There have been lots of posts on social media regarding a decision made by Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre regarding the closure of the pool over the next couple days.
General Manager, Robin Mitchell, says there are a couple of issues they need to resolve and this weekend is the opportunity to do them. "From the original commissioning of when we opened the main pool we had green water which was a result of some kind of reaction happening in the filter with the sand and silicate that actually filters the water; while Alberta Health Services did the test and deemed it as it being safe, we finally had a window of opportunity where we had new filtration sand brought in and it was on site and we had the opportunity to bring in the pumper truck so we could pump out the old filter media and replace it with the new. So we took the two days in the schedule which were starting today (Thursday) 'til the end of Saturday so we could have all that sand changed out so we can have clear blue water rather than a version of green."
That was the main reason for the closure as you can't run the pools and not circulate them without chlorine running through. One of the slides needed to close as well just so maintenance crews could apply nosing to the stairs for safety measures and the glue needed some time to adhere. "We were made to believe that the work done overnight would actually be ready for a 6 am opening but between the heat, moisture, and humidity in the pool area the glue or hardening surface didn't dry overnight as quickly as they hoped for so they needed to leave it closed."
As for the multiple posts regarding 'code brown' incidents occurring at the pool, Mitchell, says this is extremely common in all aquatic facilities. "It is one of those things you are dealing with bodies of water and no matter how diligent you are to try and get parents to have children in proper swimsuit attire and bathing diapers that go on top of it, not every body conforms to it or the seal isn't perfect. So it looks like we had an accident or two in the warm water therapy that when the reading came back it indicated that we needed to super chlorinate and not open until we had a clear reading."
Mitchell, shares it is just an unfortunate that the warm water therapy pool had to close down at the same time the two other pools were scheduled to close.
Warm water therapy and the slides should be open later today and all pools will be back up and operational by Sunday.
This won't be the last time the pools will close, shares Mitchell, and he is hopeful the community is understanding.
"Typically we'll shut down on an annual basis where we will shut down for two or three weeks like most aquatic centres do. You will do your full scrub, drain all the pools, and check tiles, and you do all of that annual type of maintenance but every once in awhile from time to time you're going to have bodies of water that will need to be shut due to an impassable sample that has been handed into Alberta Health Services and typically, traditionally those happen not just from someone pooping in a pool or having an accident it's when we have a major accident and unfortunately that comes with water."
Mitchell says they will continue to educate the public, guards will continue to monitor, and operations staff will be on top of making sure the water samples are at the proper levels.