After a rocky start to the opening of North Augusta’s first splash pad last year, it will open on schedule for the 2012 season on Saturday.
The splash pad, located at Summerfield Park on Old Edgefield Road, will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Rick Meyer, interim director of North Augusta Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services, said it will stay open through Labor Day weekend.
In 2011, the opening was delayed until the end of August. The $135,000 splash pad was completed in April 2011, but the opening was delayed because of permit issues.
The splash pad stayed open through September last year because of its late opening, and Meyer said during the time that it was open they did not have any operational problems. He said everything is ready to go for its opening, but they are looking into adding a UV light that isn’t required by the Department of Health and Environmental Control, but is recommended.
“It is something we are planning to do for safety reasons,” he said, noting that the UV light will destroy any potential bacteria in the recycled water.
The Summerfield Park picnic shelter can be rented for parties, but the splash pad and restrooms remain open to the public at all times. Meyer said the splash pad can probably hold 25 children at one time comfortably.
To get the splash pad open daily, there is a crew of certified pool operators assigned to check on it. One of those guys is Mike Chavous, foreman for Riverview Park.
Chavous said he and Mike Burr, foreman for the city’s property maintenance division, attended a two-day class through DHEC to become certified pool operators. At the class, they learned about pH levels and other things that will help with maintaining the splash pad.
The splash pad holds 700 gallons of water, Chavous said, which is emptied to allow filters to be cleaned and refilled with fresh water every seven to 10 days. The splash pad pumps 80 gallons of water per minute, he said.
“I enjoy seeing the kids,” Chavous said. “The kids love it and that’s the part of being in parks and recreation, seeing a smile on a kid’s face.”
The Summerfield Park splash pad is a test, and if it succeeds, other splash pads may be added to North Augusta.
Meyer said the master plans at Riverview and Northview parks both include a splash pad, but that there is not a set time frame for the projects.