Club Sierra Sports and Fitness’ pool reopens |

Club Sierra Sports and Fitness’ pool reopens

The swimming pool at Club Sierra Sports & Fitness in Grass Valley has reopened after a 23-hour closure ordered earlier this week by the Nevada County Environmental Health Department.

It’s the only indoor, regulation lap pool in western Nevada County, club co-owner Margie Blackston said. It’s 75 feet by 25 feet, with four lap lanes, 4 feet deep and kept at 83 degrees Fahrenheit. The club has 1,500 members.

County spokesman Kurtis Zumwalt said the pool was closed at 2 p.m. Monday after a written complaint was sent to the department about its cloudy and hazy condition. The pool reopened at 1 p.m. Tuesday after it was partially drained and chemically shocked to correct an imbalance.

“It was caught early before it was a major threat,” Zumwalt said Thursday. He had no reports of physical problems from the health club’s members, and he said the owners were diligent about keeping their pool clean.

Health club co-owner Mike Blackston on Thursday said the problem was quickly corrected, and the complaint from a member blew the situation out of proportion.

“This is not fair just because one person complained,” Mike Blackston said. “This is a family business and we work darn hard.”

Zumwalt said by state law he could not divulge the name of the person who complained, but he did have to make the document public.

“Water is filthy – cloudy,” the complaint said. “Women came out of pool with rashes. Everyone complained at front desk to no avail. … Ongoing problem, needs to be regulated.”

The pool closure was a first-time occurrence for the Blackstons, Zumwalt said, and he now knows to test the water at the first sign of cloudiness. “Pool chemistry is extremely complicated, especially a large pool like that,” Zumwalt said.

Mike Blackston said he thinks the chemical imbalance occurred after body oils and lotions from 30 to 40 patrons got in the pool following an aerobics class.

“We did the best thing we could,” he said. “It got away from us and we turned it around in one night.

“It is not an ongoing problem,” Mike Blackston said. “Some of the ladies did complain about a rash, but the inspector said it was not from this.

“All the members knew what happened and they’re OK with it,” he said. “We have high standards here.”

Zumwalt said county records dating back to 2002 show two problems during inspections of the pool, neither of which was enough to close it or cause health violations.

The first, in November of 2002, was caused by a mechanical problem, Zumwalt said. The second was in April of 2006, when the pool had too much chlorine.


To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail davem@the or call 477-4237.

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