Wichita Falls Looking At Hauling Water In To Keep Castaway Cove Open

If the city of Wichita Falls enters stage five water restrictions, public and private swimming pools including Castaway Cove, would not be allowed to be filled with the city's potable water supply. 

However, city officials are looking at alternative water sources to keep the park open.

Wichita Falls Assistant City Manager Kevin Hugman says the city is doing what it can to make sure the water park opens.

Hugman says the city council will consider entering into a contract with Greentouch Lawn and Landscape to haul in between 6,000 to 9,000 gallons of well water per day to keep the park open, and to make up for water loss.

He says the water costs for the entire season are estimated at $70,000.

"Not a penny of that water cost is being paid by taxpayers," Hugman says. "It would be entirely paid for by the users of the water park through ticket sales and concession sales. It will be paid through the revenues of the water park."

Hugman says there are also other costs to put in pumps and storage tanks.

He says the city faces greater consequences if the park doesn't open.

"If we were to close the water park for the full year, we would have a net loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars," Hugman says. "We would have to lay off full time employees. There'd be a loss of sales tax dollars to the city and a loss of seasonal employment to over 100 employees."

Some Texoma residents say it is not the right thing to do even if the water is hauled in.

Seymour resident Deana Loving says, "I think the water can be used for a better thing then a water park. We need it for our lawns. We need it for our drinking water. I think that's not a good use for it."

Tim Bachman, who lives in Texoma during the winter, says "No, this is a drought stricken area and we're trying to conserve water."

Bachman says, "Industry I believe in and schools but not a water park. Not until we get some water."

If city councilors pass the authorization, Castaway Cove could open on May 20.  

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