The natural swimming ponds at Castlegar’s Millennium Park remain closed following tests showing the presence of chlorine.
Chlorine is a chemical element used for disinfectants and bleaches. The ponds were voluntarily closed on May 25, following routine maintenance, when staff noticed a visible change in the habitat of the ponds which was caused by the presence of chlorine.
“Independent water sample testing showed the presence of chlorine which is unusual because the City of does not use chlorination in the ponds due to regulations from the provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and federal department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada that regulate the quality of water released into the Columbia River,” says Director of Municipal Services, Chris Hallam. “The City is concerned because we have not been able to confirm the source of the chlorine and our staff are working to neutralize the chlorine so the ponds can reopen as soon as the water samples meet all standards.”
The City is concerned with the prolonged closure since the ponds are heavily used at this time of year and hopes to have the ponds open within the next 14 working days, but this depends on water sampling consistently meeting standards.
The City follows the Canadian Recreational Water Guidelines and regularly tests the natural ponds’ water quality and submits the results to Interior Health Authority for review.