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Spray park water used for irrigation

I was asked this question while visiting the (spray) park this past weekend. Can you please tell me whether the water within the water feature is recycled?

— Reneé J., Central Point

At this time, Central Point's grand new splash pad recycles about a third of its daily spray into the surrounding irrigation systems.

The water-spray park in Don Jones Memorial Park was built last summer. Cool water showers, spritzes and streams from the park's poles, hoops and sprinklers, where about 150 children (and the occasional adult) are refreshed daily.

"We originally planned on having a recirculating system, but because of the overruns associated with getting the park done, we were unable to do so," said Matt Samitore, Central Point's parks and public works director.

Samitore explained that a recirculating system, similar to those found in swimming pools, would spray, filter and then spray again. Unfortunately, the system costs about $85,000.

"Until the cost comes down, we thought it would be best to use it (the water) for irrigation," said Samitore.

The park utilizes potable (drinking) water in the system.

As the current holding tank is too small to store a day's worth of spray runoff, a new, much larger holding tank is scheduled to be installed next spring, which will permit all of the used water to be used to irrigate the lawns.

"Water is not an unending source," says Samitore. "We have a limited supply, and we need to be making sure we conserve it as much as possible. We want to be better stewards of our parks, as well."

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.