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Bowling Green water slide reopens

Inspection prompts shutdown to address, fix safety concerns

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The Bowling Green City Pool and Water Park opened last week but the water slide failed inspection. Workers, who declined to be named, were fixing the pool.

THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
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BOWLING GREEN — The water slide at the city’s new pool and water park reopened Tuesday, two days after it was closed because of a failed inspection.

John Fawcett, Bowling Green’s municipal administrator and safety director, said slide manufacturer WhiteWater West of Richmond, B.C., cleared the slide for use after a follow-up inspection Tuesday.

The slide officially reopened about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to a spokesman for the City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department.

“They made the repairs that were necessary,” he said. “The company was right there, so they were able to immediately inspect and certify the outcome.”

The fiberglass slide failed the Sunday inspection, also conducted by WhiteWater, and was closed immediately, Mr. Fawcett said. The slide’s seams were not aligned properly, with some seams slightly higher than ones immediately above them. The slide also had potential to crack if it dried up, creating a cutting risk for patrons, he said.

Mr. Fawcett said no slide users were injured between the pool’s June 15 opening and the failed inspection Sunday.

“Up until this point, we strongly believe that there’s not been any risk to our patrons, but there was a potential risk for the future,” he said.

Mr. Fawcett said there was no law or requirement to certify the slide before its use. He said there was no reason to believe it had been installed improperly, but once that was determined Sunday, the slide was closed.

“Obviously we want everything there to be as safe as possible,” he said. “The slide certification is a step above what is required, and as a result, we’re taking it more seriously than simply a recommendation. We’ll take it as gospel.”

The facility, which cost about $4 million, is in its first year of use and replaces the former Bowling Green pool built in 1930.

In March, 2012, Bowling Green voters approved a 0.6-mill, 20-year bond issue to generate $3.8 million to fund the pool. A small amount of the pool’s funding came from private contributions.

Mr. Fawcett said the slide’s repair would cost about $65,000, which WhiteWater will cover entirely. The pool has remained open during the slide’s shutdown.

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