Uptown hot tub attracts schadenfreude

Schadenfreude: Pleasure derived from the misfortune of others.

Schadenfreude: Pleasure derived from the misfortune of others.

Shortly after we published our initial blog post about the cool-looking hot tub that hangs over Lake Street as part of the Walkway development in Uptown, commenters let us know it was taped off because of a leak. (The tape is visible in the above photo.)

Some suggested the leak was a result of shoddy engineering. But that's not necessarily the case, a state employee in the department that inspects pools tells us.

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Doug Schultz of the Minnesota Department of Health's Environmental Health Division tells us his department was aware of the Walkway hot tub's leak before we called him.

"It's a microscopic leak. It happens," Schultz says. "We've seen it before and understand and recognize that [it] can happen, especially when you have two surfaces coming together where the acrylic meets the concrete wall."

Schultz says the leak "can be sealed with coagulant."

With regard to possible safety concerns stemming from the leak, Schultz says, "In this kind of weather there isn't much of a safety risk."

"Water on the sidewalk can create a slipping hazard, but our understanding is that the owner is planning on closing the spa before freezing weather, and one would assume it would be fixed before then," he continues. "Our assumption is that it will be fixed in a matter of weeks."

Walkway owner Clark Gassen tells us he's installed a rain gutter system to keep water off the sidewalk in case the hot tub leaks again in the future.

Then, last week, we received reports that the tub had been drained:
-- Lindsay Guentzel (@LindsayGuentzel) August 5, 2014 We asked Gassen the question Lindsay Guentzel was afraid to know the answer to.

(For more, click to page two.)

Turns out it was drained because a stereo system was being installed.

"We're getting the speakers put in right, and so we had to drain it," Gassen tells us. "It's a new building and there are things that happen throughout the process."

On a related note, Gassen said both the pool and hot tub will be drained this week as part of a training exercise.

With regard to the aforementioned leak, Gassen says, "The city wouldn't open it up if it was leaking -- it's new construction."

"We put water in it and did a blow test and they found where the leaks are coming from and fixed it right away," he continues.

We also contacted the city of Minneapolis to ask about the series of inspections hot tubs like the one at the Walkway have to go through. City spokesperson Casper Hill sent us this response via email:
There are three different levels of inspections:

· The Minnesota Department of Health inspects the pool plans as well as the finished product. To check on that, you will need to call Steve Klemm at MDH at 651-201-4503.

· At the city, the Minneapolis Department of Health inspects the chemical concentrations within the pool itself.

· Also at the city, building inspectors make sure the building and other structures around and supporting the pool (not the pool itself) meet building code.
We asked Hill if that means the Walkway hot tub successfully completed all three inspections.

"Yes," he replied. "The hot tub meets the building code and there are no special restrictions from the city. (It was closed briefly for not having high enough chlorine, but was re-opened upon re-inspection. It's common for hot tubs to close for low chlorine because of the small volume of water in them.)"

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.