vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Where There’s Smoke, There’s…Water

The Stafford County Parks and Recreation Department will be conducting smoke tests at Woodlands Pool in the coming week. Don’t know what smoke tests are? This county notice may or may not help you.

From what I understand, county officials will blow smoke into the pool’s ventilation system to see how air circulates under the dome. (Woodlands Pool is open in the summer, but covered by a temporary “bubble” in the winter). There has been some interest in the chemicals called chloramines that result when chlorine in the water interacts with bodily fluids like sweat and urine. Those chloramines enter the air and are known to irritate some people’s respiratory systems. Check this article I wrote for more info.

Proper ventilation is the most effective way to deal with chloramines, and Parks and Rec Director Chris Hoppe said this smoke test will let them see how the air circulates under various conditions, and perhaps make adjustments to increase the turnover rate of air under the dome.

County officials said the smoke is harmless and the testing will be done after hours, when the pool is closed to the public.