Updated: Public health advisory issued for Lawson Aquatic Facility

REGINA – The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) has issued an advisory saying anyone with respiratory problems or using the Lawson Aquatic Centre for physical activity should not use the facility.

“The best way to describe it is heavy air,” said Robert Schuba, manager of the RQHR environmental health department. “They’re seeing some symptoms probably related to chloramines. That’s our best guess at this point.”

RQHR does not feel that the facility is unsafe, but there have been reports of people experiencing adverse symptoms in the facility while performing activities.

“We’ve had swimmers who are experiencing persistent cough, choking, shortness of breath, while they’re in the pool” said Nick Egarhos, president of the Regina Optimist Dolphin Swim Club. “We’ve even had one swimmer taken to hospital.”

In March, a mechanical failure during a swim meet forced the closure of Regina’s biggest pool.  The Dolphin Swim Club has been complaining about problems with the air ever since.

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“We’re all parents of swimmers in the club and we’re concerned what the long term effects for our kids are,” said Egarhos.

The city says a review of the complete pool system was done back in March and it believed the problems were fixed. It’s now hired two consultants to figure out what’s going on and where the problems lie.

“I have to reinforce, there’s a very small number of individuals,” said Chris Holden, director of community development with the City of Regina. “We are not getting complaints from the general public that are using it.”

If you experience any illness or symptoms while using the facility you are advised to leave the building, and if you continue to have symptoms you should consult a doctor.