To the editor:
Obviously the weather has been a popular topic these past weeks and it has presented a host of challenges for our Park and Rec Programs. A prime example was Monday, June 24. Daytime storms forced the cancellation of all ballgames, ball practices, swim team practice and public swim. We were very happy though that later in the day we were able to have 5 p.m. swim lessons.
Unfortunately, during that session, a “bathroom” related incident occurred in the water. Far from humorous, this event triggers a costly and labor intensive response that closes the facility for up to 24 hours.
Those steps include:
1. Everyone leaves the pool and facility closes
2. Staff removes all materials as completely as possible with skimming nets
3. Staff cleans and disinfects any equipment and/or deck area that the material contacted
4. The chlorine level is raised from 2.0 to 20.0 ppm and this ph level is maintained for at least 12.75 hours requiring regular monitoring
5. Chlorine levels are brought back down to 2.0 which is a very time consuming process
6. System filters are backwashed thoroughly after 12.75 hours
7. Verification must be made that proper chemical balance levels have been achieved
8. Facility can re-open only after all of the above steps have been met
As you can see, just one incident has a very large impact from both a facility enjoyment and financial perspective, which on average costs $300 in chemical supplies and additional losses in admission fees and concessions revenue.
We all realize that accidents can happen, but it is frustrating to know that incidents like this are mostly preventable with just a little extra preparation. We are asking parents and caregivers to ensure that when bringing little ones to the Aquatic Center they use swim diapers. Also please do not bring a child to the pool if they are not feeling well and please encourage use of the restrooms frequently, not just at pool checks.
Safety for all ages is our No. 1 concern.
President of the Forest City Parks and Recreation Board.