Pool cued for improvement

Raffy Boudjikanian
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Dollard to solve chlorine problem

Pool cued for improvement

Dollard des Ormeaux is almost all set to install a brand-new, $50,000 cleaning system to their public swimming pool at the town's Civic Centre this summer, in response to complaints of an ongoing over-chlorination problem. "An ultra-violet light is introduced into the filtering system," explained the town's aquatic director Marie-Josée Auger, eliminating chloramines, molecules that combine with organic waste such as sweat or urine and may cause dizziness or eye irritation among users or the pool. "Most of the time, (the pool is) OK," said Dollard Mayor Ed Janiszewski, but he conceded the swimming pool starts to exhibit unusually high chlorine problems in the evenings. "When the competitive swimming pools swim, it churns up the water," he said, raising the chlorine to the top. Since competitive swimming team sessions tend to be in the afternoons, this leaves the pool's surface very chlorinated in the evenings.

Janiszewski added management at the pool has also tried simply leaving the doors to the swimming pool room open, and using fans to push chlorine fumes out, but that also lowers the temperature, making it more difficult to swim.

Frequently , it is the water polo teams, who have their practice sessions later in the evenings, that face this problem.

Jim Dumont, whose two teenage sons are in waterpolo teams training at the Dollard Civic Centre, was delighted to hear about the new system. "If it helps get the chlorine out of the water, it's good," Dumont told The Chronicle. He said one of his sons had previously gotten eye irritation problems due to the high amount of chlorine in the pool.

He added he was happy to hear Dollard des Ormeaux has a permanent solution for the problem.

According to Paul Desbarats, the city's sports, recreation and culture director, the system has already been proven to work at some swimming pools in the Montreal, area, like the Aquadome at the borough of Lasalle. "It's very popular in Europe," said Auger.

Desbarats added it should be ready for installation in August 2009, although the swimming pool would have to close down for about two weeks.

Council is expected to approve purchase of the system at an upcoming meeting.

The Chronicle had first reported on chlorine problems at the Dollard pool in January 2003.

Organizations: Dollard Civic Centre, The Chronicle

Geographic location: Montreal, Lasalle, Europe

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