The pool on the floor of the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska has been filled with water for the first time.
With the help of the Omaha Fire Department, USA Swimming began the fill at 9:30 AM on Tuesday morning. Engine 1 from the Omaha Fire Department’s downtown headquarters station pumped the first 500 gallons into the purpose-built temporary facility.
— USA Swimming (@USASwimming) May 25, 2021
500 gallons is a very small drop in a very large bucket: the pool, when completely filled, will hold 1.1 million gallons of water. That’s the equivalent of putting about 5 tablespoons of water in an average-sized bathtub.
Construction began on the pool on May 17, and the fill began on a day-and-a-half ahead of schedule. The full fill takes 8-10 hours.
The warmup pool built next door in the convention center is under construction now and is also ahead of schedule. That pool is expected to be filled on Friday.
The build to install two Myrtha pools was started as soon as Creighton University completed their graduation ceremonies in the arena in mid-May.
The pool is filled with water that is 60 degrees out of fire trucks and hydrants. Next the process begins to start filtering, adding chemicals to, and heating the pool. The competition pool will be kept at 80 degrees and the warmup pool will be kept at 81 degrees.
After the conclusion of the Olympic Trials, the competition pool will be moved to Minneapolis where a privately funded company will operate the pool for low-income families. The warmup pools have been purchased to be used at the new FAST training complex in Ocala, Florida.
Under the new U.S. Olympic Trials system put in place this year to deal with pandemic protocols, the slower trials qualifiers will swim in the Wave I meet from June 4-7. The top two finishers in each event at that meet will advance to the Wave II meet, where they’ll race the faster qualifiers for spots on the Tokyo 2020 U.S. Olympic Team.