Kiwanis Family Park’s popular splash pad closed today and will remain closed indefinitely after an inspection revealed green algae blooming in the large bucket that frequently dumps several gallons of water on children.
According to a press release from the City of Sanford today, “this is a normal type of algae that often occurs in a pool setting.”
“The algae has been removed and the bucket has been sanitized,” the release read. “It can grow in standing water in warm conditions. Therefore, the bucket will be checked and sanitized regularly.”
The city said the inspection found no algae in the water tanks and no mold in either the bucket or th tank.
The inspection was performed after concerns were raised on social media about the splash pad, which opened in August of 2019 and went over a year unused in 2020 because of the pandemic.
A public Facebook post from Juanita Camargo on Wednesday showed a video of the bucket (and a screen cap) dumping water on children with what she said appeared to be black “mold” at the bottom.
“I have heard kids getting sick after going there … headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.,” Camargo wrote. “We need to be a little more careful.”
The post garnered comments from others saying their children became sick after a trip to the pad this summer, though the city’s release doesn’t substantiate any of those claims.
“The water at the splash pad is tested twice each day to ensure it meets regulatory standards. At no time has the water failed any of these tests,” city officials said. “The pad has an automatic system for measuring and adding chemicals. There are built-in controls to ensure the levels of each chemical are maintained. This type of algae is common in pool environments. It is not caused by a lack of chemicals or poor water quality.”
According to the press release, the pad will remain closed until the staff balances the water quality following Thursday’s cleaning and sanitizing efforts. Those with questions or concerns can call the Public Works Service Center at (919) 775-8247.