Crystal Pool “life safe” repairs

January 12, 2020

Dear Mayor and Council

In reviewing your recent motion regarding the Site Selection Pool and Fitness Centre I noted that you have no clear path for completing the work in the motion. Although the motion identifies a date when staff need to provide you with a list of site selection information, it does not provide a timeline for the Community Meeting or when staff are to report back with results. It also does not provide information on what you will do if the Community Association Land Use Committee is not in agreement with your preferred location.  

Knowing that we have no timeline for the selection of the new site, and we are now 10 years post CEI Architecture Planning Interiors Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre Evaluation Report, I thought it would be prudent for the city to reassure users that you have taken care of the 40 “life safe” items outlined in their report. The report also listed 20 items that were not compliant with applicable codes, regulations and standards. You may want to review these as well. I note for your reference that the Stantec report, which was used to prepare the last Feasibility Study, was based on the CEI report. Knowing this, one can safely assume that not all items have been taken care of. They should be addressed if we are to truly mitigate the risk of the pool closing.

A few months ago, I submitted an FOI request to the city for the report, but the very kind staff member was unable to find it. I have acquired the report through another source and placed it online for your convenience ( have also listed the “life safe” and codes, regulations and standards lists from the report below should you have difficulty finding them.

I thank you for your attention to this matter and look forward to hearing back from you shortly that all of these items have been addressed.


Susan Simmons

1A -Priority “life safety” issues that are non-compliant with applicable codes, standards, or regulations

