Ammonia alarm shuts down Vernon, B.C. ice rink chiller for most of week

File photo. Global News

Work to repair the main ice chiller at Vernon, B.C.’s, Kal Tire Place South is underway in the aftermath of a weekend ammonia alarm.

Around 9 p.m. Saturday, the alarm sounded and the automatic and immediate shutdown of the system was triggered, the City of Vernon said in a press release.

“The safety system worked as designed, effectively isolating the ammonia. With the ammonia from the ice chiller isolated, crews were able to conduct a safety check, identifying a small leak,” the city said.

It was originally estimated that repairs would take one to two days. However, a further assessment has revealed that the repairs will take longer.

“The main ice chiller requires urgent repairs before the ice sheet at Kal Tire Place – South can be used,”  Shayne Wright, the City’s manager of community recreation said.

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Click to play video: 'Kal Tire Place new rink officially opened in Vernon'
Kal Tire Place new rink officially opened in Vernon

“In order to safely facilitate the repair work, the refrigeration system must remain off resulting in the existing ice surface thawing and needing removal. Once the repairs have been completed, installation of a new ice surface will take place, requiring at least five days.

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“While this urgent repair has disrupted some programs and user groups, it is essential that the City prioritize and ensure the safety of staff, contractors and public during.”

All ice bookings and programs from March 11 to March 17 for Kal Tire Place – South, Kal Tire Place – North, and Priest Valley Arena are being adjusted.

More information on reopening Kal Tire – South will be available once repairs are complete.

All user groups will be contacted regarding their rentals for this time period. Kal Tire Place – South will remain open for the indoor walking program and meeting room booking.

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Kal Tire Place – North uses a separate system and was not affected and will remain open.

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