Tanganyika Wildlife Park gets health department approval to reopen splash pad

Splash pad at Tanganyika Wildlife Park gets county health department approval to reopen.
Splash pad at Tanganyika Wildlife Park gets county health department approval to reopen.(KWCH)
Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 4:18 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Tanganyika Wildlife Park splash pad is back open this weekend. It was closed for weeks when multiple people reported being sick after visiting the park.

An investigation by the county health department found bacteria in the water.

Friday afternoon, the Tanganyika Wildlife Park received the go-ahead from Doctor Gerald Minns and the Sedgwick County Health Department that it’s splash pad could reopen.

Melissa Sherwood brought her kids to the splash pad Sunday. “We have no concerns, we know that they’re doing everything they can, making sure everything is safe for the kids and everybody,” said Sherwood.

Park director Matt Fouts said it’s been a very intense process getting to this point.

“Making sure all T’s were crossed and I’s were dotted. So, we’ve collaborated with a lot of different people from the health department to the KDHE, the CDC, we also had some independent auditors and engineering firms and what not,” said Director of Tanganyika Wildlife Matt Fouts.

Fouts said the park adopted some recommendations from the Model Aquatic Health Code. So, they’ve added a secondary sanitation to the system, upgraded controllers for instantaneous logging of water quality and adding more splash guards to monitor activity.

“One thing I’ve noticed too this last day and a half is a lot more parents out there engaged with their kids and in the water,” said Fouts.

Fouts said on Friday evening, thirty minutes after announcing the reopening of the Splash Pad, park reservation numbers doubled.

Shannon Petricek also brought her boys to the splash pad Sunday morning. She said, “With this just being a local attraction and is funded by donation, it’s a private park, I really want them to be successful to just be something else for people in Wichita to be able to go to.”

Fouts ensures families will be safe visiting again and hopes the county and other recreational facilities in the area can use this as an opportunity to evaluate safety procedures and sanitation systems.

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