RECenter Director: Air Quality Problem at Pool

Juan Castro says ventilation system needs replacing as swimmers report a host of health problems.

The director of East Hampton's YMCA RECenter this week said the pool facility needs a new ventilation system after swimmers said they have experienced health problems due to air and water quality.

According to a piece in The East Hampton Star, Juan Castro said heavy use has made the air quality poor, and swimmers are experiencing breathing problems, coughing fits and even diarrhea.

The bill for repairs would fall to the town, under the facilities lease agreement.

While Castro said water quality is not an issue — a claim backed up by the Suffolk County Department of Health — some bathers have said they have broken out in rashes and suffered digestive issues after swimming.

Read The East Hampton Star article.

Please let us know if you've experienced and health problems after swimming in the RECenter pool.

Preliator January 07, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Why is this building our children use still open? If this facility is not safe to use then it must be closed immediately until health issues are addressed.
SadderBudweiser January 08, 2013 at 08:17 AM
The Y is one of the most important and valuable facilities the Town of East Hampton has. hundreds upon hundreds of kids and adults have been "drown-proofed" there. Our lifeguards and ocean rescue train there. Kids work towards college scholarships there. If the Town Board can spend a couple million on a few rich guys over at the airport then they can damn well pony up here. And fast.
Jimbo January 08, 2013 at 01:34 PM
First of all the albatross was built by David Silver and Andy Sabin to keep kids off the street. They bulied local merchants into donating hard earned money they may not have had by saying this is good for the comunity and will keep kids off the street. Sure these kids want to stop smoking and drinking to come to a supervised building!!! Well that failed and both Sabin and Silver got their money BACK! Not the village, town or other investors. It is noe a for profit establihment - let them pay for their own repairs, it's called overhead!
SadderBudweiser January 08, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Previous commenter has most likely never set foot in the Rec Center. Yes Sabin and Silver had alot to do with raising the funding for the construction. There were many others as well, both local and second-home. It was a true community effort and it is much appreciated by many. The Y has a contract with to the Town of East Hampton that specifies which entity pays for what and the Town's participation in the ongoing operation is critical to the continued success of the Y. The pool is used and valued by HUNDREDS of people each day. Other Y programs such as after-school and summer camp are critical to young local families who work hard just to stay above in an expensive community. Was it built correctly the first time around? Probably not. Is it worth correcting? You bet! Go there any afternoon and spend a few hours watching what goes on there. It is good, very good, for the community.
concerned mom January 08, 2013 at 05:25 PM
yes, my children have experienced health problems when they swam at the ymca. i would love to have them return as swimming is such an asset to their well being. i won't return until they fix the water problem (which in turn would help the air problem)
Preliator January 08, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Sometimes when you go to the Y the chlorine smell hits you like a wall, I always leave there with a headache.
angry parent January 08, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Health issues are for sure an issue and has been the complaint for years. Complaints are dismissed with excuses that some people are more sensitive to chlorine than others , is what we are told by the director Juan Castro. Maybe the community has out grown the facility and the time has come to build a real aquatic center designed to handle hundreds of bathers a day?
Wendy Tarlow January 08, 2013 at 05:58 PM
This is an essential property and should be fixed ASAP with modern ozone makers that cut way back on the usage of chlorine and other chemicals. Most Y's throughout the Country have switched to other chlorine makers because the code enforcers have allowed them too. Will ours support this? And also the need for the new Proper Ventilation system is essential. New bathrooms as well. Thousands of our kids and adults use these facilities as well to keep in shape, learn how to swim, etc. we have one of the best Masters Programs in Long Island, an amazing Swim Director and Many Talented Swim Instructors that are being harmed themselves. I joined the Masters Group for a short period of time and felt so much hope that I was going to be able to turn around the constant fatigue that I am battled with from my cancer until I started getting sick from the chemicals and getting one upper Respiratory issue after another that led to my immune system breaking down altogether and I had to stop going which was a complete bummer. I Want to go back, badly! They have amazing Programs there for everyone! Please fix the problems!
