Ahhh, or eww... Splash parks cool, but are they clean?

2014-05-24T00:00:00Z 2014-05-27T15:03:38Z Ahhh, or eww... Splash parks cool, but are they clean?By Becky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Splash parks are a great place to play for families looking for something cooler than running through the sprinklers and less expensive than a water park.

But are they safe?

Here are three things you need to know.

1. The water gets recirculated, but it’s not spraying germs all over your kids.

Just like swimming pools, the water at splash parks is sanitized with chlorine or bromine.

At some splash parks, the water goes through more cleaning steps than the water at a public pool. At the Brandi Fenton Splash Pad, there’s a state-of-the-art system that sanitizes the water with ultraviolet rays, said Pima County Recreation Program Manager Grant Bourguet.

The Pima County Health Department is drafting new code that will make an ultraviolet system or an ozone system mandatory as a secondary cleaner at splash parks, said Ken Paulson, landscape architect and co-owner at Aqua Design International, who designed most of our area’s splash parks.

2. All the local splash parks passed inspections, and there haven’t been any cases of sickness from local parks.

Splash parks meet all the health code standards, and county health inspectors check splash-park water just like they check pool water.

The water is tested several times a day by park staff — up to hourly at some parks. Staff also check the water systems frequently for balloons and toys that can clog drains.

“We do a lot in order to keep these parks sanitized,” said City Parks Administrator Peg Weber.

3. There’s no lifeguard, and adult supervision is a must.

If not for your kids’ safety, then because of some gross things other people might do. Taking off diapers, showering, pets and pet waste can be problems at splash parks.

Make sure kids understand the posted rules and use the bathroom before they play.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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