Sylvan Lake approves purchase of ammonia transfer system

The device will help to prevent a situation like the one in Fernie, says town staff

The Town of Sylvan Lake has agreed to purchase an ammonia transfer system for the NexSource Centre.

The purchase will reduce the risk of ammonia being ventilated into the air in the event of a leak, according to Sean Durkin, recreation manager with the town.

The system, said Durkin, will remove liquid and vapour ammonia from the compressor if a maintenance leak or emergency occurs.

The NexSource Centre uses 2,000 pounds of ammonia in its compressor system.

Should an emergency occur, and the ammonia gets into the air, the entire town would have to be evacuated, he said.

The project will cost $216,000, plus GST. The money will come from the recreation administration capital reserve and from funds previously allocated to creating a venting system.

In the summer of 2018, the City of Fernie, B.C. experienced a deadly ammonia leak, which killed three men. The accident arose from a decision to operate an ice chilling system that was known to have a leak.

Durkin said the town’s new ammonia transfer system will help to prevent a situation like the one that occurred in Fernie.

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