How Does a Basketball Close a Swimming Pool?

MINERSVILLE, Pa. -- A community's pool is off limits to swimmers as the hottest weather of the year arrives, and now we've learned -- a basketball is to blame!

The Stormtracker 16 forecast calls for temperatures in the 90s for the next seven days but there will be no swimming at a pool in Schuylkill County for most of that.

Minersville officials tell us someone put a basketball in a pipe.

The pool in Minersville was supposed to be open last week.

On a hot day with hotter ones in the future, an empty pool is the last thing people in Minersville want to see.

It is the reality, though, as crews worked to get the pool back open after an unexpected clog.

Those who were waiting for the already delayed opening will have to wait even longer.

"We were hoping to open June 9 when, lo and behold, we filled the pool, started running the pump, it ran for two days or so and all of a sudden the water wasn't getting to the pump," said borough manager Bob Mahalchick.

Weather and maintenance issues had delayed the opening which was supposed to happen about a month ago.

Mahalchick says the latest problem was a basketball clogging the pool pipe.

The borough manager believes while repairs were being made to the pool, the ball somehow rolled into an open grate.

"Somebody could have thrown it over the fence. It could have bounced in there and luckily fell in the hole and found its way into the pipe," Mahalchick said.

"It is very odd, a little sad that it could be vandalism or just a kid that is affecting the whole community," said Nicole Purcell.

Crews had to dig a hole in the ground and ended up replacing the pipe that was clogged by the basketball.

While swimmers and their families wait for the pool to reopen, they can go to the one in Pottsville.

Mahalchick says those with season passes will be accepted in Pottsville until repairs are complete and the Minersville pool reopens.

The borough will end up paying that bill.

Nicole Purcell takes her kids to the pool and she's looking forward to a day in the water with her family.

"Because it is spectacular with all the kids' stuff. We love to frequent it. But the fact that it is the end of June and is not open is a little sad," said Purcell.

"We are in the process. We have everything all fixed up. We are filling the pool now," Mahalchick said.

Minersville police say they are still trying to figure out how exactly the basketball got stuck in the pipe.

Borough officials expect the pool to open sometime next week.

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