Sep 20, 2019 Last Updated 10:52 AM, Aug 14, 2019

Dundee sports centre makes a splash

Published in Leisure
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The £31m Olympia Sports Centre is making waves around Dundee's waterfront boasting four flumes and a 50m six-lane FINA standard competition pool complete with 4m deep diving section, a large free-form wave pool and a separate toddlers' pool. The complex also houses a gym and a cafe.


The Olympia’s pool has a 15.4 x 11.3m moveable floor system which can be raised or lowered for training sessions or aqua-fitness classes. There is separate seating for competitors and spectators and the pool can also be split into two via a traversable boom system; a submersible boom can section off the diving pit; and there are two disabled access platform systems to assist bathers with mobility impairment.

There are four exhilarating GRP tubular water flumes ranging in diameter and resultant ride speeds; three of these terminate within poolside aqua-catches but the fourth, nicknamed ‘the Cannonball’, terminates at 3.5m above the diving section of the main competition pool. This was designed to replicate the slide in the original Dundee Olympia built in the 1960s. To enhance the flumes, there are a number of sensations including crystal clear tube sections, daylight rings and a ‘Splash Encounters’ system which projects 3D images onto a mist within the tube; users choose an image that will appear in front of them as they descend – one of the options is a shark’s widen open mouth! This technology is unique in the UK.

The wave pool contains a pneumatically operated wave machine providing a number of exciting wave patterns which run to the beach area of the pool. In addition, this pool contains a river ride system and various water features such as base geysers, water cannon and sprays.

The toddler pool has been designed with a large play structure with multiple interactive sprays, jets, a small tubular slide and a large tipping bucket. There are also a number of additional water attractions to keep the children busy.

Dedicated water systems

F T Leisure was responsible for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of all the water treatment and filtration systems, the water supplies to all features and flumes, the wave machine, the river ride, the moveable floor system, the traversable and submersible booms, the disabled access platforms and the innovative control systems.

Each of the pools has dedicated water treatment and filtration systems located in the expansive basement plant rooms. The filtration system is based on traditional medium rate pressure sand filtration; water treatment is via sodium hypochlorite solution and hydrochloric acid which are separately injected into the pool water return-lines before final delivery to the various inlets. The hypochlorite maintains a minimum chlorine residual and the hydrochloric acid corrects the pH levels. There is also provision for adding an ancillary chemical if needed such as sodium bicarbonate for alkalinity correction. Poly aluminium chloride solution is also injected pre-filtration to provide a flocculant on top of the filter bed; this solution aids the removal of fine colloidal matter and suspended solids.

Remote access

The controls philosophy which operates all of these systems is probably the most advanced for any pool in Europe. There is a central SCADA panel which monitors and operates every component including a fully automated backwashing system.

To provide this level of automation, all of the filter frontal valves and backwash valves are pneumatically actuated. The SCADA system contains full 3D rendered images of all the pool plant so that operators can easily identify components. The control system is networked with the building management system and any faults or system readings can be accessed remotely using the SCADA system IP address. Reports on faults etc, can also be emailed direct from the filtration control system.

F T Leisure specialises in the provision of innovative products and professional technical services to the commercial, municipal and private swimming pool industries. Its range of services includes the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and/or refurbishment and maintenance of water treatment and filtration systems, moveable floors, booms and disabled access platforms, ozone and UV sterilisation, wave machines and leisure water features.

Other recent F T Leisure projects include Cheam Leisure Centre in Sutton, University of Birmingham’s new £55m sports centre, the Michael Woods Leisure Centre in Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre.

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