Pool officials say water is tested three times a day

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, June 20, 2007

FERRIDAY — Ask any two people how safe the Ferriday pool is for swimming, and you might get different answers.

Mayor Gene Allen has repeatedly voiced his faith in the recently rennovated pool’s health standards, and Ferriday pool employees do their part to try to silence any objections.

Pool employee Samantha Harris said the pool is tested three times every day it is open, before and after every session.

Email newsletter signup

The two daily sessions are from 2 to 4:20 p.m. and 4:30 to 6:50 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Employees test chlorine and pH levels in the pool, Harris said.

“We check to make sure there is enough acid in the water to keep the pH up and enough chlorine to keep infections down,” pool consultant Carl Dangerfield said.

Certain pH-levels need to be maintained because the human eye has its own pH levels, and if the pool’s levels drop below that of the eyes of the swimmers, it will cause a burning sensation, Dangerfield said.

“If the pH-levels are right, swimmers should be able to open their eyes under water and not feel anything,” he said.

Holding up the water testing kit at 3 p.m. Tuesday, he smiled and said, “Everything looks good.”

The pool was closed in June 2005 by the Recreation District No. 1 due to health concerns.

In the nearly two years that followed, Allen and others put pressure on the recreation board until they were given the opportunity to repair the pool.

The Town of Ferriday replaced the water pumps and pumping system and gave the pool a new coat of paint before re-opening the pool earlier this month.

The recreation district agreed to take over the pool’s operation once it was repaired and passed an inspection by the health department, but the health department does not inspect pools and has not yet done an inspection. Both the town and the police jury — which funds the recreation board — have requested an inspection.

The town has been operating the pool since its opening, and Monday the town council voted to grant Allen the right to continue to operate the pool and to look into putting it on the town’s insurance until the recreation board takes it over.

The pool is currently insured by the police jury.

Police jury President Melvin Ferrington said he has full confidence in the recreation board, and will stand behind any decision they make.

“They are a competent board,” he said.

Ferrington would not comment about the town council’s Monday vote.

Allen said Monday about 200 people use the pool each session it is open.