Officials say East Texas splash pads up to par

By Jena Johnson - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - On a hot day, the Diaz family races to cool off. It's opening day for this Nacogdoches splash pad and Carla Diaz is pumped.

"I'm happy when the water come up over there and I go through the slide," Diaz said.

After a dangerous parasite sickened 2,000 Texans two years ago, state officials are cleaning up splash pads across Texas. It's something kids don't think twice about.

Unlike some spray parks, both Nacogdoches and Lufkin use city water instead of recycled water from a pump. Parks and Recreation Director Kathy Joslyn says it's cheaper.

"It would be very expensive to recycle this water with all the equipment that would be need to do that and the chemicals that it would cost," Joslyn said.

Under the new law, spray parks must meet the same health requirements as public pools. Joslyn says they do.

"It's just like taking a shower and you can bring your own soap," Joslyn said.

As Jeanie Liar watches her grandkids play, she says safety comes first.

"We certainly wouldn't be here if the water wasn't clean," Liar said. "It would rob them of this fun opportunity."

Mom Wendi Cloyde first questioned the water.

"I just wondering how clean the water was," Cloyde said. "If it was just recycled, if it was drained and come back out or if it was clean and purified."

After finding out it was city water and not recycled, she's at ease.

"It's nice to know it's clean and it smells clean and it's not dirty because they tend to drink it," Cloyde said.

A safe place kids and parents make the best of the summer heat.

The three Lufkin splash parks are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The one in Nacogdoches is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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