Williston’s old outdoor pool building under abatement for asbestos, lead

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 10:26 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2023 at 12:01 PM CDT
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WILLISTON, N.D. (KUMV) - Recently, crews have been working on the Eckert Pool, Williston’s old outdoor pool, that sat abandoned for 10 years. Now they’re clearing it of asbestos and lead.

The Williston Parks and Recreation District owns the site near Harmon Park. Executive Director Joe Barsh says recent hazardous testing found asbestos and lead. The state is handling the abatement process.

“Once that’s completed, we’ll see what the standing of the building is and take it from that point. If possible, we would like to keep as much of it as we can,” said Barsh.

Barsh says there have always been discussions about what to do with the old pool, but they’ve received more feedback recently because of the Williston Community Builders working on Williston Water World.

“If we are not using that area for an outdoor pool, we have an obligation to do something with it,” said Barsh.

They haven’t decided what to do with the old pool yet. Barsh says they want community input before they make any decisions.

“It is a priority of the park district to clear up that space, beautify that area, and repurpose it in the best means of the community,” said Barsh.

Finding funding, whether through Parks and Rec or a private entity, will also factor into when the pool could be repurposed.

The Eckert Pool was closed following the summer of 2013. Barsh says it closed because the pool was losing more than 12,000 gallons of water a day from a leak, and the Williston ARC, which has an indoor pool, opened. The leaking pool held nearly 417,000 gallons of water.