Summertime Cool-Down

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A cool splash of water can make a kid's day during the summer, making this one of the best of the season for Elle Maurer and her girls.

"I'm so glad this place opened up."

It's the first time the kids can enjoy some time at the splash-pad at Irvine Park this summer.

"We're always out here at the park anyway, so this is just one thing added to the park."

This isn't really a grand opening.

That was last June, but nobody could have expected the wave of people who flocked to the fountain shortly thereafter. Not to mention all the dirt and grass the kids were tracking in here when this was sod, but now the grass is a little firmer, plus there are plans to put a five-foot fence all the way around the fountain.

"I wasn't happy with what was happening with the water quality," said
Park and Rec Director Bill Faherty. He was behind the shutdown.

"We couldn't keep up with the chemical balance of the water."

But now he says they can; thanks to a bigger filter, automated water testing and chlorine.

"I'm glad they put the chlorine in the water...Keep it more sanitary," said Maurer.

Just a couple more changes to go, like an enlarged cement slab.

"We need to get some variances from the state on first aid kits and a public phone," Faherty said.

Then the splash-pad will OK'd by the Health Department.

In the meantime, the city has a grace-period to run the thing because their plans are in place. That's all it's taken to give Elle piece of mind too.

"I'm not concerned at all," Maurer said. "Look at it...You can't drown at all and it's free."

As the best things in life are: busy kids, cool water, and safe summer fun.