The Natatorium's complete restoration was halted several times (in 1999, 2004, 2005) for reasons that had nothing to do with public safety or water quality of the improved pool design. Here are some details about the state-of-the-art pool design that was underway through the full restoration project.
“I did not believe that I could ever get a thrill out of a swimming meet after all I have seen and competed in. But last night (at a meet in the Natatorium), I certainly had the thrill of my life – the crowd. I will never forget it. The intense interest shown by everybody, the color, that wonderful Waikiki pool, I had to rub my eyes and pinch myself to see if it were not all a dream.”
-- Duke Kahanamoku
More About the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium
Photo left: The partially restored Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium, Dec 2008. The pool reflecting the memorial as it was envisioned in the 1920s in the style of the reflecting pool of the Washington and Lincoln Monuments in Washington D.C. Photo courtesy of Jon Radke.
Water Circulation and Drain Improvements
- The 1927 pool had four 24-inch water intake openings.
- The restored pool has four 8x16 foot intake openings and four 5x12 foot outflow openings. The total of over 600 square feet of water exchange is more than 25 times the size of the openings in the old pool.
- Mechanical standards for fresh water pools is three changes per day.
- The 1927 pool circulation rate was about once every three days.
- The restored pool is engineered to turnover 3-10 times per day (1.8 million gallons per change), a 10-30 fold increase in water exchange over the 1927 pool design.
- By comparison, nearby Kuhio Beach has no intake or outflow system and no measurable water exchange rate.
The 1927 pool was as deep as 22 feet in some places. The restored pool has a flow-optimizing mean depth of 6 feet which will effectively reduce the water volume in the pool by half.
Drawing Above: The plans for the restored pool as published in the Final Environmental Impact Study Proposed by the Division of Water and Land Development, DLNR, Prepared by Leo A. Daly.
- The natural reef bottom of the 1927 pool has degraded into a silty sludge that will be encapsulated in the restored pool.
- Demolishing all or any part of the pool walls would release this sludge onto the reef and into the water at Kaimana Beach.
Visibility and Swimmer Safety
- The restored pool is much more shallow than the 1927 pool. (Mean depth of 6 feet vs. the 1927 pool which was 22 feet in some sections.) This will not only improve water circulation, it will improve swimmer safety.
- The pool will also be lined with a special silica sand which will not discolor nor organically breakdown like coral sand (and create the cloudy sediment that plagues Waikiki).
- The silica sand selected has a large grain size to settle quickly if disturbed by swimmers and a light color to optimize visibility for water safety personnel.
HISTORIC HAWAI‘I FOUNDATION
Historic Hawai‘i Foundation
680 Iwilei Road, Suite #690, Honolulu, HI 96817
Phone: 808-523-2900 Fax: 808-523-0800
Copyright 2003-2010 Historic Hawaii Foundation unless otherwise noted.
Sign up for e-mail alerts.