Editor’s Update - 5.27.2011 - Barrington Pools Exonerated


The owners of a major Chicago-area pool firm have been accused of illegally dumping hazardous chemicals.

A Cook County grand jury on Sept. 16 returned indictments against Barrington Pools, CEO Dale Overson and Executive Vice President Louise Donahue over allegations the company had been disposing of muriatic acid on its South Barrington, Ill., property.

The violation — considered a Class 3 felony — carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, according to the state Attorney General’s office.

“We are under investigation,” Donahue confirmed. “But we are working with the [Illinois Environmental Protection Agency], and hopefully there will be a resolution soon.”

The state EPA was alerted to the alleged violation through an anonymous tip, according to the Attorney General’s office, which is prosecuting the case. EPA investigators then took samples from multiple areas on the property that tested positive for muriatic acid, said a spokesman for the Attorney General’s office.

Though officials did not believe the alleged violation posed a health risk to nearby residents, some have received letters suggesting they test their well water for possible contamination. The state EPA is continuing its own investigation.

Overson and Donahue are scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 7.

Barrington Pools was listed as the nation’s 26th largest pool builder in Pool & Spa News’ 2010 Top 50 Builders issue. The company, founded in 1973, reported total residential construction revenue of nearly $8.4 million in 2009.