BERKELEY, California, October 2. A swimming pool in Berkeley, Calif., is gaining some serious worldwide attention, and not for a good reason. Last week, Berkeley High School’s swimming pool was shutdown after levels of chemicals in the water exceeded normal operating conditions.
There were reports of water polo players having “burning eyes, bleached hair, and even the disappearance of body hair,” according to multiple reports. A test the following day found that the pool had pH levels that were “exponentially high” at 8.5, which had been caused by a defective CO2 tank.
“The pH scale is an exponential scale, so 8.5 is very high (10x), and the level of rapid eye and skin irritation due to chloramines rises significantly at levels above 0.6.,” Berkeley water polo coach Bill Gaebler wrote. “The high pH was caused by a defective CO2 tank, CO2 being the gas that buffers (lowers) the pH.”
What’s surprising, however, is that this story has gone global. Fox News, and even the United Kingdom-based Daily Mail thought the story was interesting enough to pick up on it in the past few days.
Swimming World has attempted to contact coach Gaebler for an update, but has not received a response.