allowing more than normal pool chemical to enter into the pumping system,” a release said.
Sutro Swim, the pool company that maintains the pool, said they use a combination of sodium hypochlorite and acid to sanitize the pool and for pH control.
Following the incident, the company stayed at the scene to test the water and check the automatic chemical dispenser.
That same day in Cumming, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb, 20 children and several adults were triaged, assessed, decontaminated, and treated, following a chemical exposure incident at the Swim Atlanta swim school pool. Six of the children, all under 10, were taken to the hospital, although according to the fire department, more parents could have made the decision to take their children for additional care.
The children exhibited varying reactions to the chemicals, including vomiting, trouble breathing, and burning eyes.
Reports from the Swim Atlanta staff and authorities indicate that “a large amount of chlorine had been accidentally introduced into one of the pools in a very concentrated and quick manner, thus exposing those in the water to an abnormally high chlorine concentration.”
Fire officials also noted that because the facility is indoor, the air also had elevated chlorine levels, which added to the chemical irritation of those affected.
Chris Davis, a senior coach at a different Swim Atlanta location, said he was unnerved by the incident and that in the 45 years the multi-location swim school has been in operation, nothing like this has ever happened.
“We’re in the business to help children,” Davis told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’re trying to teach them to swim so they won’t drown, and then we’re trying to help other ones to realize their potential if they want to be a competitive swimmer. The last thing we’d ever want to do is hurt a child.”
At press time, the cause of the exposure incident was under investigation.
Later in June, three people were taken to the hospital following a “possible hazardous materials incident” at the Asheville Racquet Club swimming pool in North Carolina.
The fire department said that the people reported having “difficulty breathing and difficulty speaking between breaths.”
Although eight total people were impacted, only one adult and two children were taken to a hospital for additional evaluation.
At the time, the fire department was unable to confirm the cause, but the department said they believe the reaction may be related to muriatic acid and chlorine.
In an emailed statement to McClatchy News, the Asheville Racquet Club stated, “We experienced an isolated incident on Saturday afternoon which unfortunately affected some of our swimmers. After an initial investigation in collaboration with internal and external resources, we have implemented measures to ensure that this type of incident cannot happen again.”