The City of Winnipeg is looking at adding more spray pads, but possibly shutting down wading pools around the city.
A new report, presented in the standing policy committee on protection, community services and parks agenda, says the 81 wading pools in the City of Winnipeg are either at the end of their useful life or near the end of their life.
To replace the wading pools, it would cost over $50 million.
“In addition, most wading pools have limited play value, appeal to a very limited age profile and do not meet current accessibility standards,” the report reads.
The city is looking at adding more spray pads, with the report saying that as funds become available, the city should look at where a new spray pad could be built, and depending on the location, between one and five wading pools in the area would be closed.
The report said the average spray pad provides approximately 1,100 service hours each year from late May to early September, while the average wading pool provides approximately 260 service hours per person, with some as low as 90 hours per season. Spray pads also cost less to operate than wading pools.
The city’s busiest wading pool in Dakota Park provides less than half of the service hours of the average spray pad in Winnipeg due to supervision requirements.
“While some areas have many wading pools serving relatively small catchment areas, other areas of Winnipeg have few or no wading pools providing service,” the report reads. “Typically, when several wading pools are located in close proximity to each other, usage at each site tends to be low, with over a quarter of all wading pools averaging less than 25 visitors per day. Data also shows that wading pool attendance drops significantly when a spray pad is built in the vicinity.”
The report will be discussed in the committee meeting on November 12.