Handful of Girard residents with chemical rashes from city pool - KOAM TV 7

Handful of Girard residents with chemical rashes from city pool


City officials in Girard, Kansas say the city's pool was improperly pH balanced, leading to a "handful" of people recently going to the doctor with complaints of chemical rashes.

Last year, leaks in the pool gushed out up to 6,000 gallons of water a day.  City workers filled the pool back up with tap water.

"Of course, when you're just swimming in fresh water, that's okay," says City Administrator Cary Emry.

But repairs made this Spring have kept the leaks to a minimum, and now city workers are getting back into the routine of treating water.

"We just haven't made the proper adjustments yet," says Emry.  "We're retaining chemicals and so as the sun gets hot, and we get this reaction, now we've got to go back in and rebalance."

About 50 people a day use the pool in Girard and on Wednesday a local hospital received complaints of a chemical rash.

Emry says tests done before complaints of chemical rash showed no dangerous levels of pH or chlorine.  The water was later taken to a pool shop in Pittsburg where the unbalance was noticed.

Emry says they now have a different method to test the pool water.

Doctors say a typical chemical rash is not serious.

"Can cause drying out of the skin, can irritate the eyes, just overall irritate the skin, like you feel dry, sore, itchy, that sort of thing," says Dr. Kathryn Cornelius of Freeman Health Center.

Dr. Cornelius says keep the irritated skin hydrated and see a doctor if you notice any infection.

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