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It’s going to be sweltering in Oak Park Friday. The forecast is for a 100-degree heat index with “oppressive heat and humidity,” according to a warning from the National Weather Service.

But in south Oak Park don’t plan on going to the pool to cool off. The Park District of Oak Park’s Rehm Pool is shutting down for the day to do some emergency maintenance.

The reason? A damaged pump.

Earlier this week, pool workers heard some “unusual vibrations” in the motor for the pool’s main water pump. They checked it out, and they found a little surprise that somehow snuck through the pool’s filter: a cell phone.

They took out the phone and things seemed to go back to normal, but the vibrations returned Thursday. So the park district’s contractor is coming back Friday – but the pump pit has to be drained, which means the pool needs to be shut down.

“It’s definitely not something we want to see happen, but we want to make sure things are operating correctly and we want to make sure we can provide a safe facility,” said Matt Ellmann, the park district’s superintendent of recreation. “The good thing is we had time to forewarn people.”

Ellmann said, though, that the pump is in the pool’s blocked-off mechanical room – which isn’t accessible by poolgoers – so there’s no immediate danger to casual swimmers.

The park district’s other pool, Ridgeland Common, will still be open, Ellmann said. Despite the combination of heat, a closed pool and summer’s end, Ellmann doesn’t think Ridgeland will fill to capacity.

“Generally, that’s more likely to happen earlier in the year than later in the year,” he said. “The novelty of the pool wanes a little bit, and there’s more people on vacation and out of town.”

Ridgeland will be open from 10:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday. The park district is planning to reopen Rehm on Saturday, but swimmers should check www.oakparkparks.com/pools for updates.

CONTACT: bmeyerson@wjinc.com

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Ben Meyerson

Ben was Wednesday Journal's crime, parks, and River Forest reporter, until he kept bugging us enough to promote him. Now he's managing two of Wednesday Journal's sister papers in the city, Chicago Journal...