Local News

Pool at Durham Y reopens after chemical spill

Posted August 7

— The swimming pool at the Downtown Durham YMCA reopened Monday afternoon, five days after 42 people were taken to area hospitals because of a chemical spill.

Fire officials said that the spill occurred as a result of a mechanical issue with the pool pump that caused sodium hypochlorite to mix with another chemical in a way that was not intended. Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical used for everyday upkeep of swimming pools, authorities said.

Officials said 40 of 100 children participating in a day camp who swam in the pool as part of their daily routine last Wednesday were taken to area hospitals after complaining of breathing issues, eye irritation and vomiting. Two adults were also treated. The symptoms were caused largely by fumes from the chemical mixture as opposed to exposure to the chemical in the water, authorities said.

The Downtown Durham YMCA reopened last Thursday, but a contractor had to make repairs to the pump.

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