Over the past several weeks, users of the competition pool at the Claude Moore Recreation and Community Center have noted intermittent strong chlorine odors and air quality issues during the early morning hours.
In response to the concerns raised, the Loudoun County Departments of Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) and General Services (DGS) have increased the monitoring of the water chemistry and air quality inside the competition pool area at the center.
The county wants to assure the community that the county is addressing the situation and that several measures have already been implemented for the health and safety of our guests and staff at the center.
The smell of chlorine associated with pools is often caused by chloramines, which are the byproduct of human activity interacting with the pool water chemicals that keep the water safe for swimming (particularly when competitive swimmers are practicing at a high level of intensity).
The Loudoun County Health Department and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRE) establish maximum and minimum guidelines for water chemistry and air quality. PRCS, which operates the center, and DGS, which maintains county facilities, have worked to ensure the water and air at the center are within the guidelines.
All pool facilities in the county use a coordinated system including complex air handling units, water treatments, and swimmer impact controls to keep chloramine levels low. Additional measures that have been coordinated with independent chloramine specialists have been implemented at the facility and include:
• Adjusting and modifying the mechanical system specific to the air evacuation systems.
• Introducing more fresh air into the system to reduce the ratio of chloramines.
• Monitoring and adjusting water chemistry to reduce the production of chloramines.
• Evaluating operational practices and swimmer impact controls to mitigate the increase in chloramine formation.
The county will continue to monitor the air and water quality at the facility and in the competitive pool area, particularly during times of scheduled heavy usage. Additional mechanical measures are planned to address the situation and staff is making all efforts to avoid a temporary closure of the competition pool.
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