CBS4 puts water from El Paso spray parks to the test
EL PASO, Texas (CBS4) —
As the weather heats up, more people are heading to all eight of the city's spray parks.
"They love the slides," parent Sebastian Tena said, "the slides and that bucket."
Lots of kids could mean lots of germs.
One parent said her children were getting fevers after going to the spray parks last summer.
"So I would end up at the doctor until he told me to kind of stop bringing them (to the spray parks) because maybe it was causing them to have fevers," Lissette Dominguez said.
CBS 4 On Your Side put the water from three spray parks to the test: Pavo Real in the lower valley, Sue Young in northeast El Paso and the Westside Community Park.
Al three came back negative for E.coli and coliform bacteria.
"We take (the water) through a dual-filtration system," said Ted Marquez, deputy city manager for public works. "We use Aquatab, which is chlorine, and then we use an ultraviolet system that purifies the water a little bit more."
Marquez said all the spray parks are on a computerized system, meaning if the water isn't at a certain purity level, the system shuts itself down. The system can only restart after it's manually turned back on at the location, according to Marquez.
"Even though the water is not harmful to you, it is still not recommended you drink it," he said.
There are other issues at the spray parks that could be a concern for safety. The city said they've had issues with people throwing rocks into the dump buckets overnight.
"That's why we visit the site before we even turn it on," Marquez said. "We see the first dump of the water."
Parents can do their part, too, to keep the spray parks clean for their kids, according to Marquez.
"Enjoy your drinks outside of the spray park. Enjoy your food just outside the area where we have the spray park," Marquez said. "Help us keep the area clean."
Spray park visitors can report any concerns to the city by calling 311.