Want to swim? Chennai has a new chlorine-free public swimming pool

Chennai’s newest recreational sports complex boasts of a chlorine-free, ozone-treated semi-Olympic swimming pool, open to public

February 15, 2024 01:06 pm | Updated 01:07 pm IST

Chlorine-free pool at Blues

Chlorine-free pool at Blues | Photo Credit: Praneeth Reddy

While Chennai now has the answer to every novice’s want for physical activity and love for sport, in the form of turfs, courts and outdoor spaces, swimming pools are still hard to come by.  Recreational swimmers are almost always in search of accessible pools. Save a few public pools that have stood the test of time, clubs and luxury hotel chains are an option, albeit at a roaring monetary cost. At Blues by Tiki Taka, the city’s latest sports recreational facility located in Saidapet’s peaceful residential neighborhood of Srinagar Colony, a chlorine-free, ozone-treated, semi-Olympic swimming pool tackles this dilemma head on. The facility is also home to four wooden-floor badminton courts.  

Officially launched in January, the facility spread across two floors, follows a sleek design replete with box lights, with a largely blue-grey colour palette. While the ground floor houses the semi-Olympic pool with a depth of three-and-a-half to five feet, including the spick-and-span, dry changing and shower rooms with lockers, the first floor has three wooden badminton courts with a designated space for a sports equipment kiosk. The court with no air conditioning has vents running all around to facilitate free flow of air. 

“It is an ozone pool, there is no chlorine in it. Usually we hear a lot of complaints from swimmers about eye burn, rashes and itchy skin, which is why we wanted to keep it chlorine free. We believe that this is the first no-chlorine, public pool in Tamil Nadu,” says Lakshmi Palaniappan, director, Tiki Taka, a recreational sports centre that hosts seven facilities in Chennai for football, basketball, badminton, pickleball, cricket and now swimming. 

The badminton courts at Blues

The badminton courts at Blues | Photo Credit: Praneeth Reddy

“We started Tiki Taka  in 2015. It has been almost eight years in this field. We have always wanted to do a swimming pool because the only pools that are available are in clubs that are restricted to members or hotels which are expensive. On other hand, other public pools are not very well maintained,” says Lakshmi. In partnership with Vishnu Alagappan, who scouted the land for the facility, the decision to set up a badminton court along with the swimming pool was made. The location also makes the facility accessible to Guindy, Kotturpuram, Adyar and Alwarpet. From the response, Lakshmi gauges that swimming is the most popular among all age groups and genders in the city.  

Being chlorine-free also means more hours and layers of maintenance. “We have an ozone machine that has to be run for five to six hours a day. We also do a daily vacuum cleaning of the floor of the pool. That’s done in the morning when all the dust settles, apart from the regular filtration which takes out debris,” explains Lakshmi. Ozone-treated water is akin to potable water. “We have a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter that checks the cleanliness. We maintain the level up to 110 to 115 — up to 150 is the level of potable water,” adds Vishnu. 

The idea is to encourage a flow of physical activity — “People can play, and head for a swim after,” says Lakshmi adding, “A lot of adults also come with their kids. They would be running around while the parent is playing, but here, you can engage the kids as well.” The facility also plays music by the poolside to contribute to the swim experience. Lakshmi says that in three to four months, an L-shaped cafe that would overlook the pool, would also be part of the facility. Sharath Mukundan’s swim academy Wild Swim offers swimming classes for both adults and children at the facility from 6am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm.

Blues by Tiki Taka is located in South Mada Street, Srinagar Colony in Saidapet. The pool is open from 6am to 11pm. Call 7339546671 for details. Swim memberships start at ₹4,500 for 12 hours.

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