“The Seventh Wonder of the English Seaside”

“Saltdean Lido (Brighton, UK)”

  • A hard-wearing commercial system needed for 40-metre open-air public pool
  • High-quality construction able to withstand corrosive coastal environment
  • Waterco helps transform public eyesore into valuable community asset
Setting: An architectural icon and beloved public pool

A lido, which is the Italian word for “beach”, is an outdoor public pool (and surrounding facilities) once popular throughout the UK. During the 1930s, when outdoor swimming became fashionable, more than 150 lidos were built across the country by local councils to be used as recreational facilities.

The country’s most famous example is Saltdean Lido, which is located at Saltdean Park Road, Saltdean, in the city of Brighton and Hove. First opened in 1938, the seaside lido was designed to face south-east towards the English Channel with a sea water pool and central fountain on the curved north-east side, and a central diving stage on the south-west side.

Originally listed Grade II by English Heritage for its architectural and historical importance, its status was upgraded to Grade II* in 2011. Such buildings are defined as being “particularly important, of more than special interest”.

“A historic community swimming pool is brought into the 21st century with Waterco’s world- class commercial filtration technologies.”
says Tony Fisher, Waterco Europe CEO.

Challenge: Restoring a 79-year old pool to its former glory

When the leaseholder of the site – one of only three remaining seaside lidos left in the UK – announced plans to demolish the Art Deco building to construct an apartment block on the site, community outrage was loud and swift. After the development application was refused, the lease was handed back to Brighton and Hove City Council and shortly after, in 2012, Saltdean Lido was closed to the public.

After falling into a dilapidated state, a major restoration project bolstered by £3m of community funding was announced, which would see the main building restored to its former Art Deco glory. Phase one of the five-year plan centred on the two aquatic areas:

  • Main pool measuring 40-metres (131ft) in length with an overall volume of 800m³ featuring a central waterfall feature.
  • Children’s splash pool measuring 17-metres in length (56ft) with an overall volume of 16m³ featuring slide and interactive water features and play area

Led by the renowned Aqua Platinum Projects and its preferred distributor, Paramount Pool Products, the professionals were faced with a pool that was beyond repair and the original, fabricated metal filters that were totally corroded. In essence, both pools had to be totally rebuilt.

Children’s splash pool measuring 17-metres in length (56ft) with an overall volume of 16m³ featuring slide and interactive water features and play area.

Solution: Installing Waterco’s world-class filtration solutions

In order to meet the latest specifications relating to commercial pool filtration, Paramount Pool Products turned to the brand they knew would provide a solution that was capable of processing the lido’s high volume of water and bather load– and wouldn’t corrode in the seaside setting: Waterco.

“When we were asked to be involved in this fantastic project, we were more than delighted,” says Waterco Europe CEO Tony Fisher. “Knowing how important Saltdean Lido was to the local community and the broader region meant a lot, and we were excited to be part of its transformation.”

Taking just a few weeks to install the entire system, Waterco’s sophisticated filtration solutions include: five SMD1800 Micron commercial sand filters and four 7Hp BH5000 Cast Iron Pumps for the main pool, and one SMD1800 Micron commercial sand filter and two Hydrostar 6HP pumps for the children’s splash pool.

Five SMD1800 Micron commercial sand filters were installed for the main pool and one SMD1800 Micron commercial sand filter was installed for the children’s splash pool.media.

“Also installed were two 3Hp Hydrostar pumps for the children’s water features,” adds Tony. “Hydrostar pumps are high performance, corrosion resistant thermoplastic pumps that are purpose built for commercial swimming pools, aquatic facilities and water parks.”

Four 7Hp BH5000 Cast Iron Pumps were installed for the main pool and two Hydrostar 6HP pumps for the children’s splash pool.

Providing further filtration support is Waterco’s Ecopure glass media, which is manufactured from recycled glass and is considered a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional sand

Ecopure glass has undergone specialised heat treatment process, which reduces degradation and therefore lengthens its life span.

“Ecopure removes more materials and pollutants than sand, saving on backwashing and resultant water, heating and chemical treatment costs,” Tony explains. “It is less susceptible to bio- fouling, which is critical to outdoor public pools as big as this one, while the heat- treated surfaces are smooth, requiring less remedial action and less chemical treatment to kill pollutants.”

Conclusion: A community asset re-opens to the people who saved it

When Saltdean Lido was reopened to the public in June 2017, hundreds turned out to celebrate – many of whom had spent the past few years campaigning and fundraising in its honour.

The refurbished outdoor site now boasts a heated swimming pool, children’s paddling pool, a shallow splash area, and beautifully landscaped gardens.

“Saltdean Lido has gone from a public eyesore to a place that can be enjoyed by everyone,” says Tony. “It is a space where the community can gather once again, and families can come together and enjoy the benefits of a pool.”

With campaigns to restore lidos in Bath, Peckham and Reading, Saltdean Lido represents a historic turning point in the growing interest to restore Britain’s beloved open-air swimming pools.

“There has been a fantastic response from so many companies and all who are involved with the Saltdean Lido would like to say a big thank you to Waterco for its support,” says Saltdean Lido volunteer director and local resident Deryck Chester.