After the gruesome drowning of a woman at a public pool in Fall River, public concerns have heightened over water quality and pool safety. In Concord, that means the staff at the recreation pool are extra vigilant about the youngsters that swim at the town’s day camp.
Recreation Department Director Danner DeStephano said the water at the outdoor pool on Stow Street is tested for quality and clarity four times a day, following state standards.
“We are required by the Board of Health to test four times a day,” said DeStephano.
Water Safety Director Lynne Donahue said the bottom of the pool must be visible at all times or the pool will close. This is Donahue’s first year at the day camp after three years as a lifeguard at the indoor Beede Center pool at the high school.
“The testing is the same for both pools,” Donahue said. “Four times a day we test for chlorine levels.” She said the number must be between one and three. She said the town has never had a reading below one or above three or four. “We would close the pool and adjust the chlorine up or down,” she said.
Donahue said an outside company cleans and tests the pool every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
“Our pools are only three to five feet deep,” said DeStephano. “Ours are teaching pools.”
The pool at the Hunt Gym is dominated by summer camp. Donahue said she employs five lifeguards who get to know all the children in the program and what level swimmer he or she is. She said swimming lessons are a part of every day and the Red Cross levels are taught. For the daily free swim, no more than 25 kids are allowed in the pool, and their abilities are known to the lifeguards, she said. Each child wears a colored band that certifies that he can swim at certain depths.
“The lifeguards are all WSI-certified,” said Donahue.
The pool was built in 1990 to offer children at the day camp a place for swimming lessons and free swim. He said there are 16 stairs in the pool that gradually lower the depth from 3 to 5 feet. “It’s called a gentle-entry,” said DeStephano.
Betsy Levinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.