The tot pool and hot tub at the Revelstoke Aquatic Centre were closed down on Feb. 28 due to ongoing mechanical issues.
“As of today we’ve closed down those two pools and we’re currently installing a temporary chlorine-based disinfection system for those two pools,” interim Parks, Recreation and Culture director Laurie Donato told council at their Feb. 28 regular meeting.
Donato said staff were working with Kelowna-based engineering company Stantec Engineering and the Interior Health public health engineer. She hoped to have the two pools open again sometime next week.
While a temporary system is being installed, city staff are also trying to find a long-term fix for the failing salt water disinfectant system at the pool.
The Revelstoke Aquatic Centre was completed in 2004. “The typical lifespan for that type of disinfection system is five to eight years,” Donato told council. “Recently we’ve been experiencing some issues with the system. In particular, the existing system is failing for the hot tub and the tot pool.”
Donato said a number of options were on the table, including replacing the salt-water system, converting to a chlorine disinfectant or some kind of hybrid.
“Another issue that we’re finding is replacement parts for the existing salt-based system are no longer available,” Donato said. “We’ve hired Stantec Engineering to review the current water system that we’re on and to review options that we have.”
The parks department has made a 2012 budget request of $150,000 to cover the cost of the new system.
City councillor Gary Starling said council should consider switching away from the salt-based disinfecting system. “The salt system, I think at the time it was considered the way to go, but when you look at the condition of the building and what’s happened since that system was installed – the salt system is not all that’s it’s cracked up to be,” Starling said. “It’s pretty obvious it causes a lot of damage to other parts of the building… The mechanical, specifically, takes a real beating [due to salt].” He asked council to consider the cost of the salt system long-term during budget deliberations.
In response to questions from the Times Review, both director Laurie Donato and mayor David Raven gave assurances there were no public health concerns prior to the pool closure. Donato said chemical levels are measured throughout the day and they were always above normal prior to the closure.
“We don’t take chances,” Raven said.