Public pool reopens after children fell ill in Maplewood, New Jersey

MAPLEWOOD, Essex County (WABC) – Officials say the Maplewood Township public swimming pool is open again on Monday after an incident over the weekend that parents say made some children sick.

Several parents posted on Facebook on Saturday evening and Sunday morning that their children had to go to the emergency room after the incident at the community pool on Saturday afternoon.

A malfunction in the pool’s water level system pushed a toxic amount of chlorine into the air, causing the water to turn greenish brown. The incident was accompanied by a strong odor.

According to parents’ social media posts, some children were vomiting, had burning eyes and / or throats, and were lethargic. Others were coughing and some had breathing problems.

A parent said their child had to spend the night in the hospital.

“My oldest was coughing and breathing quickly and had turned pale and my youngest was vomiting, was completely pale, was breathing very quickly, very lethargic,” said relative Charlene Burris.

Burris said it was his youngest who spent the night in hospital after doctors said his lungs were severely aggravated.

“They found irritation on the lungs of my youngest son, so the reason they kept us overnight was … between the irritation of the lungs they found and the vomiting they were worried it was. doesn’t turn into pneumonia, ”Burris said.

The municipality released a press release on Sunday that said:

“As previously stated, there was a malfunction yesterday afternoon at the pool, causing sediment to be released. This malfunction has occurred in the filtration system and is monitored regularly.

As a result, some felt a sudden smell of chlorine when the filter was restarted. We deeply apologize that this malfunction has occurred and we are working with a third party vendor, CFM, on testing and retrospective evaluation regarding yesterday’s malfunction.
In addition, our health worker has contacted the families affected by the dysfunction and we will work with them. “

The statement went on to say that the problem has been corrected and monitoring shows the pool is safe for swimming again:

“This morning (Sunday) we performed 2 more pool chemistry level tests, our standard operation testing / evaluation as well as additional third party testing to make sure our pool is within normal limits. came back with readings that communicated that the pool chemistry is within normal limits.

We worked closely with a third party contractor and specifically identified what happened and we know why it happened. In addition, we have taken all necessary steps to resolve the issue and have been assured that based on the actions of the contractor and our follow-up procedures, this will not happen again.

As a result, the pool will be open today and we will be increasing the number of our daily standard tests and monitors to ensure the safety of all residents and customers.

Once again, we apologize that this malfunction occurred yesterday (Saturday). “

The city of Maplewood brought in a third party to test and monitor the system, and local nurses contacted families affected by the leak.

“We are doing what we need to do from a professional standpoint to monitor all the mechanisms of the filtration system to make sure it is safe and we are confident that it is safe,” said Jerry Giaimis, administrator of the town of Maplewood.

The pool reopened on Sunday and city officials said some 700 residents came to enjoy the city pool.

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