After a report of a slip and fall that resulted in an ambulance call, the Waukee Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily suspended the use of the Fox Creek Splash Pad. The department has since spoken with design professionals and contractors in order to assess the installation and safety of one of the park’s new amenities.
“It was determined that it was installed correctly with specifications and also with other splash pads in the area as well as all over the United States,” Waukee Parks and Recreation Director Matt Jermier said.
Jermier also noted that while the splash pad was installed correctly, safety is the Parks and Recreation Department’s number one priority. Before once again opening the amenity to the public, the department is currently working hard to determine what steps it can take to make the splash pad even more safe.
“Safety is our number one priority. Even though it meets the specifications, how can we still take it to the next level? How can we make it even more safe? And, we’ve really been working as a team to come up with a product to help add traction to the surface,” Jermier said.
The product the department plans to purchase is a rubberized, non-skidding coating that has often been used at pools and water parks in the past. It is a multistep process to apply the product that will take place over an extended period of time. The Parks and Recreation Department is working to get the product as soon as possible with a hope of reopening the splash pad sometime in August.
“We understand right now is the heat of summer, so we are working quickly. But, ultimately, safety is our number one key, and getting it applied correctly is the number one priority,” Jermier said.
The City began the process to enhance the Fox Creek Splash Pad concrete on Friday, July 12. A release from the City said the splash pad and playground will be closed due to construction and the safety of park users while workers are in the area.
Once reopened, those interested in using the splash pad are encouraged to view the rules on the City of Waukee website. Jermier emphasizes the importance of no running on a wet surface. In addition, all children must be under adult supervision, no rollerblades, skateboards or bicycles are allowed and there are no pets allowed on the splash pad.
“There is not a product out there that will ever be safe enough for kids to run on the splash pad and not slip and fall,” Jermier said. “We are really emphasizing adult supervision, and the help from those adults to keep kids from running. We understand the splash pad is exciting to little kids. But just a constant reminder of no running even with the new surface.”