Ammonia use at Brennan Park Recreation Centre Ice Arena


Facilities equipped with ammonia refrigeration systems are safe when properly designed and when their safety is assured by an operational security program.

The DOS plant. Recent upgrades. Preventative maintenance.

  • Roughly 300 kilograms of liquid ammonia is stored on-site at the Brennan Park Recreation Centre in a certified pressure vessel. 
  • The chiller and condenser containing the ammonia were replaced in 2011.
  • Restricted access and an ammonia alarm system helps to ensure safety protocols are strictly followed. A low or high level leak is identified by a monitoring station that alerts the appropriate personnel.
  • Ventilation from the sealed room is piped outside, with a vent 25 feet above ground. Ammonia is lighter than air, so any leak would dissipate into the air above 25 feet.
  • Qualified recreation facility maintenance staff enter the room every two hours to monitor.
  • An extensive preventative and routine maintenance program is in place as part of the Refrigeration Maintenance Plan, which was most recently reviewed and updated in early 2017 to meet new safety requirements.


  • Technical Safety BC (formerly BC Safety Authority) and WorkSafeBC regulate ammonia use in ice arenas in British Columbia. The District of Squamish system complies with both of these regulators.
  • Technical Safety BC’s most recent review and approval of the District’s safety program and procedures was during our Risk Assessed certification in February 2017.

Staff Training

  • Qualified recreation facility maintenance staff complete safety training annually.
  • A qualified contractor (CIMCO) conducts preventative maintenance three times a year.
  • Formal evacuation training with Squamish Fire Rescue will be implemented bi-annually.

District Council and staff wish to extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, residents and city staff of Fernie, British Columbia in the wake of the tragic ammonia-related deaths at the ice arena (October 2017). This tragedy has given us all pause for reflection to review our safety protocols and ensure that we can learn everything possible from this heart-breaking situation. The investigation into the incident may bring some new recommendations, which the District will certainly respond to swiftly.

October 27, 2017

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  • Dolors Lax Apr 29, 2018, 2:43 PM (4 years ago)

    I would like to know where and who I can contact for the next possible NL at your swimming pool.


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