Alberta Health Services (AHS) has ordered the closure of a portion of a recreation facility in Rocky View County, west of Cochrane after a health inspection found levels of bacteria in water samples, which are in contravention of Alberta Swimming Pool Standards.

According to AHS documents, the facility known as the CottageClub Ghost Lake Recreation Centre (501 CottageClub Drive, Rocky View County), owned by CottageClub Ghost Lake Inc., had two water samples taken from the whirlpool earlier this month; one on June 11 and one on June 18.

"The bacteriological water samples taken from the whirlpool on June 18, 2024, were positive for Pseudomonas. The bacteriological water sample taken from the whirlpool on June 11, 2024, had a heterotrophic plate count of 190 colony-forming units per millilitre," AHS stated in its closure order.

"... Inspection disclosed that the following conditions exist in and about the above-noted premises which are or may become injurious or dangerous to the public health or which might hinder in any manner the prevention or suppression of disease..." AHS noted.

Pseudomonas is a germ commonly found in soil and water, and according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ' ... of the one that most often causes infections in humans is called Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can cause infections in the blood, lungs (pneumonia), or other parts of the body after surgery.'

It was also noted that manual measurements showed the total alkalinity concentration to be 12 milligrams per litre.

The June 11 water samples were in contravention because '... The quality of water in a public swimming pool must be maintained so that the water does not have a heterotrophic plate count greater than 100 colony forming units per millilitre in a 100-millilitre sample'.

The June 18 water samples were in contravention of the Alberta Swimming Pool standard because 'the quality of water in a public swimming pool operating at greater than 30 degrees Celsius must be maintained so that samples of the water do not show the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.'

As far as the issue surrounding alkalinity, AHS stated that 'the total alkalinity of the public swimming pool water must be maintained at no less than 60 milligrams per litre and no greater than 180 milligrams per litre, or at levels where chlorine and pH requirements can be maintained in accordance with Section 4.0 of the Pool Standards.'

The owner of the facility has to now treat the whirlpool water to, 'liminate any possible source of contamination, drain, refill and then chemically balance the whirlpool water.'

"Adjust chemistry in the whirlpool so the total alkalinity is between 60 and 180 milligrams per litre. Monitor water chemistry to ensure those levels are maintained [and] submit a bacteriological water sample of the whirlpool water to the Provincial Laboratory."

According to the CottageClub Ghost Lake's website, the facility is located 30 minutes from Calgary and Canmore.

The closure order was posted to the AHS website on Friday, June 21.

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