  1. FIRE STOPPING: Majority of penetrations in fire separations do not have any appropriate fire stopping.
  2. Cored holes in the floor of Mezzanine Level (Level 2) require 1hr fire rated ULC fire stopping.
  3. ROOM B101 ELECTRICAL: required fire separation is 1hr, and appears to be met by concrete block walls; door is adequately fire rated and smoke sealed. Fire stopping and smoke seals required at all penetrations
  4. Pool deck exit stairs are non-compliant due to the fact that they have no closed risers on them, and do not meet the required exit width of 3′-0″(900mm). The non-circular cross section of the graspable portion of handrail is too large. Handrails are not continuous.
  5. Flag line located at the deep end, and similar lines in other locations, is extending over the deck area and has low headroom (6′-2″ approx.). Flag line stanchion posts are in the wrong locations.
  6. Steel bar located above the slide entry is a potential hazard (low headroom). Steel hand railing shows surface rust and paint chipping in various areas.
  7. Concrete pad at waterslide shutdown lane is a tripping hazard.
  8. Guardrails required at end of spectator seating. This will eliminate the possibility of patrons walking on wet, sloped concrete parging
  9. Concrete water features do not have slip resistant surface.
  10. Surface at the edge of the tank has worn off.
  11. Steam vent cover is a material that will conduct heat.
  12. Main pool features two custom-built drain covers
  13. Chemicals are currently stored in close proximity to each other, which is not in conformance with current code requirements.
  14. No fire sprinklers are installed in the building. The Basement Mechanical room is served by sprinkler heads connected to the domestic water system, a configuration that is not in accordance with current code requirements.
  15. Hose cabinets complete with 1 1/2″ hose valves and 100″ fire hose racks are installed at appropriate locations throughout the building.
  16. Electrical distribution equipment throughout the building has been located adjacent to some very harsh corrosive atmospheres. As a result many metal enclosures are rusting and the proper operation of the components within the enclosures cannot be guaranteed.
  17. Circuit breakers in the main distribution are being designated and used for emergency shut down of mechanical systems. For safety of operation and personnel, a remote tripping button should be located at a building exit. This would ensure that only qualified personnel would be entering the high voltage vault.
  18. The high voltage vault is currently being used for communications and other purposes not related to the distribution equipment. Only qualified personnel (electricians) are permitted in the high voltage vault.
  19. The use of the high voltage vault for other systems has created a problem with clear working space around the electrical equipment.
  20. Fire stopping in the high voltage vault is non existent. This would be beneficial for its intended purpose of preventing the spread of smoke and fire and would reduce the mount of corrosive vapour in the electrical service room. This distribution equipment and transformer have not been fastened to meeting existing standards. All distribution equipment would have to be certified and fastening methods engineered to meet current standards.
  21. Fire sprinklers may have to be installed to meet new building standards. If sprinklers are installed, the main distribution and all other major electrical distribution panels and MCC’s would have to be made sprinkler proof.
  22. Conduits in some areas have corroded completely at the floor line. Many of the conduits in the slab may be partially or completely corroded. This presents a problem with grounding and bonding paths, conductor insulation degradation and loss of conductor mechanical protection. Many conduit runs would have to be replaced by new surface conduits or cables.
  23. Cab tire cable has been used for the connection of mechanical equipment. This would need to be replaced.
  24. Some of the panel smetal enclosures interiors are rusting very badly. The aluminum lugs with steel set screws are corroding. The breakers in these panels cannot be guaranteed too perate as designed due to corrosion and contamination. Panel cover fasteners are the clamping type and many of them are stripped.
  25. Panel ‘C’ is located in a Janitor’s Closet. Panels are not permitted in Janitor’s Closets.
  26. The motor control centres are very old and have been modified extensively. Starters and overload blocks from all manufacturers can be found in the MCC’s throughout the building. Building management control systems and control wiring can be found tied in multiples under one terminal screw. Safety lock off devices on some starters are not functioning properly. All 6 MCC units would need to be replaced.
  27. Today’s Code requires that conduits be of corrosion resistant metal or rigid PVC type. Rigid steel conduit was used extensively for conduits concealed in the slabs. Many of the rigid conduits in corrosive areas are already completely corroded away.
  28. The bonding path for the existing rigid steel conduits relies on the metal locknuts as part of the contact and conductor circuit. Corrosion of the locknuts, conduit and the panel enclosure degrades the bonding path.
  29. The existing emergency lighting system is located in the main vault. The unit is composed of a large battery bank, retrofitted charger (due to parts availability) analog instruments for unit testing and a circuit breaker panel to each remote location. This unit would need to be replaced during any upgrade of the facility.
  30. Our inspection found that there was approximately one half the required emergency lighting in the public areas, change rooms, and stairwells. Existing heads would be replaced and additional heads would need to be installed.
  31. No test record has been attached to each combination emergency lighting unit.
  32. The existingNotifier fire alarm system is original equipment and would need to be replaced if any upgrade was to go ahead in this building.
  33. Present quantities and types of detectors and their locations would have to be re-evaluated depending on the extent of fire sprinkler installation. Three quarters of all detector raceways would have to be re-configured.
  34. Existing pull stations do not meet new Code standards. All pull stations would require new raceways and conductors. Additional pull stations would be required at all building exits.
  35. One of the existing detectors in the Janitor’s Room is fastened to a wooden header that is tie wired to the mechanical piping overhead.
  36. Currently data cabling is bundled and suspended from the electrical vault conduit racks by tie wraps. All cables transiting this room should be in metal raceways.
  37. Fire stopping has not been used on any of the data cables. Sleeves should have been installed and bonded then fire stopped.
  38. The sound system amplifiers and rack is currently located in the high voltage vault. Upgrading the building would require the removal (replacement ?) and relocation of the sound system and rack.
  39. Speaker system wiring has been run throughout the building tied to electrical and mechanical piping. Upgrading the sound system should include adequate raceways for speaker wiring.
  40. Fire stopping has not been used on any speaker wiring. Sleeves need to be installed bonded and fire stopped.

