BUCKETS OF FUN: Jacaranda Park will include a tap for children to cool off in the summer heat.
BUCKETS OF FUN: Jacaranda Park will include a tap for children to cool off in the summer heat. Christopher Chan GLA061212KIDS

Aquatic fun a costly exercise says council

SPLASHING around in refreshing water is one of the best ways to cool off in the heat of summer, but despite public demand, Clarence Valley won't be getting free public water parks any time soon.

Clarence Valley Council open spaces co-ordinator David Sutton said the council did not have the budget for ongoing operation of maintenance of water play in public parks.

"A concept is included for one of those features in our Grafton pool master plan, for a zero-depth splash pad,” he said.

"The operation and maintenance within a council park, council just doesn't have the budget for it.

"The water testing has to be swimming pool standard, so it has to be monitored every hour.

"It's basically like putting a swimming pool in a park.”

Mr Sutton said council was aware residents were keen to see aquatic fun in their public spaces but it was a tricky balance.

"We have looked at other water play, which is effectively a tap in a park, which is a single flow of water, but then there has been some concern about wasting water,” Mr Sutton said.

"Jacaranda park has got something like that, so water can flow from a high point to a low point, and then drain away.

"It's something we are aware of, and definitely an important element, it's just a matter of balancing desires and budgets.”