SHS Boys Concerned About WHS Pool

Photo of Westhill pool courtesy of Taryn Duncan.

Photo of Westhill pool courtesy of Taryn Duncan.

Hannah Bushell and Shannon Kane

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After high chlorine levels in past years have been detected, swimmers were having similar symptoms at the start of their season. Serving as a home to both the Stamford High Black Knights and the Westhill Vikings, some swimmers have raised concerns about the pool and proper protocol being followed.

“I have gotten red eyes, dry skin and red spots on my face,” explained swimmer Samuel Diamond. Diamond is not the only swimmer who has experienced physical side effects of swimming in such a dangerous setting; similar to Diamond, Captain Sebastian Brice claims, “I have gotten red eyes and dry skin occasionally.” Reports of swimmers vomiting in the pools have also been made.

What is most concerning to both the swimmers and the onlooking community is that this chlorine issue keeps returning, even once it has been “dealt with.” Measures have been taken in the past, but clearly, they were only temporary and thus not enough to permanently suppress the issue. Extreme chlorine levels occurred in the 2013 season, relocating the team to the Italian Center. After this issue in 2013 was solved, it returned for the 2016 season. The pool was shut down, leaving the girls team with no choice but to postpone their Senior Night. From relocation to interference with scheduling, this chlorine issue has caused evidently ongoing problems for both swimmers and coaches.

The fact that the Westhill pool and swimming facility is so old does not help the issue. “There are many problems in the pool and the pool area in general,” explains Diamond. Along with age comes mold, which is another prevailing issue within the facility.

Although Stamford Public Schools has worked to improve the chlorine levels so that they are better than they were at the start of the 2018-19 season, work still needs to be done. Brice suggests, “They could be more vigilant with the chlorine, to make sure its a bit safer.” As both Brice and Diamond, both expressed, it is important that the chlorine levels are controlled because of the high population of young, developing swimmers – both high school and younger – that swim in the pool on a regular basis.

It is in everyone’s best interest for Stamford Public Schools to do whatever it takes to solve this issue persistent issue; health should be a major priority of the City of Stamford.

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