Splash pads safe after recent scare in Colorado Springs


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Record highs have hit Colorado Springs, and the kids are hitting the splash pads.

“As long as the weather allows it, we try to get out there,” said Angela Roberts, a mom of two.

“We do Uncle Wilbur’s Fountain maybe once or twice in a summer, and this many once or twice in a summer,” said Katy Campbell, a mom of one. “But, definitely parks and hot days, splash pads are awesome.”

With so many wanting to cool off, the city is taking safety precautions after a report that a toddler contracted hand-foot-and-mouth disease at John Venezia Community Park Sprayground earlier this month.

The city says it responded to that incident with a one-time application of Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant.

In the meantime, parents say they’re taking the usual safety measures: covering up feet and washing well.

“Sandals, and we wash our hands before we eat, take a shower afterwards, and don’t worry about the rest,” Campbell said. “Just go enjoy the hot days.”

“I do the hand sanitizer in the van before we leave and do baths at night, and I like to have my kids wear water shoes while we’re here,” Roberts said.

She says it’s important to keep her family active in the summer months.

“I want them to get out and enjoy the fun things and the free splash pads around town,” Roberts said.

According to El Paso County Public Health, the water chemistry for public pools and splash pads is the same. That means these “bodies of water” must all adhere to the same safety regulations.

>> Click here for a look at those standards.

Here’s a look at how the city’s keeps its spraygrounds safe for visitors:

  • Water is tested initially at approximately 7:30 a.m., seven days a week. Crews test for free chlorine, total chlorine, Ph and alkalinity.
  • The test goal is to have between 1 and 5 parts/million of chlorine. If necessary, adjustments are made. But that is rare.
  • The filter system is backwashed twice a day.
  • After the initial morning water test, the water is tested two more times during the day for free chlorine, total chlorine, and Ph .
  • All protocols are performed per State Health Department guidelines.
  • Logs are kept on site of the testing performed (dating back to the first day the spray ground opened).

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