Källa pool still closed but outdoor pools at Whitby’s Thërmea Spa Village re-open to the public

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Published December 1, 2022 at 2:13 pm

The source of the staph infections that led to an ongoing $5 million lawsuit is still closed but all outdoor pools at Thermëa Spa Village in Whitby were re-opened to the public today.

All pools were closed October 14 after clients complained of a rash of infections from the Kalla salt water pool shortly after the spa opened eight days earlier. A subsequent audit of the pool cleaning systems by spa owners Groupe Nordik determined there were three key factors that resulted in a malfunction of the disinfectant system in the pool and the staph infections:

  • A valve on the bromine erosion system failed sometime after launch. The audit has not determined if this was due to a manufacturing defect, installation error or some other cause
  • An ultraviolet disinfectant system, which functions as a secondary safety measure to destroy any bacteria that escapes the bromine, failed because of a ‘flow switch’ malfunction, which caused the ultraviolet system to fall into maintenance mode and not serve its primary function. The switch has been replaced.
  • The highly concentrated 14 per cent solution of salt in the Källa pool impacted the bromine puck’s ability to dissolve in the water, rendering the bromine ineffective. As such, the pool will be converted to chlorine – a proven effective chemical for sanitizing saltwater pools.

Groupe Nordik then drained, sanitized and re-assembled the Källa pool and “all related systems” to allow for the use of liquid chlorine, which does not need to dissolve.

While that was going on nearly 80 people from all over southern Ontario signed on to the lawsuit, which was served by Justin Linden, a Bay Street personal injury lawyer.

As far as Linden is concerned, the audit only proved that there were failures at all levels including systems, testing and monitoring. The bottom line, he added, is that people got sick going to a health spa.

“If you go to a health spa it should be healthy and they got sick. It was the complete opposite of what should have happened.”

Groupe Nordik said in a statement the Källa pool should be open “shortly” as the company is still in the process of upgrading their systems as outlined in the audit but all other pools are safe for use.

“These pools were closed in October out of an abundance of caution as we investigated the incident in the Källa pool. Since then, our team has been working to implement new safety protocols that exceed anything required by health bodies provincially, and across North America. Durham Public Health has since performed new tests and gave us clearance to open December 1.”

“As a wellness creator, we remain committed to the health and safety of our everyone who uses our facilities.”

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