It’s wise to have a reaction plan in the event of a chemical fume release. Shawn DeRosa, attorney/owner of DeRosa Aquatic Consulting in Boston, suggests abiding by the following plan:

Immediate reaction:
•If swimmers show symptoms of exposure (irritation to eyes, nose and throat) lifeguards should evacuate the area and call 911.

•The natatorium should be well-ventilated so chemicals in the air are exhausted outside and fresh air is brought into the building.

•Before allowing swimmers back in the water, verify that chemical levels fall within accepted parameters.

Dealing with the press:
•It’s always best to appoint one spokesperson.

•When speaking to the press, emphasize your thoughts and concerns for anyone exposed to chemicals/fumes and confirm that you are looking into what may have caused the incident.

• Reinforce your focus on safety, including frequent monitoring protocols (e.g. hourly checking of chemicals, use of controllers for continual monitoring of pool chemicals), emphasizing that you’ll conduct a full review of facility operations to determine the possible causes of the accidental release.