Public Pools Packed with Patrons

- Area water parks and public pools have been packed this summer as the number of private pools dries up from restrictions on refilling.

Steve Vaughn, Castaway Cove Water Park manager, says, "It's been real good this summer. Numbers are looking very good coming in."

Robbie Matthews, Iowa Park director of parks and recreation, says, "Normal attendance every year could range around 250, maybe 300 a day. We're hitting 400 to 450 a day."

In fact, Iowa Park Spray Park has been so busy that they sometimes have to hang this sign at the entry gates.

"If we do hit capacity, we've had to turn people away," Matthews says.

Summertime temperatures normally have people looking for ways to beat the heat.

"It's been pretty hot, especially the last month," Vaughn says.

"It's a good thing we have a place people can go and cool off," Matthews says.

But this summer is different.

Under stage five water restrictions, residents cannot fill their pools with city water, but they do have the option of hauling in well water to do so.

That's a costly decision, though, so even those with their own pools are looking to public pools to give them some relief from the heat.

"It's hit our pool pretty hard," Matthews says. "A lot of people can't fill up their own swimming pools. They're looking for a way to cool off and they're hitting the few places that are open."

"I have a couple of customers that do come to the park regularly and they have not opened their pools and have elected to come here this year," Vaughn says.

A year that, so far, looks like it will be a very profitable one for Texoma public pools.

Both water parks fill their pools with well water.

At Iowa Park Spray Park, crews are taking conservation efforts one step further.

They know that kids plus water equals a lot of splashing, so crews aren't filling the pool all the way to the top.

Instead, they're leaving a little room so no water is wasted by being splashed out of the pool.

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