Five Pool Chemical Mishaps that Happened this Summer

pool chemical balance On average more than 4,000 people visit an emergency room per year for pool chemical related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Balancing pool chemicals, namely chlorine, is a serious job since exposure to chlorine in high concentrations can have major health consequences.

An advanced oxidation pool system enables pool owners and operators to reduce chlorine use by up to 70 percent — or to completely chlorine free for some residential pools.

Here are five examples of pool chemical incidents that happened this summer:

This month, in Pennsylvania, a homeowner mixed the wrong pool chemicals for his private pool and and all three people in the home had to go to the hospital due to inhaled toxins.  Their street had to be shut down as well.

Thirty children with nausea and vomiting were sent to the hospital after being exposed to high concentrations of chlorine while playing in the water at White Lake Water Park in White Lake, North Carolina this month.  An employee had shut off a water pump but failed to turn off the chlorine pump which caused the chemical imbalance.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada has had 16 pool closures in the past three months due to chlorine-related incidents.  A pool maintenance worker accidentally caused the most recent pool closure by mixing hydrochloric acid with another pool chemical (he thought HCl was chlorine, Cl).  This mix-up produced a strong odor and dangerous fumes causing an entire apartment complex to be evacuated and the pool to be emptied.

In Buffalo, New York an indoor pool pump system developed a leak in a small hose which transports chemicals.  Fortunately, the lifeguards and maintenance staff were quick to respond and limited the extent of the damage. One lifeguard was hospitalized, and the pool was evacuated and shut down until the air quality was back under control.

This June in Norfolk, England 40 people were treated by paramedics for breathing problems due to a chemical leak in an indoor pool at a park.

When errors occur with pool chemical use, it can affect all parties involved —  through health consequences, hospital bills, pool closures, pool draining and refilling, area evacuation and potential lawsuits.  Using an advanced oxidation pool system reduces or eliminates the need for chlorine, lowering chemical use.


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Claire McDaniel

Claire is a swimming and nutrition expert who loves to educate and motivate others to healthier living. She swam competitively for 18 years, is a five time All-American, a Division I National Champion, was co-captain of Team USA at the 2007 World University Games and was named a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. She also has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. After swimming, Claire started coaching and has coached all over the US and even in Switzerland! Her experience and expertise about both swimming and health fuel her passion for Clear Comfort’s mission – to make swimming a 100 percent healthy activity for swimmers, coaches, lifeguards and pool staff.