Digging deeper: How long does a splash pad last?

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Since 2011, kids in Abilene have been ditching their shoes and getting their feet wet at one of the city’s splash pads.

“He literally draws the slides on paper and shows me and shows me he wants to go to it,” said parent Krisha Ross.

Ross goes to the Red Bud Splash Pad every day with her son J.T. but as she explained the summer hot spot means so much more to her and her son than cooling off.

“My son is autistic and has a sensor for water so I get to come up here for 30 to 45 minutes a day and let him come out here and play in the water, which really helps him a lot.,” said Ross.

While the water is flowing at Red Bud, things have dried out just down the road at Nelson Park, the city’s first splash pad.

“If you have a pool at home, you know as a home owner its just a lot of inherit maintenance that goes along with those, it’s just part of that industry,” said the Assistant Director of Community Services Chris Gibson.

Gibson says the Nelson THE Park Splash Pad’s original mechanics were reaching the end of its lifespan.

“I think if you get eight years out of a splash pad from what we’re seeing you’re doing pretty good,” said Gibson. “They don’t last forever.”

This means the city’s four other splash pads are inevitably headed for a drought, something officials are trying to prevent in the future.

“All of us are learning, maintenance is incredibly important, you can’t just turn them on and leave them they just simply don’t work that way so you have to have knowledgeable people that are trained,” said Gibson. “We’re fortunate that we go approval this year to have hire someone that can pay attention to that year round. hopefully this will give us the opportunity to not have as much down time as much as we’ve had especially with nelson.”

All kids like J.T. can continue splashing through the summer.

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