Vanderhoof’s pool updated their capacity to 220 people due to change in COVID-19 restrictions. (Ema Peter photo)

Vanderhoof’s pool updated their capacity to 220 people due to change in COVID-19 restrictions. (Ema Peter photo)

Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre struggles to keep cool in early summer heat

It was more than just air conditioners at Vanderhoof homes that could not keep up with the recent heat.

The Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre was shut down for several days as temperatures soared during a dangerous heat wave.

“We had issues just because our HVAC system wasn’t prepared to take on 40-degree weather apparently, and so it stopped working,” said manager Sue Hamilton.

“Instead of pumping in cold air, it was pumping in hot air. So we turned off the hot air and it was just heated by the outdoors.”

READ MORE: From ’88 to now, Vanderhoof pool reaches $12-million goal

With the outdoors being much hotter than the indoors, it did not take things long to heat up inside quickly. While most swimmers were kept cool by the pool water, the same could not be said for anyone standing on the pool deck.

“We couldn’t have them getting heatstroke,” Hamilton said of their staff. “So basically, as soon as the sun rose with the day, we had everyone go home.”

The trouble amid the heat warning was a surprise to Hamilton, although she said she supposes any system is not built for minus 40C, let alone plus 40C degree weather.

A technician from Prince George was luckily able to come down and resolve the issue, with the pool becoming fully operational once again by Wednesday, June 30.

“It seems like HVAC systems across Northern B.C. have been going down due to the heat, so they were short-staffed in terms of a technician who could come and fix it, but we got lucky, and he managed to come in within four days,” Hamilton said.

“Otherwise, we probably would have had to wait two to three weeks because he got all the calls on Monday.”

Due to the change in COVID-19 restrictions, the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre announced Monday, July 5 its new pool capacity is 220 people.


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