Officials with SwimAtlanta and the Forsyth County Fire Department said they are unsure of the exact cause of about 20 young swimmers being exposed to a high concentration of chlorine at a local pool.
FCFD Division Chief Jason Shivers said firefighters and EMTs responded to SwimAtlanta’s location at 5059 Post Road at about 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15 after a “very high level of chlorine” was injected into the pool.
Shivers said about 20 swimmers were evaluated and “suffering from varying degrees of exposure” and, while most of issues weren’t severe, four students were taken to local hospitals via ambulance and two others by their parents.
Trouble breathing and burning skin and eyes were among the symptoms reported to first responders.
Based on comments from employees on the scene, Shivers said the cause appeared to be a mechanical issue.
The center was closed after the exposure until the pool can be inspected by the Forsyth County Health Department.
On Thursday, Chris Davis, co-founder of SwimAtlanta, said the swimmers were recovering and electrical and maintenance crews were “going over it with a fine-tooth comb” to find out the cause of the high level of chlorine.
“I’m just happy everybody’s okay,” he said.
A malfunctioning part in the chlorine system was the likely cause, Davis said, but the exact cause was not certain as of press time.
Davis said in 45 years, the business had not dealt with a similar situation and said the exposure was a “perfect storm” of a likely mechanical failure and swimmers being near the return where the chlorine is added to the pool.
Though he was at a different SwimAtlanta location during the incident, Davis said those on the scene told him the chlorine level was back to normal within 10 minutes. He added that the location had also been given “a clean bill of health” from the health department the day before.
“It was just one of those freak things, I guess,” Davis said.