By CAROLINE MURRAY
The state Health Department shut down Amsterdam's pool for one day earlier this month after a pump that filters the water and distributes chlorine stopped working due to a faulty circuit breaker.
City Recreation Department Director Rob Spagnola said the state made the call to close down the pool, before his department could.
Spagnola said the night before the health department arrived to evaluate the pool, a pump which filters the water and distributes chlorine stopped working due to a broken circuit breaker.
He said rec department workers are aware they cannot open the pool if the pump is not operating correctly and had every intention to shut the municipal pool down that day.
"We can't open without there being a sufficient amount of chlorine in the pool," Spagnola said. "It was just a 100 percent coincidence that they [the Department of Health] came when it wasn't running."
The Department of Health did not return phone calls for comment.
Spagnola said he was away the day the pump broke, but believes the health department appeared July 16.
He said the state makes a stop at least three times a summer to evaluate the pool and make sure everything is running up to code.
That morning, Spagnola said an employee noticed the pump was not operating correctly, but it was not known until it was too late to cancel the lifeguards or close the pool.
"By the time he noticed it, he hoped he could get it up and running, and realized he couldn't," Spagnola said. "The lifeguards came at 11 a.m. and the department of health came at 11:05 a.m. before we had time to even not open the pool."
He said Lou's Electric replaced the circuit breaker and the pool was open the next day.
Additionally, the Health Department made a few other observations for the recreation department workers to fix.
"It was nothing major," Spagnola said.
Spagnola said some of the markers along the pool are fading, such as the "no diving" sign, and they have to be repainted. Also, a piece of plastic on the filter was broken, and it was a safety hazard for the people walking around in bare feet.