How much water do El Paso spray parks really use?

Sue Young Spray Park set to open to the public on Saturday, July 30, 2016. (CREDIT: KFOX14/CBS4)

In this Just Ask John, a follow-up to a segment last month about water use at El Paso spray parks.

A viewer named Rick wasn't happy with the answer I got from the city of El Paso about water use at these parks and thought I needed to dig deeper.

As I reported, the city's Parks and Recreation Department told me that underground tanks that can hold 6,000 gallons of water supply the water attractions at local spray parks. It's non-potable water that’s recycled for reuse. The parks department also said it only needs to replace only water that's lost to evaporation.

Rick felt that was an incomplete answer. He claimed in an email to me, that the city has to periodically replace the 6,000 gallons of water.

I checked back with the city and a parks department spokesman said the department does not have to periodically dump out and replace the water in the tanks. Instead, he said workers occasionally backwash the system, until the filters reflect clear water.

He said only a small amount of water is lost through this process and through evaporation. He added the city doesn't keep track of how much water is lost, so he didn't know how much water the spray parks lose over time.

For some perspective on how much water each spray park uses, it takes 660,000 gallons of water to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool. A tank at a city spray park contains less than one-percent of that amount of water.

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