s web page.   Community meetings will be set up to discuss the process, findings from the report and to continue discussions on conceptual design options for the new structure.

“As a child, I was part of the original build for this amazing play area. While it is disappointing to close the current area before a new structure is in place, it is the right thing to do to,” said Mayor Dan Wolk.  “I look forward to sharing the new play area with my children once it is complete.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Davis Progressive

    here is another narrative that we are going to see developing – pools and parks.  it fits dan’s agenda and he’s going to get pools and parks into the parcel tax.

      1. Davis Progressive

        i’m sure the city would worry that putting two measures up might mean both go down.  besides i would hate to see all the pools folks come out to support pools over roads.  not a very good idea.

        1. hpierce

          As opposed to having parks/pools put into the roads measure?  Not a very good idea.  And, if both go down, the citizens would need to deal with the issues without additional revenue.  More hard choices.  Might even require being an adult.  Am still liking the two measure idea.  Participatory decision making (not to your liking, DP?), and a put-up or shut-up reality check for the citizens.  Getting to LOVE the idea of two measure approach.

          Most “progressives” I know prefer large turnouts at CC meetings, representing maybe 0.25% of the electorate, to set policy, and then use the ballot box if they fail in persuading the CC in that manner.

  2. Tia Will

    I appreciate Mayor Wolk’s ability to see the needs of the city holistically. I agree it is important to maintain our streets. I think it is equally important to maintain our parks and recreational  facilities. Both are necessary for an economically, physically , socially and  environmentally healthy city.

    1. hpierce

      Perhaps you could support a third measure, to raise ear-marked funds for subsidized child health, and poor citizen’s health care, and perhaps up the employees’ contribution to their health care, in order to fund it.  the city could also use that money to fund the School district employee and student health (including school counselors), to free up money for the schools.

      1. Tia Will


        Not bad thoughts. However if we took care of these issues on the national level, we would not have to deal with them in a piecemeal fashion on the local level or leave them to the patchwork endeavors of local philanthropists.

  3. Gunrocik

    If you take a look at this article:


    It notes that a good portion of the funding for the reconstruction of the park comes from “development agreement contributions.”

    In other words:  yet another positive aspect of the Cannery Project will be the revenue generated from the development agreement to help rebuild a play area adjacent to its project.

    Without Cannery, yet another rotting piece of infrastructure in Davis would be left to deteriorate.

    No growthers, please take note.


    1. Tia Will

      Without Cannery, yet another rotting piece of infrastructure in Davis would be left to deteriorate.”

      You are making a huge assumption that barring one particular mechanism of funding, no funding at all would be provided. Since this park playground was initially volunteer built, I do not see the evidence to support your claim.


      1. hpierce

        To be clear… the design and materials were paid for by the City… it was not cheap.  The volunteer part was the labor.  As I recall, the supervision of the volunteers was also paid for by the City.  I say this as one of the volunteer labor force back then.

        I also seem to recall that the funding source was the Construction Tax, paid by new development.

    2. Jim Frame

      Without Cannery, yet another rotting piece of infrastructure in Davis would be left to deteriorate.

      No growthers, please take note.

      I can’t speak for any no-growthers, but as a slow-growther I long ago noted that depending on new development to maintain existing infrastructure is a pyramid scheme.


      1. hpierce

        Jim is correct from the standpoint that new development may bring new infrastructure “goodies”, but maintenance/replacement costs need to be based on ‘sustainable revenue’, and not fees, etc. based on new development.  All of the infrastructure built with new development becomes not just an asset, but a maintenance and eventual replacement liability.

        Not sure I’d call it a pyramid “scheme”, but new development is not a panacea either.

  4. Gunrocik

    I never meant to indicate that new development is a panacea for our woefully inadequate capital replacement fund.  I was merely trying to point out to the “No on everything” crowd that new development is one of the few ways we currently have to fund our deteriorating infrastructure.

    And I thought it would be useful information for the anti-Cannery crowd, particularly Ms. Will.  I find it hard to reconcile her ongoing claim that she is not an expert in urban planning — yet she seems confident that Cannery is not an example of responsible development.  In my mind, I put far more credence in SACOG, who is tasked with implementing smart growth for the region, as a qualified judge for Cannery’s credentials — and SACOG was an unabashed supporter the project.  And by the way, SACOG’s Director was willing to take this stance in spite of opposition from Davis’ SACOG member — Joe Krovoza.

    Bottom line is that there is nothing else being built in the Sacramento region even remotely as innovative, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing as the Cannery project.

    In addition, it will provide housing for the many families who didn’t have the luxury of being born a generation ago like our CAVE crowd.

    And on top of all that, it will be generating millions in construction tax dollars, park impact fees, and road impact fees that can help pay for a portion of the “unmet needs” that were allowed to accumulate during the Harrington/Greenwald/Saylor Councils.

  5. Jim Frame

    it will be generating millions in construction tax dollars

    I’ve asked this question before, but if it’s ever been definitively answered I’ve missed it (or just plain forgotten):  what percentage of construction taxes are used to offset construction-related expenses incurred by the city (e.g. plan review, inspection and testing, service plan integration, etc.)?  Put another way, how much of the construction tax goes into the general fund without a corresponding expense?

  6. Gunrocik

    My understanding is that it is a pure revenue.  It is on top of all other construction-related fees.  I’m guessing there are others such as Matt or Dan Carson that can correct me if I’ve been misinformed.

  7. Tia Will

    SACOG was an unabashed supporter the project.”

    I am asking since I simply do not know the answer. Can anyone tell me which proposed developments for Davis that SACOG has actively opposed and why ?

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