Two pools evacuated on same day

Excess chlorine in Walnut Grove pool closed the centre down but it re-opened later that day. Blair pool evacuated for smoke.

Swimmers had to be evacuated and some given oxygen after a chlorine leak at Walnut Grove Community Centre pool last Thursday (Sept. 3).

Around 11 a.m., a smell of chlorine came into the air leading to the evacuation of dozens of people still in their swim suits. They were led outside for fresh air.

Township fire and ambulance were quickly on scene.

Staff kept the evacuated customers comfortable and provided those in bathing suits with blankets.

Several people were given oxygen at the scene and four people were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure, said Township recreation department.

Around 12:30 p.m. a test showed no abnormal chlorine readings were recorded.

The community centre was re-opened but the pool remained temporarily closed, said the Township. The building was safe and the chlorine system has been shut off; however, as a precaution, the pool area wasn’t reopened until an engineer  inspected the pump system and was satisfied it is functioning properly.

This is the first time that there has been an issue with the chlorine system at the centre, said Township recreation department. Township staff are looking for the cause of the malfunction.

“Safety is our main priority, and we always evacuate if there is an apparent risk,” said Township of Langley community recreation manager Lesley Visser. “We take it very seriously. Even if it is a false alarm, we start the evacuation process – we don’t want to take that chance.”

Walnut Grove Pool is now closed until Sept. 28 for regular scheduled maintenance.

In an unrelated incident, swimmers were also evacuated from W.C. Blair Recreation Centre in Murrayville Thursday afternoon.

At around 2:25 p.m., a haze was reported in the pool area. Although there was no fire, everyone in the building was evacuated as a precautionary measure.

It was later determined that a break in an air handling until component was the cause. The pool was scheduled to reopen at 6 p.m. Thursday night.

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