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Revamping Splash Pad to cut cost

Photos by Eugenia Jones
The spalsh pad was a success this summer, but now Park officials are looking at ways to cut down on water bills.

Labor Day marked the end of the first season for the new splash pad at the McCreary County Park, but park board members and others are already making adjustments to reduce operating costs during the 2018 summer season.

During their regular monthly meeting held earlier this week, Park Board Chairperson Roger Branscum shared details of a recent meeting held with a representative of the state agency in charge of granting permits for pools and splash pads. The meeting focused on converting the splash pad’s water system from a non-circulating system to a recirculating system Earlier this year, construction of the splash pad with a recirculating system was temporarily halted by government officials and inspectors because proper permits were not obtained before breaking ground on the project. In order to restart and complete the project in time for use during the summer, officials veered away from using a recirculating system. In its place, a non-recirculating water system running directly into a drainage system was installed. Non-recirculating systems do not require as many permits as health concerns are prevented by the water being on and draining at all times during splash pad use. Non-recirculated systems do not require chemical treatment and testing as do systems using recirculated water.

Although many children enjoyed using the splash pad over the past summer, officials discovered the cost of using non-recirculated water averaged roughly $2,000 per month for water alone. Hoping to drastically reduce the operation cost next summer, park board members have decided to convert the splash pad’s water system to a recirculating system. Park board members estimate converting the system to use recirculated water will reduce the cost of water as much as 75%.

First steps to converting the water system include determining the gallons of water needed per minute for the pad and uncovering the system lines to determine if any need to be replaced. Officials will then have to submit blueprints of the splash pad to obtain approval and proper permits before proceeding.

According to Park Director Melissa Vanover, the splash pad was extensively used throughout the summer. Noting the number of birthday parties held at the splash pad, Vanover remarked the splash pad enabled some children to have birthday parties that might otherwise have been unable to celebrate their birthday with a party.

In other business, the Park Board accepted the resignation of Board Member Mindy Creekmore and recommended Sam Strunk, Jr to fill the resulting vacancy on the Board.

Park Director Vanover updated the Board on plans for the annual Halloween in the Park event. The date for the event is Saturday, October 21 from 1:00-7:00 p.m. The hours for the popular event have been expanded this year to allow for more vendors, more music, and more activities.

The McCreary County Park Board meets regularly on the first Monday of each month at 5:30 at the Senior Citizen building at the McCreary County Park in Whitley City.

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