A summer rite of passage for young Revelstoke children and their caregivers is closing, maybe temporarily, maybe for good.
The wading pool in DOKK Park is closed as of June 25 due to changes in health regulations. An Interior Health inspection found the pool doesn’t meet new provincial pool regulations adopted in late 2012. (The park is located across from Okanagan College and also known as Farwell Park).
In a proposed workaround to meet the new requirements, the city would have to drain the pool nightly and refill it daily, at an estimated cost of roughly $10,000 for the summer season. The new regulations categorize wading pools as the equivalent to swimming pools in their operational requirements.
At Revelstoke City Council’s June 25 meeting, city parks director Laurie Donato said the expense and waste of 60 cubic metres of water daily is just too much. The pool would draw about one per cent of Revelstoke’s daily water usage, and amount to two per cent of the daily flow into the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
DOKK Park (pronounced dokey) is named after the caretaker organization Dramatic Order of the Knights of Khorrasan, who maintain the pool for the city on a volunteer basis.
At the June 25 meeting, councillors heard the wading pool had likely contravened public health regulations for some time, but had just been flying under the health authority’s radar until the recent inspection.
Council voted for the immediate closure, and also endorsed a staff investigation of a possible new treatment system that could keep the wading pool open. Rules require the equivalent of the entire volume of the pool be filtered every two hours.
However, city staff told council that wading pools are going extinct across the province due to the cost of meeting health regulations.
Splash parks or spray parks are usurping wading pools as the summer cool-down option of preference for municipalities. “There will be some discussion going forward to see what we can do,” said Coun. Gary Starling.
The Dramatic Order of the Knights of Khorrasan is an internal chapter of the fraternal organization The Order of the Knights of Pythias, who operate from their hall next to the RCMP station in Revelstoke.
Correction: A previous version of this story referred to an inadequate “existing pool treatment system” in the pool. The wording implied this was a mechanical circulation system. In fact, the pool does not have any mechanical circulation system.