Skip to main content

Water restrictions may include spray parks as officials mull all possibilities

By Joanne Beck
spray park 2014
File photo 2014 from the Spray Park in Austin Park, Batavia.
Photo by Howard Owens

As Genesee County officials issued the first of what undoubtedly will be a string of reminders to folks to conserve water consumption during the hot summer months, there are a couple of areas also getting their attention.

Spray parks, in both Batavia and more newly installed in Le Roy, are for water what SUVs are for gasoline.

“Spray parks do consume a large amount of water, and we are working with municipalities to consider restricting usage of spray parks in times of low water supply or high water demands,” County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said in response to The Batavian’s questions about the recent voluntary water-saving measure and spray parks. “It is a sensitive subject as the splash parks do provide significant community benefits, and they do offset similar water usage at home with pool-filling, sprinklers, slip and slides, etc.

“Both the City of Batavia and the Village of Le Roy operate splash pads and both are on activated timers, so they don’t run non-stop,” Hens said. “Even still, they are a topic of discussion as we look to ways to save water during peak demand times.”

 This past week county officials asked residents, businesses and institutions in Genesee County to voluntarily participate in reducing water consumption in a number of ways, including limiting outdoor watering of lawns and gardens, especially during the hottest parts of the days and in full sunshine, to maximize water absorption; consider using commercial car wash facilities that recycle water to reduce overall consumption; limit nonessential water in swimming pools, decorative fountains and other aesthetically pleasing but unnecessary water-consuming items.

Other suggestions included being aware of water leaks and fixing them promptly, installing efficient fixtures and using water-efficient appliances, officials said.

Some states have cycled through severe droughts for years, causing such water limitations to help stretch out their supply. California was one, and even in the mid-1980s, warnings were issued to residents about not watering lawns or washing their own vehicles.

In August 2022, the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued a drought warning for 21 New York counties including Genesee, and the agency was monitoring water conditions to help address any short-term issues and longer-term impacts of climate change.

As for right here in Genesee County, where there has been a three-phase water project in progress to enhance and strengthen the current water system, “it is important to note that these water restrictions are voluntary at this stage,” county officials said.

“Mandatory water restrictions may be implemented if public health and safety are put at risk,” officials said.

“By following these suggestions, each individual contribution will add up significantly.”

To read the entire press release, go HERE

Authentically Local