1B – Involves health or accessibility issues that are not priority “life safety”, but are non-compliant with applicable codes, standards, or regulations

  1. Service Rooms are required to be separated from the remainder of the building by a fire separation with a 1hr fire resistance rating (including walls, floors and ceilings). Exit doors from these rooms require a 45min fire resistance rating. Some service rooms meet both the required wall and door ratings; other rooms only partially meet required wall and door ratings (seealso Section 2.7 Service Rooms and Spaces).
  2. SERVICE SPACES: At least one vertical service space, opening into B108Storage Room, appears to be non-compliant with the required 1hr fire resistance rating.
  3. Occupancy Group A, Division 2, Gymnasia requires a 1hr fire separation from Occupancy Group A, Division 3 Swimming Pool. The Cardio area, FitnessLoft, and equipment in the mezzanine passageways do not comply.
  4. Building is not sprinklered, and thus, non-conforming.
  5. ROOM B106 CHEMICAL STORAGE: required fire separation is 1hr, which is met on three sides by concrete block walls, but is lacking a wall separating it from the corridor. Spillage was observed on the concrete slab. (CalciumChloride).
  6. ROOM 133 MECHANICAL (HOT TUB): required fire separation is 1hr, and appears to be met by concrete block
  7. There is no wheelchair access to the Lower Auditorium and the LowerFitness Area opposite Reception. Access to the south side of the MezzanineLevel (Level 2) is possible, but not practical with the Fitness Deck equipment in the way.
  8. Four metal roof hatches are rusting and corroded (Refer also to AppendixD, Roofing Report).
  9. Custom-designed acrylic roof domes in three locations: all domes are considered to be in poor condition. Sealants and caulking on the exterior are failing; condensation is evident on the interior of the domes; the original acrylic panels are discoloured (three panels have been replaced with flat, lexan panels) and possibly separating; the steel rings supporting the domes are severely corroded.
  10. Acid & BleachMechanical Room fans do not work.
  11. T-bar panel infills (2’x2′) above spectator seating have been replaced by standard acoustic panels.
  12. Surface mounted conduit is exposed to the pool environment.
  13. Gutter system is a “rim flow system”. Gutter drain surface at deck shows signs of wear and 40 years of use, and is not in conformance with the current code. Gutter system also shows a fair amount of water ingress and staining at the basement level.
  14. South/West corner of competition tank: strip drain top grating is damaged and is a potential tripping hazard.
  15. Competition pool stairs located at the southeast corner of the tank require foam protection.
  16. Sloping of the pool deck is inadequate and does not appear to drain as necessary to the strip sanitary drains.
  17. “NoDiving” signs on deck level are illegible.
  18. Deck inserts for cup anchors, stanchion posts, etc. are in poor condition. Many are not in use and require cover plates to avoid being a tripping hazard.
  19. Intermediate landing handrail is non-conforming.
  20. DE filter media was observed at several locations in the tank floor.
  21. Access to motorcycle parking, which is adjacent to the main entry doors, is via the pedestrian/wheelchair access ramp, which is an inappropriate use of the ramp.
  22. Tot’s pool features single circulation main drain
  23. Chemical treatment consist of gas chlorine and soda ash (pH control) in main and tot’s pools.Liquid chlorine and liquid muriatic acid in swirl pool. Ozone systems as secondary oxidizer in all pools.
  24. The two (2) pool ventilation units are located on the Deck Level, in small service spaces beneath the north and south Natatorium Mezzanine Level exit stairs. These units are installed in extremely small spaces, are
    difficult to service and have no energy efficiency capabilities. Although these unit are operational, their ongoing performance is compromised due to unreliable component operation and failure (dampers as an example).These units require replacement.
  25. GFI receptacles were being installed in Change Room areas at the time of inspection. All GFI installations throughout the complex will have to be reviewed to see that ground wires have been pulled back to the supply panels and that monthly test and verification of GFI operation is properly logged.


  • Nicole Crescenzi, Reporter, VictoriaNews, Black Press, 818 Broughton Street, Victoria BC V8W 1E4
  • Alanna Kelly, Journalist, Weekend Anchor, CTV News Vancouver Island, 1420 Broad Street,Victoria, BC V8W 2B1
  • Al Ferraby, Host,CFAX 1070 Radio, 1420 Broad Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2B1
  • Adam Sterling,CFAX 1070 Radio, 1420 Broad Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2B1
  • April Lawrence,Reporter, CHEK News, 780 Kings Road, Victoria BC V8T 5A2
  • Dave Obee, Editor, Publisher, Times Colonist, 2621 Douglas Street,Victoria BC V8T 4M2

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