Florence water attractions ready for holiday weekend opening

FLORENCE, Ala. – The water recreation season will officially kick-off this Memorial Day weekend. For cities across the valley, many of them have spent the last couple of months preparing.

When it comes to opening swimming pools in time for so summer fun, there is a lot of work to get done.

City employees have spent weeks scrubbing and filtering the pools at the Royal Avenue Recreation Center in Florence. Across town at River Heritage Park, workers have been preparing the splash pad for months.

“Well, it is quite a bit. We start in late March or early April,” said Florence Parks Superintendent Fred Boughner.

Under all of the fun at the splash pad, there’s a complex of rooms. Pumps, filters, computers and an underground water storage tank which holds 38-thousand gallons of treated water.

“It is very similar to a swimming pool,” Boughner explained. “The only difference is, instead of swimming in the body of water, it’s blowing the water above ground and you are playing in it.”

Eight massive pumps send treated water to the jets of the splash pad. Two men work from before daylight until after dark each day monitoring water levels and chemically treating it accordingly. As if that wasn’t enough to worry about, the pumps have to run with the beat of the music on the pad.

“It is a very complex and complicated system,” Boughner stated. “We’ve got good folks that work out there and they stay on top of it.”

So while you’re soaking up the sun this summer, take a moment to think about all the stuff going on down below.

Both the River Heritage splash pad and city of Florence swimming pools open this weekend and will remain open through Labor Day weekend in September.

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