Hampton school pool air testing OK

Thursday, March 19, 2020 | 11:00 PM

The testing at the Hampton Township School pool has yielded satisfactory results, as reported at a March school board meeting.

A new ultraviolet pool system was installed that is meant to lower chlorine exposure to swimmers at Hampton’s district pool. It was installed on Feb. 21.

The school board and administration approved to have testing done on the air and water at the pool prior to and after the installation. A few swimmers and their families voiced concern over air quality at a February school board meeting.

Mike Kopar, of Professional Services Industries, Inc., an engineering and testing firm, provided the board with the results of the recent indoor air quality testing conducted at the High School indoor pool and found that the levels were in the acceptable range.

Several swimming and diving athletes from Hampton requested having the air tested in several locations, including above the water in the middle of the pool while it was churning.

Kopar reported they tested for trichloramines in the air at pool level by placing pumps a third of the way out in the deep end and a third of the way out in the shallow end of the pool. The pool was tested approximately one hour prior to practice, during, and an hour after practice was complete. Kopar said the levels of trichloramine were unusually higher prior to practice, but none of the levels noted were at levels that would be concerning.

The location of the higher reading was in the shallow end of the pool, but it was still below recommended levels.

He also conducted swab testing for mold in heating, ventilation and air conditioning vents. And air-quality testing was conducted in the bleacher areas and all had normal findings. Along with dust, there were rather low levels of common, environmental molds.

“Mold can be found anywhere,” said Kopar, adding it was nothing “out of the ordinary.”

Dr. Michael Loughead, superintendent for the district, suggested it was a good idea to test after the UV system was installed to ensure it was working well. Kopar said testing should be performed again to monitor UV filtering system performance.

School Board President Bryant Wesley questioned if testing was needed for bacteria. Kopar said he would discuss with a bacteriologist if testing for bacterial levels was necessary. If so, they would conduct that test as well.

Dr. Michael Loughead, superintendent at Hampton school district, said they will commit to thorough testing to ensure the air and water quality is safe.

Since the district is closed during the coronavirus, no report has been issued on whether testing is being continued at this time.