(Manhattan, Kansas, May 30, 2018)
– Manhattan Parks and Recreation had a difficult beginning to waterpark season with the early shutdown of City Waterpark on Saturday, May 26 and Northview Waterpark on Monday, May 28 due to water clarity. When water becomes too cloudy for the bottom of the pool to be seen by lifeguards, it is safety protocol to close the waterpark until the water is clear.
The cloudiness of the water occurred for a variety of reasons. According to trained Aquatic Facility Operators (AFO) maintenance staff and aquatics staff, the main causes for the cloudiness were determined to be the high number of patrons in the pool, the excessive record-breaking heat outside, and initial contact with painted pool surfaces for the season. The type of paint used in pools is designed to wear over time and some residue and cloudiness will occur, especially during the first couple of weeks of opening.
Chemicals and pH balance levels in the pool did not contribute to the early closures. Pool chemicals are computer controlled and levels are verified by Aquatic Facility Operators every two hours to maintain quality and safety standards. All chemical levels were appropriate and safe throughout the weekend.
Also on Sunday, May 27, a fecal incident occurred at City Waterpark requiring the closure of portions of the waterpark. It is established policy for young swimmers to wear proper swim diapers at the waterpark. Patrons are required to have these materials on hand when visiting waterparks.
If an incident of this nature occurs again, the City follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and closes the portion of the facility where the incident occurred for at least 24 hours. If the area affected is large in scope, the entire waterpark may be closed.
To prevent further closures during the season, patrons are asked to follow established rules:
* All patrons are asked to shower in the bathhouses before entering the pool.
* Swim diapers are required for young swimmers who are not toilet trained.
* If you have had an upset stomach in the last 24 hours, do not enter the pool.
To see the rules of for Manhattan Waterparks please visit www.mhkprd.com/257/Rules
If waterparks need to be closed, staff will notify patrons as soon as possible via social media and the Textcaster system, and rainchecks can be issued to those who have entered the waterpark before the closure. To sign up for our notifications please visit our website at www.mhkprd.com
The daily operational schedule of each waterpark is as follows:
All parks are open 7 days a week with the following hours
City Park Waterpark 1 p.m. - 8 p.m. with Twilight Swim ($2 adult/$1 child admission) 6 - 8 p.m. (this location only)
Northview Waterpark 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Cico Waterpark - 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Please note the anticipated the opening of this waterpark to be Monday, June 4 pending the hiring and training of lifeguard staff.
We are experiencing a lifeguard shortage at the beginning of our season and do anticipate to have a full staff for all three sites beginning the week of June 4. Those interested in becoming a lifeguard may sign up to become certified at www.tryufm.org and apply for a position through the City of Manhattan at www.cityofmhk.com/jobs
The mission of Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department is to build a healthy community through people, parks, and programs.
• People - Engaging the diverse residents of our community with parks, facilities, and programs
• Parks - Providing open space and connecting our community to our physical, natural, and cultural resources
• Programs - Improving physical, social, and emotional well-being, positively impacting community health and wellness.
To learn more about Manhattan Parks and Recreation, please visit www.mhkprd.com