Downtown Durham YMCA pool hadn’t been inspect since September 2016

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The YMCA of the Triangle says it was a broken pump that brought firefighters, EMS crews, and a hazmat team its Downtown Durham pool Wednesday afternoon.

Forty kids were sent to the hospital after breathing in gas formed from a mixture of two chemicals.

“One of those chemicals back-filled into its container and spilled out onto the floor. That came in contact with residue from one of the other chemicals and that produced the off-gassing that seemed to cause the problem yesterday,” explained Forrest Perry, regional vice president for YMCA of the Triangle.

North Carolina requires the county health department to inspect pools twice a year if they are open year-round.


CBS North Carolina went through past inspections and found out the equipment room is part of the check. The YMCA had no violations there in 2014, 2015, or 2016.

But the county hasn’t inspected the pool in downtown Durham since September, nearly 11 months ago.

Perry says YMCA staff does check it daily.

“Twice a day the certified pool operator performs a more extensive check,” Perry said. “The check includes all pump rooms.”

“It’s an important thing obviously to stay up with as we can have problems with chemical and the chemicals are strong,” explained Bob Ringer, a certified pool operator at America’s Swimming Pool Company.

Before jumping in a pool, Ringer says you should never be afraid to ask questions.

“There will always be someone who is responsible for answering questions as to pool safety and the chemicals that are in the pool,” Ringer said.

The YMCA of the Triangle says it will now have CPO’s do checks three times a day at all of its locations.

It’s asking the county health department to do an additional inspection before they reopen the pool.

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