Given that the Rec Centre was built so we could be safe while we have fun and get our exercise, public safety is priority one of the management and staff of the Centre. A combination of warm temperatures and moisture provides a natural medium for the growth and sharing of pathogens. It follows that preventing the growth and sharing of these disease-causing organisms occupies much of the attention of the Centre’s management and staff and absorbs a large portion of the operating budget.
Consider first the water in the pool. There are mainly two functions in keeping your pool water safe and swimmable: filtration and chlorination. Diatomaceous earth is the filtering medium of choice at the Rec Centre for its capacity to trap very fine particles that might otherwise pass through and remain in the pool water. This is what keeps your pool water so clear.
Chlorine gas is precisely measured into the swimming pool water to kill any living organisms having the potential to compromise your health. Don’t like the smell of chlorine? How else would you know that you’re in a public swimming hole? I would suggest that chlorine in the pool is far preferable to some of the complications that could result from dipping in unchlorinated water in which hundreds of other people have already dipped.
The hot tub is on a separate purification system. Because of the requirement for a higher water temperature, the hot tub water circulation, filtration, heating, and purification system is not connected to that of the pool. It generates its own chlorine through a process by which the gas is released in appropriate amounts from sodium chloride, ordinary salt, already dissolved in the water.
“How,” you might ask, “is this multiplicity of mechanisms monitored? How do the maintenance people know that everything’s all right in the world of the Rec Centre? How can I be assured that I won’t break out with some dread disease? What if the ice machine gets too warm or what if the air-handling units cease to move the air or what if my little grand-daughter is playing in the shallows when the pool freezes over or what if the water slide goes dry when I’m halfway down?” Good questions. What if you’d never asked them? The simple answer: working for your pleasure and safety is a team of skilled operators and their supervisors. To help them monitor the mechanisms as they perform for your enjoyment, a system called Direct Digital Control has been installed. Director of Parks and Recreation, Randy Rusjan, can log on from anywhere to observe the performance of any function of the Centre and make necessary adjustments.
Your safety first! Management and staff of the Rec Centre are trained to ensure your safety as you enjoy the pleasure of your choice: skating, curling, hockey, walking, weight room, swimming, soaking, water-sliding. Along with their training, they have the best tools to help them do their jobs well.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor