OSHA Complaint Prompts Closure of Summit Pool

KRH officials say it’s unclear how long pool will be closed

By Justin Franz
Swim practice at The Summit in Kalispell. Beacon File Photo

The Summit Medical Fitness Center has closed its pool after receiving a notice of complaints from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Officials with the Summit, part of the Kalispell Regional Healthcare system, say the closure was voluntary. It’s unknown how long the closure will last.

“While we were neither requested nor required to do so, erring on the side of caution, the Summit voluntarily closed its pool until completion of the Summit’s investigation,” KRH marketing coordinator Shannon Freix told the Beacon.

According to a Feb. 16 email sent to Summit members, the facility had “received notice from OSHA regarding complaints about our pool water chemistry and air environment,” although Freix later clarified to the Beacon that the complaint wasn’t related to pool water. Officials with the Summit stated in a media release online that the pool water was not dirty and that it’s inspected by the Flathead County Health Department twice annually.

The Summit was allowing members to freeze their membership account during the duration of the closure by contacting Member Services from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (or until 8 p.m. on Wednesday) and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

In addition to Summit members, the pool is also used by a number of local swim teams. Flathead and Glacier high school swim teams have already finished their swim season, but swimmers with KATS, the local youth swim team, have had to go elsewhere during the closure. Head coach Major Robinson said last week the youth team practiced at The Wave in Whitefish and this week is practicing at the Montana Athletic Club in Bigfork.

“We’re so thankful to The Wave and the Montana Athletic Club for letting us use their facilities to practice at,” Robinson said. “They’re really going out of their way to help us.”

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