The “splash pad” at Klamath Commons park in downtown Klamath Falls is back on after being turned off last month because of a disagreement over an operating permit.


The disagreement between Sky Lakes Medical Center, which developed the park, and the state agency charged with granting the permit had to do with whether the splash pad is a “water feature” or a “pool.”  The splash pad designers never intended it to be classified as a pool, which triggers a different set of code requirements.


In order to get the water feature back online this summer,  Sky Lakes and the City of Klamath Falls collaborated to correct some issues identified by state inspectors – installing a larger drain grate, for instance, and making surfaces more slip-resistant – and removed recirculation from the splash pad’s water circuit.


“The splash pad now uses entirely potable city water, one time only, and then it drains into the sewer system.  Since the splash pad’s water is not reused, the code regarding pools no longer applies,” said Tom Hottman, Sky Lakes spokesman. “The water feature’s operating permit now is a local decision.” 


The one-block park, between Main Street and Klamath Avenue and bordered by 11th and 12th streets, was formally opened July 1.  


The park, a gift to the community by Sky Lakes from its 50th anniversary celebration, is a tribute to the memory of the late Stephanie VanDyke, MD, MPH, a wellness visionary who continues to inspire.


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