Vernon Recreation Centre evacuated after chlorine alarm

Rec centre evacuated

A chlorine gas alarm was activated at the Vernon Aquatic Centre Wednesday morning, forcing the recreation centre to be temporarily evacuated.

About 7 a.m., a chlorine gas concentration of one part per million, the minimum threshold for an alarm, was detected by the monitoring system in the airtight chlorine bottle room. The system shut off the chlorine, triggered the alarm and notified Vernon Fire Rescue.

"The lifeguards on duty followed established safety protocols and evacuated 18 swimmers from the aquatic centre as a precaution," the City of Vernon says in a press release. "Firefighters arrived on scene and determined that the automated safety systems had functioned as designed and there was no safety risk to staff or the public."

Maintenance staff were unable to locate the source of the leak after a preliminary investigation was conducted. The city says they presume the leak is too small to be found by conventional testing.

"This appears to have been a very small leak that built up overnight and reached our minimum alarm threshold this morning," says Gary Lefebvre, manager of aquatics. "We have well-established protocols in place for these types of events, and I am very proud of our lifeguarding staff this morning, who acted quickly and followed our procedures to ensure their safety and the safety of the public."

Staff tested all connections on the chlorine system and will continue to monitor the situation.

The safety systems were reset and the pool was reopened at 8:30 a.m.

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