As the weather has heated up in Modesto, City staff has received inquiries from citizens requesting information about if/when the water play features in the parks will be turned on this year. City Council approved recreational water play use starting this weekend.
Over two years ago, drought restrictions required the City of Modesto to turn off water features. Prior to the drought, the water play features operated from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year and used about 3,386,400 gallons of water in a summer. With new restrictions outlined below, and a shortened operating window (from the July 8th to Labor Day this year), staff expects the recreational water play features to use about 720,000 gallons of water (a more than 78% savings in water from pre-drought schedules).
Staff believes that the use of the recreational water play features in Modesto parks can help alleviate health and safety issues related to summer heat by providing a location for residents to cool off in the water at our parks. Modesto’s recreational water play features are designed with the following features and will be adjusted to prevent the waste or unreasonable use of water:
• The time clock only allows water to be used during the programmed time which has historically been between 10am and 6pm. With restrictions, the City will only allow water to be used during the hottest hours of the day from 2pm to 6pm.
• The activation bollards that are present at all the recreational water play features in our parks are designed to turn on the water only when touched and typically then to run for no more than 2 minutes before requiring additional activation.
• Water play features that have historically have used more water (Marshall Park, Sylvan Park and Lions Junction at Virginia Corridor) will be limited to use < 25 gallons/minute.
• Three of the recreational water play features will remain closed (Sanders Park, Creekwood Park and Graceada Park) due to maintenance issues and proximity to other recreational water play features.
The seven parks that will have operating recreational water play features this summer, are Ustach Park, Freedom Park, Coffee-Claratina Park, Marshall Park, Sylvan Park, George Rogers Park and Lions Junction at Virginia Corridor.
Recreational water play features in Modesto Parks provide play opportunities for local youth and dffective cooling during extreme heat conditions. The average daily temperature in Modesto during the summer months is as follows: 1) June - 90ºF; 2) July - 95ºF; 3) August - 94ºF; and September - 89ºF.