Mecklenburg County splash pads inspected, deemed safe to open

Mecklenburg County splash pads inspected, deemed safe to open

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg county has 7 splash grounds in all, five will open this weekend. Ahead of that, testing is required and we uncovered records showing nearly all of those opening this weekend had violations.

“We often feel like well if the water is well treated an chlorinated then we should be fully protected that’s not always the case," says Novant Health South Park Family Physician, Dr. Genevieve Brauning.

Splash pads, although a fun way to cool down, experts say they can be a breeding ground for infections and bacteria.

“One of the most common infections that we see in those public swimming and water areas is Cryptosporidium,” says Brauning.

It’s a parasite, if you ingest it, it can make you really sick, causing severe diarrhea.

“Its very contagious and not easily killed by chlorine," says Brauning.

According to Mecklenburg County’s Health and Environmental Inspections Department, splash pads must have proper chlorine levels and meet inspection standards. The county will open five splash pads this weekend, recent inspections found violations at four of them.

Both Veterans Park and West Charlotte Recreational Center had equipment-related issues.

We asked why chlorine levels are so important?

“Things like parasites and bacteria wont be able to survive in the water because the chlorine will kill them.”

That means, no chlorine, no way of killing bacteria.

“That’s the first line of defense. But there’s other things that people should be doing, to try and protect themselves.”

She suggested taking kids to the bathroom frequently to make sure no accidents happen while playing in the splash pad. Washing your hands, and if you have an open wound, know that your risk could be higher of getting or spreading an infection.

“It could come from contaminated water since we cant always ensure that the water is always 100 clean.”

We’re told all of those violations we mentioned were corrected the same day the splash pads were inspected. All records now show safe water levels. The splash pads will open this Friday.

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