Sungod Recreation Centre in North Delta. (James Smith photo)

Ammonia leak triggers evacuation of North Delta ice rink

A small leak set off an alarm at Sungod Arena last week, and the building was re-opened the next day

Sungod Arena was evacuated Sunday night after an ammonia was detected in the rinks cooling system.

The alarm sounded around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, triggering a shut down of the rink and evacuation of the recreation centre.

Witnesses say staff had the building evacuated in under four minutes, with many people leaving behind phones and other personal items, as Delta Fire and HAZMAT teams arrived at the arena. The pool at Sungod was closed at the time for annual maintenance so there were fewer people on the premises than usual.

In an email to the North Delta Reporter, Delta’s director of parks, recreation and culture Ken Kuntz said active ammonia sensing devices trigger an alarm if the parts per million exceed a predetermined level in the mechanical room where the refrigeration equipment is located. Building evacuation is the normal procedure when the alarm sounds.

Delta Fire and HAZMAT confirmed elevated levels of ammonia, and the refrigeration plant was shut down and the room vented to bring the levels to normal.Fraser Valley Refrigeration (Delta’s refrigeration contractor) were also called to the site, and Worksafe BC was notified of the incident, as per standard response protocols..

Kuntz said the problem was isolated to a small vapour leak from a pressure control device, noting it took several hours to determine the source of the vapour and the facility remained closed for the balance of the evening.

“The faulty device was isolated from the balance of the system and the facility was able to be re-opened. The device is now replaced and tested,” Kuntz said.

Technical Safety BC has also been on site and confirmed the situation has been addressed.

“During the incident there was no one harmed. Safety systems preformed as they were suppose to and staff acted appropriately by evacuating the building to ensure that the safety of everyone,” Kuntz said.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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