Summers in Georgia can be brutally hot. The Town of Trion recently installed a recreational Splash Pad to help the community cool down during these long summer days. The splash pad is proving to be a hit among everyone in the county; and not just those that live in Trion. People from Summerville, Lyerly and Menlo are traveling to Trion to cool down. Not to mention many visitors from neighboring Walker County.
Since the July 14th opening, the Trion Recreation Department estimates attendance to the splash pad has averaging 100 visitors daily. The Splash Pad is open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 9 pm, and Sunday noon to 9 pm. Trion’s Public Works Director Eddy Willingham, said “we do not anticipate changing operating hours when school starts, but we will consider that after we get a handle on the usage once school starts.”
Impact on the community
“As far as the impact it has had on the community… I believe it has been one of the best decisions of the current Trion Administration. It offers a great opportunity for an outdoor recreational activity that can be enjoyed by almost anyone in the family. I have seen children playing together regardless of their individual differences. I have seen parents and children, even grandparents and children enjoying the Splash Pad together. What more could we ask for? It has been on of the best projects I have been a part of since I came to work at Trion.” said Willingham.
The splash pad was built in record setting time by Great Southern Recreation of Mufreesboro, TN. The 40 feet by 90 feet splash pad cost $170,000. The process of building the pad began with filling in the old, dilapidated swimming pool.
Maintenance costs for the sports-themed water feature are kept low by utilizing fresh spring water from the town’s spring and a drainage system, as opposed to a recycled, treated and filtered system. The splash pad has a 300 GPM maximum; however, it is also equipped with a water saving automatic shutoff system that will turn off an unused section after 15 minutes and requires a user to reactivate the pumps. Various timers can be adjusted based on the number of users in additional efforts to conserve water while maximizing enjoyment. “Since we had an adequate supply of water available, this made the most economic sense,” said Willingham. There is very little cost associated with this type of system after the installation.
Without a body of water, there is no need for a lifeguard. During the off-season, the actual features within the splash pad can be easily removed, cleaned and stored indoors to lengthen their lifespan and the concrete pad itself can be pressured cleaned as needed. The simplicity of the system eliminates the need for specially trained personnel to maintain pumps, treat the water, or administer the splash pad. City officials are convinced that, after the initial investment of funds as part of a $1.1 million dollar Recreation budget from the Town of Trion, the splash pad should require minimal operational funding throughout the coming years.