The Alberni Valley Multiplex houses twin rinks and is home to the BC Hockey League Alberni Valley Bulldogs. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

The Alberni Valley Multiplex houses twin rinks and is home to the BC Hockey League Alberni Valley Bulldogs. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Cause of faulty AV Multiplex ammonia readings solved

Facility will reopen Sunday morning (Feb. 21) for regular programming

A leaky pressure relief valve on one of the Alberni Valley Multiplex’s three ice refrigeration plant compressors caused a temporary shutdown of the facility on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.

At approximately 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 the City of Port Alberni posted a message on its Facebook page that the multiplex has been temporarily closed “while city staff and contractors explore the cause of inconsistent readings from ammonia detection equipment.”

“We have taken the step of cancelling three bookings scheduled for Saturday evening due to an abundance of caution,” Director of Parks, Recreation and Heritage Willa Thorpe said in a press release.

“This is a proactive measure to ensure the health and safety of staff and residents, and we regrets the impact to user groups.”

READ: Ammonia leak closes Port Alberni hockey rink

Technicians discovered that a pressure relief valve on one of the compressors “had been releasing trace amounts of ammonia into the ice plant room,” the city noted in an update late Saturday night. The faulty compressor was isolated and controlled, while the other two “are fully operational.”

The multiplex will reopen Sunday morning “and will resume its regularly scheduled programming,” according to the city.

“Repairs on the compressor No. 3 pressure relief valve will be completed in the coming days.”

This is the second time in two years the City of Port Alberni has been forced to close the multiplex due to suspected ammonia leaks. In November 2019 a low-level ammonia leak was detected in the multiplex’s ice plant refrigeration system, which was fairly new at the time. The city was criticized for not reporting the leak soon enough. An arena patron reported the leak to Technical Safety BC before the city did, according to a final report on the incident.

Cracks discovered in the ice refrigeration plant were determined to be the cause. The multiplex was closed for three weeks as a result of the 2019 leak. No injuries were reported.

READ: Faulty welds cause ammonia leak at Alberni Valley Multiplex: TSBC report

Ammonia sensing equipment mounted inside the multiplex ice plant room began giving readings on Saturday ranging between zero and seven parts per million (PPM), according to Thorpe’s release. Handheld sensing devices used by city staff to confirm the readings have consistently shown readings of zero.

Contractor technicians and Technical Safety BC were both contacted because of the discrepancy in readings, according to the city.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

ammoniaPORT ALBERNI

Just Posted

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of three Sooke men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing leads to stabbing in Nanaimo

Suspect arrested on Gabriola Island an hour after incident Wednesday, Feb. 24

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

G.P. Vanier in Courtenay has six members of the community who have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate. Black Press file photo
Eight sick, 108 more isolating in Comox Valley school district due to COVID-19

District says that all who tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Most Read