The water park at the Panorama Hills Community Centre is scheduled to close for the season after operating hours on Monday, September 4 (Labour Day). Each year we receive inquiries as to why we don’t turn the water park back on when a late blast of summer-like weather inevitably returns in September. We hope the following information helps answer any questions our members may have.
- Weather. Generally, the temperatures in September tend to decline as fall approaches. Of course, there are fluctuations and temperatures can rise to summer-like temperatures but for the most part, temperatures steadily decline throughout September. Of more importance to us, however, is the overnight temperature and not the daytime temperature. The water park is a series of underground pipes that carries water from an underground holding tank to the various toys with the help of several pumps and mechanical systems that recirculate the water. As the temperature in the evening drops and approaches the freezing mark there is a great risk of mechanical damage and pipes cracking due to freezing water. Again, since we cannot predict what the temperature in September will be, we begin our annual winterization process immediately after Labour Day to help ensure no damage to the water park, costly repairs and possible opening delays come next spring.
- Maintenance. As mentioned above, we begin the winterization of the water park the day after Labour Day. This consists of seasonal cleaning of the system as well as any end of season repair or preventative maintenance. We use a third party professional company to complete the winterization of the water park and therefore have to adhere to their schedule and availability as well. Additionally, much of the mechanical equipment used to operate the park is disabled to conduct preventative maintenance and some seasons we even ship some equipment offsite to undergo routine maintenance.
- Scheduling. We also schedule our seasonal water park closure dates to coincide with most other city wide water park and pool closures. With the rare exception, most water parks and pools in Calgary are closed for the season after operating hours on Labour Day each year. With that said, we also aim to open our member only water park on the Victoria Day long weekend each May (weather dependent) whereas most pools and water parks in the city open approximately mid-June or later.
- Logistics. The operation of the water park is a little more complicated than the simple “flip of a switch.” As much as we might want to turn the water park back on when there are late summer-like temperatures there is more to it than pushing an “on” button. As mentioned above in the maintenance section, much of the mechanical equipment has been disabled and is undergoing routine preventative maintenance during this time. This is done so that, as much as possible, we reduce the need to delay opening the water park in May. Additionally, we must adhere to Alberta Health Services policies regarding the operation of outdoor pools and water parks and before we can resume operation of the water park, assuming all mechanical equipment was in place, we would have to submit a water sample for testing and be provided with clearance to operate. That process can take between 24 - 72 hours to complete.