The Winamac Park Board continues to explore the feasibility of adding a splash pad to the Town Park.
During last week’s meeting, board member Chris Schramm said a splash pad would give residents another recreation option, if the town’s swimming pool can’t be rebuilt. “It’s a lot less expense,” he said. “It would be a perfect place down there at the park where the kids are playing. The parents are down there. I feel that if we can at all afford it, that that’s the way that I feel we should go. Not that it’s going to take the place of a pool, but I think you’re going to get a lot of, lot of activity there.”
But operating a splash pad in the Town Park would bring some challenges. Board member and town manager Brad Zellers has been researching various options.
One possibility is to use the city water supply, with the used water being discharged into the Tippecanoe River. Zellers said that would require chlorine removal, as well as a special discharge permit. “That means you’re going to have a state inspector that will, once a year, do an inspection on it,” he explained. “They will see the documentation of your lab analysis, and they will inspect the outflow. At that outflow, you couldn’t have any greasy film, any odor. It would have to be clear water. That permit would probably be $1,000 a year.”
Another option is to send the used water into the town’s sewer system, but Zellers said the park’s lift station would run much more frequently as a result, leading to higher electricity costs. And he said the chlorine would still have to be removed.
Instead, he recommended using a closed-loop system, in which the water would be treated and reused, similar to a swimming pool. He said that other town managers he talked to felt a closed-loop system was better in the long-run, even though it’s more expensive initially.
But the Winamac Town Park’s location along the Tippecanoe River brings a few other challenges, such as keeping the water filtration system above the potential flood level and cleaning the splash pad after a flood.
For now, Park Board President Courtney Poor suggested that board members come up with a list of questions that still remain to be answered, before coming up with a plan of action next month.