A routine chemical check at the Pleasant Grove Veterans Memorial Pool took a turn for the worst this summer.
Something as simple as a pump malfunction forced too much chlorine gas into the pool located just south of Salt Lake City. When the chlorine turned to gas, close to 50 people became sick, with many exhibiting symptoms such as coughing, vomiting and bleeding from their noses. In fact, some children were reportedly even going in and out of consciousness.
Pool staff found the chemical levels to be too low, prompting the team to check the recirculating water pump’s filter where they noticed that the pump had been tripped. When the pump eventually restarted, water pushed all the backed-up chlorine into the pool and it became gaseous.
While thankfully none of the injuries were life threatening, over two dozen people were taken to the hospital with chlorine poisoning and the pool remained closed for over a week.
Chlorine Gas Concerns
The incident in Utah is yet another unfortunate reminder as to the perils of chlorination symptoms such as chlorine gas and liquid bleach.
Not only does chlorine gas come with leak concerns, but they can create for a less-than-ideal pump room setup with heavy cylinders that require two people to move while requiring special handling.
While an effective method of killing bacteria to sanitize pools, chlorine gas can become quite dangerous when inadvertently mixed with other chemicals. This happened recently in San Jose, where a contractor incorrectly poured chemicals, leading to the formation of a chlorine gas cloud over the pool and a chlorine level that was over 15 times the allowable limit.
A Simpler Alternative
Cal-hypo technology such as the Accu-Tab® Chlorination system reduces the health risks associated with the outbreaks in Utah and San Jose. With solid chemicals, no dual containment is required and the pH-friendly tablets generate consistent strength for reliable control and minimal degradation. Additionally, the Acid-Rite® pH Adjustment System delivers a safer and simpler way to achieve water balance.