The Department of Public Health and Social Services has deemed the Dededo swimming pool an "imminent health hazard" after inspectors with the Division of Environmental Health conducted an inspection on Monday and recommended the pool's closure until nearly two dozen issues are addressed.
According to the inspection results, the combined chlorine levels were above the required limit and the water in the deep end of the pool was still cloudy and green, preventing a clear view of the main drain.
The contractor told Public Health officials that an automated chemical controller that helps facilitate monitoring of disinfection and pH feed equipment has been inoperable for several years.
“Safety is always our top priority,” said Department of Parks and Recreation Director Richard Ybanez. He later added, in part, “We apologize to everyone who has been affected by the closure of the Dededo pool.”
Public Health’s visit on Monday came after repeated issues with the water clarity of the pool and concerns from many in the swimming community and frustrated residents who have been waiting for the pool conditions to improve.
Inspectors gave more than 100 demerit points for numerous violations discovered during the inspection that included: filters that showed the presence of algae and were not filtering correctly, a flow meter in disrepair, the lack of an available first-aid kit and safety float rope, an emergency phone was not available and well-marked, and cyanuric acid and sanitizers were stored in the same room, contrary to label requirements.
A rinse shower was not provided for the pool deck, cleansing showers did not provide soap and warm water, and diving warning signs and depth markers were not provided.
Inspectors also took issue with the lack of documentation available at the site, including a lack of operator and lifeguard training certifications, the unavailability of the latest inspection report, the lack of a chemical inventory log and the unavailability of documentation that the waterslide conformed to standards.
Canton Construction Corporation was given a $660,000 contract to maintain and operate the Dededo and Hagåtña pools.
Documents provided to the Post via Freedom of Information Act request showed the vendor had been paid in excess of $500,000 in the last year and a half, despite the numerous and lengthy closures of the two recreational facilities.
The swimming community has expressed frustration with the government’s inability to hold the contractor accountable and properly maintain and operate the two pools so kids and adults can use the facilities and train for upcoming competitions.