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New Hanlon Creek splash pad to be fully solar powered, more accessible

The reconstructed splash pad is expected to be ready for the 2022 season
splash pad
The new Hanlon Creek Splash Pad will be completed in October 2021.

One of the first splash pads built in Guelph will be getting a makeover that will make it more accessible and help to contribute to the city’s carbon neutral targets by being 100 per cent solar powered.

The Hanlon Creek splash pad was built in 2001 and is due for an upgrade, said Jyoti Pathak, parks planner for the City of Guelph. Unfortunately that means the splash pad will be closed for construction for the 2021 season.

“Whenever we do a project, especially a replacement project, the problem is the construction season is the same as the season to use those facilities,” said Pathak. 

The current splash pad was the first to be built in the city’s south end has some accessibility concerns that have since been identified, said Pathak, including a fence around the splash pad.

“When it was built there was a fee for using it,” she noted as the original reason for the fence.

The parks department has also moved away from the rubberized material used in its earliest splash pads, opting instead for a concrete base.

“Originally this splash pad had rubber surfacing, which was causing a lot of grief for city staff because it required a lot of maintenance and it is difficult to get rubber surfacing perfect,” said Pathak. “It’s important to have something that doesn’t corrode and requires less maintenance.”

Probably the biggest change for the new project will be the solar system that will fully power the splash pad, generating about 15,000 kWh per year.

Pathak said it will be the first splash pad in the city to be fully powered by solar and will contribute to Guelph eventually meeting its carbon neutral targets. It joins other recent projects like the Market Parkade and snow melt facility.

The new splash pad will continue to use a closed-loop recirculation process, in which the water is collected and conserved, as opposed to a more wasteful ‘pump-and-dump’ system used in some splash pads.

The water used by the splash pad is stored in tanks on site, but the drains switch over so rain water can escape when the splash pad is not in use.

“Children love to play with water and as a park planner, splash pads are really fun projects. But the mechanical side of it is complex,” said Pathak. 

The new Hanlon Creek splash pad is expected to be complete in October and ready for the 2022 season.

“I am really excited that this project is going to be accessible and it’s going to have the benefits of the solar panel,” said Pathak.


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Kenneth Armstrong

About the Author: Kenneth Armstrong

Kenneth Armstrong is a news reporter and photojournalist who regularly covers municipal government, business and politics and photographs events, sports and features.
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