Tom Friedman January 08, 2013 at 11:03 PM
I donated back when the building was in need of support. There was no pressure and the thought then was , yes, keeping kids of the street, but it was also being able to offer the schools a swimming pool and a place to allow those who had no other place to stay active and healthy. Whoever you are Jimbo, you are wrong and wrong in a very loudmouthed way.
Tom Friedman January 08, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Sadder, thanks for the supporting words.
@Roseboy324 January 09, 2013 at 03:17 AM
The problem at the Y is that Juan Castro has ignored the problems at the Y. As great as the facility is, it has been oversold and under maintained. The pool area and pool mechanics were never designed to handle the amount of usage it presently gets. The locker rooms are crowded and dirty all afternoons and evenings. People in the exercise / gym areas are shoulder to shoulder. As a member for many years, I have watched fees go up and quality of services go down. I really feel that management has has been cutting corners for sometime and it is now starting to come back and bite them and all of it's members the a**. CLEAN the Y up now!!! Shame on you Juan....
SRK Steve January 09, 2013 at 09:49 AM
That is very true and I agree with Roseboy324. I am a father of 3 and very upset with the condition of the Y and extremely frustrated with the lack of consideration given to the health of my children as two of them have become sick from the water and poor air quality. To make matters worse in the year 2003 there was the same problem with the air quality and they approached us at SRK for a solution which we gave them an estimate for Corona Discharge Ozone to kill Chloramines and Pathogens; which I still have a copy of. We found then that the water was the issue causing air contamination problems just like Yale University in 2006 and many other municipal pools. We approached them again in 2008 and 2012 with estimates at our cost for UV or Ozone (whichever they wanted) and resistance from the director every time. The original blueprints for the building by Abe Rubenstein in 1998 had an option for a 25gram Corona Discharge Ozone on the plan as well as a handicap lift chair which you can see was not followed. The CDC's Model Aquatic Health Code and The World Health Organization recommends secondary disinfection systems to be installed to help kill Chloramines and kill chlorine resistant pathogens like Cryptosporidium which is a genus of protozoans that can cause gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea. The town and members should be outraged that 10 years of poor water / air quality and health issues could have been prevented had the measures been taken. Shame on you!
SadderBudweiser January 09, 2013 at 02:54 PM
The popularity and need for the facility have never been in doubt. Pass out all the blame for the current state of affairs you want. But fix it and fix it right. Fix it now. It is a valued community asset and should be treated as such.
Binga January 09, 2013 at 03:47 PM
A great facility that should be given the resources it needs to be safe
SRK Steve January 09, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Time to build a new Aquatic Center designed to handle the amount of bathers. This Y has been great for the community and the swim instructors are amazing with the kids.
philip dobler January 09, 2013 at 07:00 PM
I've been swimming there since they opened. I have never gotten a rash or gotten sick from the pool water. the air quality seems fine to me. In fact it's one of the nicest pools I've ever swam in. I lived in half moon bay, california for six months recently and the only pool there was at the high school. It was outdoors. adults could swim there after the swim team which was a 6 pm. It was dark, typically rainy, and usually 45 to 50 degrees. I never heard anyone complain. people should appreciate what they have.
SadderBudweiser January 09, 2013 at 09:54 PM
In a perfect world SRK Steve is right. The community would truly benefit from a real world class acquatic center built to current and proper specs. But WHO is going to pay for THAT? A long term plan for said facility would be great. But for now can we just fix what we have?
SRK Steve January 09, 2013 at 11:04 PM
A group of us are in the beginning stages of working on a combination Aquatic/Sports center similar to the SYS in Southampton with the addition of pools. Not sure where it would be and how we are going to fund this. It will cost nothing to collaborate the concept and If you would like to help us we would be happy to have your help; just call me at my office or email me at steve@srkpools.com. As for the existing pools; yes there is an easy fix it just takes time and money which I believe they are trying to accomplish.
Preliator January 09, 2013 at 11:17 PM
Yeah, that is right people, stop your grumbling, who cares if your kids get sick with breathing problems or rashes, that darn old pool could be outside. Dangnabit back in my day I had to walk up hill both ways to get to my old pool and we had to fill it every day because it was made of cheese.


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