Pleasant Grove Pool Reopens With New Chemical System
PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – Pleasant Grove’s swimming pool reopened Thursday afternoon, more than a week after excessive chlorine sickened about 50 people.
Before reopening, inspectors with the Utah County Health Department tested the water and observed a demonstration of a new chemical system that is designed to prevent too much chlorine from entering the water.
“We found out what the problem was and we’ve corrected it,” said Pleasant Grove Mayor Guy Fugal. “We’ve probably got one of the safest pools in the state, if not the safest, because we know the problems we had a week ago will not happen again.”
To the city’s knowledge, more than two dozen people were taken to local hospitals last Tuesday when chlorine gas in the swim area caused bloody noses, respiratory problems and vomiting. It was determined that the problem started when the recirculating water pump somehow turned off.
“During the time the water pump was off a control panel that distributes chlorine into the pipe kept operating,” the city said in a statement. “This caused the chlorine to back up. When the pump was restarted, the water pushed the excess chlorine into the swimming pool area.”
The new control system would shut down the chlorine injector if the pump were to lose power.
“It’s got three levels of safeguard to catch and prevent something like this from happening again,” said Bryce Larsen, the environmental health director for the Utah County Health Department. “It’s above and beyond what is actually required.”
Before being declared safe, Larsen said the public health employees also checked over the entire pool and the balance of chemicals.
“We feel safe in saying that the public can feel confident about coming here and using the facility,” Larsen added.
A group of patrons gathered around the pool’s entrance Thursday afternoon said the chlorine incident wouldn’t keep them away.
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