New arena ice plant ‘chilller’ urged
An ammonia leak in the “chiller” at the Ice For Kids Arena ice plant last week could lead to some big changes.
Community Services manager Jason Kabel will discuss the issue at tonight’s council meeting, with the recommendation that a new “chiller” be installed at a cost of about $85,000.
“The concern now, though, is that the corrosion is now beyond just the one tube that was affected.
“And if it starts to get worse in the other tubes, we might be looking at replacing the entire unit for cost-effectiveness,” he noted.
The “chiller” is a long tube that encases a series of smaller tubes that circulates the brine and ammonia, which cools the floor of an arena so that water can be frozen to help in the ice-making process.
The ammonia leak was discovered last Tuesday morning during the daily check by arena staff.
“The guys went out to check and make sure that everything was as it should be, and that was when the scent of ammonia was detected,” Kabel recalled.
“From there, we decided immediately that we needed to address this issue.”
If council approves the
purchase and installation of the new “chiller,” which would be brought up from southern Ontario and take about eight-10 weeks to be fully up and running, the currently-scheduled summer ice times at the Ice For Kids Arena would be moved into the ’52 Canadians Arena.
The ice-making process there, which is unaffected by the situation in the adjacent Ice For Kids facility, would begin on Monday, July 30 (following the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship) and be completed in about five days.
Among the events that would be moved into the older rink would be the Lakehead Thunderwolves’ hockey camp, summer power-skating sessions, and training camp for the Fort Frances Lakers.
If council does not approve the purchase of a new “chiller,” a move Kabel highly doubts, the next resort would be to replace the tube so that everything would be back up and running in about a week’s time.