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Bungalow chlorine seeps into local creek

Published June 08. 2010 05:00PM

State officials are looking for the Borough of Tamaqua to correct a problem with its community pool that they say is the cause of chlorinated water in the Wabash Creek.

Borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt said the borough has been notified of the violation, but was told it is not being blamed for the dead fish that were discovered in the Little Schuylkill River last week.

Mark Carmon, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Wilkes-Barre office, confirmed this morning that an enforcement notice was issued by the agency to the borough regarding the H.D. Buehler Memorial Pool in Tamaqua's Bungalow Park.

Carmon explained DEP discovered the pool problem when investigating the situation regarding the dead fish in the Little Schuylkill.

"We found improper handling of pool cleaning and backwash water by the borough during our investigation of the fish kill," said Carmon. "We sent the borough a notice of violation and are holding an enforcement conference with them June 24 to discuss the pool problem.

"We are not sure what caused the fish kill, but this situation could be a potential cause," added Carmon.

Steigerwalt said DEP invesitgated a number of potential sources of the fish problem, first ruling out the borough's sewage treatement plant, and then checking the Bungalow pool.

"They dye-tested the bathrooms at the pool, as well as the backwash, which is used to clean the filters," said Steigerwalt. "The backwash goes into the Wabash, and it has ever since the pool opened."

While it has been an existing situation with the pool, Steigerwalt explained that the chorinated backwash has to be taken into the sewer system instead of the Wabash, which feeds into the Little Schuylkill River.

"We are working to correct the problem and will meet with DEP on the 24th," said Steigerwalt. "We received a call from DEP about the violation but were told we were not being blamed for the fish kill."

While the borough works to make the upgrades to rectify the problem, DEP will continue to investigate the fish kill. The pool will remain open.

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