Prosser Aquatic Center remains closed amid chlorine shortage

PROSSER, Wash. – It’s been over two years since families have swam, splashed and slid into the water at the Prosser Aquatic Center.

“Well we were certainly looking forward to opening last year, and if you can imagine, I can’t even put a number on how we were looking forward to this year,” Steve Zentz with the city of Prosser said.

For the time being, it looks like staff and visitors will have to wait a bit longer.

“This is really unfortunate timing,” he said.

Since the finishing touch to opening these pools and keeping them clean, is in short supply.

“It was a little surprising, we didn’t see it coming, that the shortage would impact us directly. It’s not something that you can store long term, it breaks down over time and in sunlight and other things,” Zetz the Community Development Director said.

Earlier this week, the city of Prosser received notice that their chlorine supplier, OXARC in Pasco, could only supply chemicals to their drinking water and wastewater customers.

“We have no choice but to stop all Chlorine gas, Sodium Hypochlorite, Muriatic Acid (Hydrochloric) and Caustic Soda deliveries to all non-essential users. We must make sure that we have enough product to service all of our drinking water and wastewater customers. Attached you will find the Force Majeure letters from our suppliers. At this time we do not know how long the supply interruption is going to last. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause and we will let you know as soon as supply returns. We appreciate your understanding.”

This left the Prosser Aquatic Center without.

“It’s very heartbreaking from our side but also from our lifeguards who are local kids who have trained for this and then you know become active employees and lifeguards for our facility,” Zetz said.

In the mean time, community members have stepped up to help the pool.

“We’ve had some folks in the community giving us some tips on where we might get the chlorine, the sodium hypochlorite, we are hoping all is not lost,” he added.

Zetz said if they find enough chemicals to meet safety standards, they’d open up to swim lessons and swim team, with limited public hours. Stay up to date by visiting their Facebook page.

“Having the aquatic center come back online and having these kids and families come back is just critical it is one of the cornerstones of our recreation program. Crossing fingers!” Zetz exclaimed.

KAPP KVEW reached out to Kennewick, Richland and Pasco Parks and Recreation Departments to see if they’ve been affected.

Drew Tomasino with Kennewick said OXARC is their main supplier, but they were able to secure alternate sources to keep pools open and clean. All three cities said their swim lessons and open swim sessions, if applicable, will proceed as normal.

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