By David F. Rooney
The wading pool at DOKK Park, a popular place for generations of young moms with small children, is going to be emptied and closed as the City grasps for a way to comply with new provincial pool regulations.
The City was recently notified by the Interior Health Authority that the wading pool across First Street West from Okanagan College does not meet new filtration and automatic disinfection requirements under BCs new Pool Regulations.
“Wading pools are considered equivalent to regular pools in the… regulations,” Parks, Recreation and Culture Director Laurie Donato said in a report to Council on Tuesday.
She said the Public Health Inspector recently conducted site visit noted that the pool doesn’t meet the new regs, which were brought in last year. The pool requires an automatic sanitization system but the IHA is willing to accept “operational controls to reduce the risk for the time being until more long-term solutions can be researched and implemented.”
Consequently, Council voted to close the pool until municipal staff can investigate their options and the costs of an automated sanitization system. The pool was full late Tuesday afternoon but should be empty starting on Wednesday.
Darren Komonoski, operations manager for Engineering and Public Works, said It could cost the City $10,000, not including the cost of chemical to treat the water. The Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan (DOKK) is a fraternal service organization that established and still operates the park, which includes picnic tables and playground equipment. The price of the chemical they buy to sanitize the wading pool’s water are about $250-$300While some requirements can be addressed, Donato said under the new rules the pool has to be filled with potable water each, then drained before dark and left empty overnight.
The pool uses 60 cubic metres of water each day. That’s about 1 per cent of the city’s daily flow of potable water available in the city. That would cost the City $52 a day.
Water can be left overnight in a wading pool if the entire volume is recirculated through an approved filter in two hours or less.