The website for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department describes the Martin Luther King Jr. Pool in the city's Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood as "a hidden gem."
And that it is -- with lap swimming, water polo, swimming, water aerobics and even underwater hockey. (Don't really get that, but they seem to enjoy it.) It's also the city's only deep-water pool, which is necessary to play water polo.
But since November, that hidden gem has also been closed. The city said it needed a "custom-made part" to fix the pool filter. That raised the question: "Why would a city-owned public pool require such a fancy, hard-to-find part?"
I should say, by way of full disclosure, that I regularly use the pool as a member of the San Francisco Tsunami water polo and swim teams. That's how I know about the closure. Our polo team has had to beg and borrow (we drew the line at stealing) practice time at other pools around the Bay Area since November.
I decided to check into whether this prolonged closure was typical of public pools, unusual, or even some kind of incompetence or inefficiency on the city's part.