SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Ice Ribbon in Riverfront Park will remain closed for mechanical repairs that could take at least three weeks to restore ice to the ribbon, Parks and Recreation officials said.
Officials said a vessel that connects to a compressor needs to be replaced. Parks leaders said the vessel has a crack in it that is beyond repair. They say the equipment is key to forming and maintaining the ice at the ribbon and it is under warranty by the manufacturer.
Parks leaders said staff have been unable to maintain the ice since Saturday afternoon and the existing ice has been removed. They said time is needed for the manufacturer to build a new vessel and ship it from Toronto. Parks officials said then it will be installed, safety tested and permitted before new ice can be developed.
On Saturday, Spokane fire crews responded to an alarm indicating an ammonia leak at the ice ribbon. Parks leaders said ammonia is used in the ice making process. The rink was immediately evacuated as a precaution.
Parks leaders said the leak was in a mechanical room, no guests were exposed and no injuries have been reported.
Authorities said before Saturday’s incident, ammonia was smelled in the mechanical room, but did not trigger an alarm or notifications. The manufacturer was called onsite and they found and repaired a leak source. On Saturday, parks leaders said a contractor detected a new leak. When they restarted the system, the leak worsened and triggered the alarm. Officials said a welder attempted to patch the leak but it was determined the vessel was unrepairable.