Pool chlorine leak in Williams Lake cost $65K

February’s chlorine leak and subsequent 26-day shutdown at the Sam Ketcham Pool in Williams Lake wound up costing $65,000.

February’s chlorine leak and subsequent 26-day shutdown at the Sam Ketcham Pool in Williams Lake wound up costing $65,000.

In a report to the Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee, director of community services Geoff Paynton breaks down the costs. Direct revenue loss from the shutdown was $33,510.

Additional staff costs for incident response, debriefing and interviews totalled $7,500, union management and investigation costs were $2,200, and a temporary disinfection system design and installation was $22,000.

Finally, an independent investigation by the lifesaving society cost $3,000.

“There is little chance much of this negative impact will be made up in revenue during the remainder of the fiscal year,” Paynton says in the report.

Expenses are being closely examined and cost saving options are being implemented, but Paynton notes since the incident there has been a sharp decline in the numbers of people using the pool.

In a second report, Paynton says the temporary disinfection system that was installed will require immediate upgrades to make it permanent.

That upgrade will cost an additional $17,500.

A report from the mechanical engineers — AME Group — also recommends the addition of an Ultraviolet water treatment system to offset the reduction of water quality.

The UV system would cost $64,000 for the main pool and $206,000 if all three pools were included.

Paynton says there’s no capital money in the budget for the UV system at this point, and recommends it be deferred to the 2013 budget.

After receiving the reports at its regular meeting Tuesday, council approved the upgrade cost of an additional $17,500, and accepted the recommendation to defer the UV system costs.

“I have been told that the permanent system could be transferrable,” Mayor Kerry Cook says, adding she’s thankful that nobody was negatively impacted by the incident. “It could have been far worse.”

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