Residents of Port Kembla and surrounds are heading into what shapes as a long, hot summer with the suburbs's landmark pool out of action - with no estimate of an opening day in sight.
Wollongong City Council has closed the pool because sand was clogging up the saltwater intake pipes, and the closure seems to likely to extend towards Christmas and perhaps longer.
But how much longer, council isn't saying.
While permission had been won from the State Government, and heavy machinery called in, WCC would not give an estimate of whether the pool would re-open this year.
This would need the right tides, a spokeswoman said.
"While we can - and are - working to move the sand from the intake pipe, we need high tides or a change in sea conditions to be able to draw water into the pool," she said.
"The tides forecast now and into next week are low or low, low tides.
"[On Wednesday] we were able to move equipment onto site and started to clear the sand around the blocked pipes. The significant amount of sand, and the tight tidal timeframe, means we will attempt again [on Thursday] to carry out further work."
Works had also been underway this year to remove large amounts of sand which have been being washed up next to the surf club, hindering access.
In June Ward 2 Councillor Cath Blakey called for the sand shifting work to halt until it could be properly evaluated whether the solution was working.
Asked yesterday whether they were related, the council spokeswoman said this sand buildup near the surf club, and the intake pipe blockage, were "separate issues"
Much of the east coast of Australia was experiencing more sand than usual, because of atypical weather patterns and a lack of heavy seas to shift large amounts of sand.
"Currently, along the entire east coast there is a high volume of sand, mostly concentrated at the northern end of beaches," the council spokeswoman said.
"Locally, this can be clearly evidenced at locations like Port Kembla Beach, as well as a number of other beaches including City Beach, Towradgi Beach, East Corrimal, Bulli and Stanwell Park.
"We have also had significant issues this year from excessive sand build up at Bulli and Towradgi ocean pools."