The Rossland Arena’s problems may mean an early end to the curling season there. (File photo)

Leak forces Rossland arena refrigeration system to shut down

No threat to public safety, but an end to ice-making at the facility for this year

A crack discovered in the Rossland arena’s refrigeration system has forced the city to stop ice production at the facility.

The city says inspectors discovered the crack in the brine lines during a routine inspection earlier this week. The brine lines are part of the refrigeration system that allow the arena to produce and maintain ice surfaces. The refrigeration system serves both the hockey and curling rink portions of the arena.

“Therefore, after careful consideration, it has been decided that due to the potential time and costs associated in fixing this leak in relation to the amount of use of the facility left this year, ice production at the facility will cease for the remainder of the 2018-19 winter season,” a release from the city says.

City officials say the crack did not pose a threat to public safety.

They also say the shutdown comes as the arena nears the end of the ice season.

“As the hockey/ice rink portion of the facility has already closed for the season, the loss of ability to produce and maintain ice will only affect the Rossland Curling Society, as they currently have a lease agreement with the City of Rossland to operate the Rossland Curling Club until March 15,” the release states.

The shutdown may affect an upcoming bonspiel being organized by the curling club. The city says it will work with the club to evaluate its short-term options, and try to determine how long the curling ice may last without continued refrigeration in the current cold temperatures.

Officials say the crack was discovered quickly as the refrigeration plant was being monitored carefully.

“The city has been aware of the need to replace the brine system at the arena in the short-to-near future and were monitoring its function closely,” says the release. “There was, and currently is, no risk to public safety; however, the crack in the brine line caused the refrigeration system to lose pressure and therefore be shut down to avoid any future operational and safety issues that may arise.”

In the coming weeks, the city says it will look to complete a full assessment of the refrigeration system at the Rossland arena and evaluate its options for the repairs to the system for continued use next fall.

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