Limited swim facilities available at regional parks for Memorial Day Weekend, 2022 Swim Season

Cull Canyon Swim Complex in Castro Valley. Photo by Jennifer Vanya. Source: EBRPD

Contra Loma Swim Lagoon in Antioch closed this weekend and for swim season due to required but delayed maintenance and safety repairs

All regional parks in the East Bay will be open this Memorial Day for annual holiday gatherings and celebratory festivities. Parks are anticipated to be busy and some at full capacity early, so park staff recommend arriving early to secure first-come, first-served, non-reservable picnic sites.

Many lifeguarded swim areas will also be open for visitors, including Castle Rock Pool at Diablo Foothills in Walnut Creek, Cull Canyon in Castro Valley, Don Castro in Hayward, and Lake Temescal in Oakland. Non-life-guarded beaches include Keller Beach at Miller Knox Regional Park in Richmond and Robert Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda. Unfortunately, many of the Park District’s most popular swim areas, including Del Valle, Shadow Cliffs, and Lake Anza will be closed due to water quality, low water conditions, or construction and maintenance repairs.

“We regret the inconvenience and limitations on the public’s use of all of our swim facilities,” said Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor.

Park District swim facilities face ongoing challenges related to climate change, including cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and low water levels. Water quality is tested regularly during the swim season to ensure it is safe for the public. Visitors should check the status of swim facilities before they go by visiting www.ebparks.org/swimming.

Open Swim Facilities for Memorial Day Weekend are:

  • Castle Rock Pool– OPENING May 28
  • Cull Canyon Swim Lagoon – OPEN
  • Don Castro Swim Lagoon – OPENING May 28
  • Lake Temescal Swim Beach – OPENING May 28

Swim areas that are Closed for Memorial Day Weekend are:

  • Contra Loma Swim Lagoon – CLOSED for swim season due to required maintenance and safety repairs.
  • Lake Anza Swim Beach – CLOSED due to scheduled maintenance and ongoing water quality uncertainty.
  • Del Valle Swim Beach – CLOSED due to Blue-Green Algae.
  • Quarry Lakes Swim Beach – CLOSED due to Blue-Green Algae.
  • Roberts Pool– CLOSED for renovation and new pool facility construction.
  • Shadow Cliffs Swim Beach – CLOSED due to extreme drought and low water levels.

UPDATE: Parks Staff Explain Delay in Repairs

Mason and Park District Ward 7 Director Colin Coffey, who represents Antioch, were asked why the Contra Loma Swim Lagoon wasn’t repaired during the off-season so it could be open this summer.

In response, Lisa Goorjian, Chief of Design and Construction said, “it’s important to remember safety is our number one priority. For the lagoon to operate properly, it needs repairs. The delay was two-fold. It’s a complex lagoon. We’ve been working on a waterproofing seal. It’s specialized and it’s been difficult to secure due to the global supply chain issues. It’s been challenging to identify the right product. The lagoon is different than a swimming pool because it has sand. So, it makes it difficult to find something that will work with the sand and not have the seal fail.”

“We’ve been working with our contractor who is working with a supplier to identify the material,” she continued. “The lagoon original material was coming to the end of its life and when we initially made repairs in 2020, we used a new material. The original material is no longer available. We found out our conditions were such that the new material was not successful.”

“We understand that it’s a disappointment and we’re working hard to get it fixed,” Goorjian added. “We are working with our regional partners to provide swimming in eastern Contra Costa County to accommodate swim needs.”

“It is very distressing as Contra Loma is the backyard pool to so many in the area,” Coffey responded. “I asked Lisa to talk to you given she has been overseeing the project. I know it was planned to be completed by swim season.  I am hoping we are able to expand hours at another swim facility, like Ambrose, with placement of our lifeguards and covering overhead.  Staff is working on that.  Have a good holiday weekend.”

Swimming fees vary by facility. However, swimming is free for Regional Parks Foundation members. For information about becoming a Regional Parks Foundation member, visit regionalparksfoundation.org.

Walk-ins for all open locations will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached. Cull Canyon and Don Castro also offer optional swim entry registration on weekends and holidays to guarantee admission. To reserve your all-day swim entry, register at www.bit.ly/3NtZnLk.

The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Cull Canyon Swim Complex by Jennifer Vanya


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