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Rescue our Toronto Wading Pools

What needs fixing to go back to good wading pools
by

CELOS Presentations

on 22 July 2015

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Transcript of Rescue our Toronto Wading Pools

In 2011, these wading pools
were reorganized.

Dufferin Grove Park
wading pool,
July 2010
beside a good playground, with shade
a neighbourhood gathering spot
fun for older kids
Holiday celebrations
Poolside crafts
single-focus wading-pool youth staff
replaced mixed-ages recreation program staff
single-focus wading-pool youth staff
replaced mixed-ages recreation program staff
Disconnection
happened
all over the city.

Staff were put into biohazard suits to add chlorine
But Toronto wading pools have no vacuum pumps to suction out the water -- they fill and drain like bathtubs
talk it over with your neighbours.
To find out more or get involved,
go to our Facebook page:
Rescue our Toronto wading pools
https://www.facebook.com/rescueTorontowadingpools
and yet but because of all the new rules,
even though attendance went down, staffing costs went up
the wading pool was the summertime heart of the park
Public Health insisted they were dangerous anyway, and kids still had to stay out
community events
many generations
The frequent closures for draining made the pools off limits for kids
many times a day, sometimes
up to a total of 4 hours
in a shift of 8 hours

There were day camp outings
There were no more arts and crafts and community activities
Many pools emptied out
the department got money for water safety
Also in 2011, Toronto Public Health got involved
chlorine was added up to 6 times a day
Pools were drained half way each time chlorine was added.
That meant the pool water stayed icy cold all day...
... in addition, public health said the pool must be
drained completely at mid-day to get rid of any sand
we found that if you stand on top of the drain there is only enough suction to tickle your toes
with games and poolside crafts no longer part of the job, staff got bored
there was so much chlorine, it bleached the pool cement
The new rules had a bad effect on wading pool staff as well
PROBLEM #1: Drainage Rules
SOLUTION: establish the safety of Toronto's wading pool drains
.ca
They gave the example of the tragic death of
Abigail Taylor, in Minnesota
She was wading in a pool that had
a strong suction pump to recirculate the water.
Stories about the pools being closed so much
made the news, on hot days
What needs fixing,
to get back
to the good
wading pools?

Fact: extra chlorine combines with organic substances in pools, like sand, skin cells, and sunscreen to make dangerous chemicals called DBPs that may contribute
to childhood asthma and even bladder cancer
PROBLEM #3: Inaccurate chlorine testing
SOLUTION: Provide staff with better chlorine testers
PROBLEM #4: Lack of poolside activity programs
SOLUTION: let staff resume traditional fun activities on slow days
PROBLEM #2. Ice-cold water
SOLUTION: recirculate
water gradually
throughout the day
In Canada’s main hospital database, out
of almost 1.5 million records over 13 years, only
2
wading pool injuries were recorded

The same was true
at many other
city wading pools

PROBLEM #4. Too much chlorine may do more harm than good
SOLUTION: Monitor bacteria to find lowest possible safe chlorine level
the staff's chlorine testers don't measure if there's
too much
chlorine, so nobody knows how high the levels are
No kids were allowed
in the pool when it drained because Public Health said the suction could maim or kill them

With gradual water exchange, kids are allowed in the pool most of the day and the water never gets ice-cold
She sat on the uncovered suction drain hole, the pump caused a vacuum to form, and she was critically injured internally.
When asked through Freedom of Information about infections caused by Toronto's wading pools
over the past 20 years
, city staff replied: “
no outbreaks
have been associated with recreational water facilities.”
Full transcript