Investigators determine cause of chemical incident at Chesterfield pool that sent multiple people to hospital

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 1:15 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2022 at 3:15 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Investigators have determined the cause of a chemical incident at a Chesterfield pool that sent multiple people to the hospital on Wednesday.

Four children and one adult were transported by ambulance, according to Chesterfield Fire Lt. Kenny Mitchell. Eleven people were taken to the hospital by their parents.

The incident happened on Pullman Lane, which is in the Harpers Mill neighborhood off Otterdale Road, before noon.

An HCA Healthcare official said nine patients were taken to Swift Creek RT, and six patients were taken to Chippenham. Patients were discharged later Wednesday afternoon.

As a precaution, officials evaluated 25-35 people at the scene.

Chesterfield police, fire and EMS were initially called shortly after 11:15 a.m. for a report of a strong odor coming from the pool. Lt. Mitchell said those treated at the hospital complained of nausea and respiratory issues such as coughing.

“The word non-life-threatening is always good to hear for everybody that was involved,” Mitchell said.

Chesterfield emergency crews tested the water to see what exactly went wrong. Investigators determined the cause to be a pump malfunction.

“Chesterfield Fire Marshal’s office concluded through their investigation no improper procedures were conducted by onsite pool staff. Preliminary information has indicated a pump malfunction occurred allowing more than normal pool chemical to enter into the pumping system,” a release said.

Mitchell said incidents like this are not uncommon for backyard pools.

“It’s getting hotter. People have home pools, be careful of what chemicals you’re mixing and what you’re doing at your home pool,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said reactions to the wrong mixture of chemicals include rashes, strong odors and other illnesses.

As summer-like temperatures stick around, he’s urging pool owners to be more careful.

“My safety message is make sure you know at your home what chemicals need to be mixed and don’t need to be mixed. Be very vigilant and cautious at home with your swimming pools,” Mitchell said.

Swim Metro, the pool company that treats the pool at Harpers Mill, said that they use a combination of sodium hypochlorite and acid, which are standard chemicals to keep the pool clean.

After emergency crews wrapped up, Swim Metro stayed to test the pool water and check the machine that distributes the chemicals in the pool automatically.

The pool will remain closed until further notice.

Multiple EMS crews were called to the scene on Wednesday morning.
Multiple EMS crews were called to the scene on Wednesday morning.(WWBT)

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