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Whitecourt slides into ingenious solution to Edmonton’s beach woes

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  • Whitecourt slides into ingenious solution to Edmonton’s beach woes

    Whitecourt slides into ingenious solution to Edmonton’s beach woes


    Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
    If you’re looking for a road trip, check out the free, public Whitecourt River Slides and ponder how simply that town side-stepped an issue that’s plagued Edmonton for more than a decade.
    I’m talking about the beach issue.
    Since 2008, council after council has debated how to create a beach-like experience for kids in Edmonton.
    It started with a push from former mayor Stephen Mandel, who nearly lost it when administration came back with options costing up to $60 million. Since then they’ve looked at changing the flow of the North Saskatchewan to create a permanent beach, or adding sand fenced off from the river. Then at one point, the city spent $800,000 planning a $5.1 million-spray park and wadding pool for Hawrelak Park, only to have council balk at the cost.
    Compare that to Whitecourt, population 10,000. A friend invited me to check it out with our children last week and it was worth the two-hour drive.
    It’s like a giant slip-and-slide, with two creeks built into the side of a small hill next to a small lake. It’s packed every sunny afternoon, with flocks of kids running up to slide down on stomachs or inflatables.
    Others play in the sand near the bottom, where the two creeks converge and the natural, untreated water slows before pouring right back into the stocked lake.
    Seriously, it’s a ton of fun. Kids bring all sorts of tubes and floatables. My five-year-old played for nearly four hours straight. The water is only a couple of inches deep, up to an adult’s calf at the bottom. So once a child is five or six and strong enough to handle the light current, they can ride on their own. And it seems the young crowd can never get enough of sand.
    So how much did it cost? Not a lot. Capital costs for the river slides were less than what Edmonton spent on consultants for the abandoned spray park and wadding pool idea.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  • #2
    What an interesting idea! Forwarding this to my city councillor

    Comment


    • #3
      It is brilliant and simple. Ummm I am remembering all the City projects that have gone off the rails. Fingers crossed.
      My antidepressent drug of choice is running. Cheaper with less side effects!

      Comment


      • #4
        I look forward to seeing how the City of Edmonton can turn this in to a 5 million dollar project, 2 years late.

        Comment


        • #5
          We all remember how the Great Divide Waterfall was killed because you could not use river water and you could not use treated water.
          Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

          Comment


          • #6
            "The waterfall was shut off in 2009 when the city realized the chlorinated water may be affecting water quality in the river."

            and when they were using river water, there was issues with pipes clogging and it was also a health concern of some sort.



            A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you for confirming what I said.

              Can't use chlorinated water, can't use river water because it might be contaminated.

              Dots connected.

              Can't help you see the issue.
              Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

              Comment


              • #8
                That wasn't really a "city" thing, in my view. They couldn't use the chlorinated water because of new or updated Federal environmental laws, I believe. And there was a genuine health concern of people contracting something from aerosolized river water. The solution was several million dollars for a treatment system, and I agree that's probably not money well spent on something that's only used once or twice a year.

                Was there some simple solution that I'm not aware of?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
                  Thank you for confirming what I said.

                  Can't use chlorinated water, can't use river water because it might be contaminated.

                  Dots connected.

                  Can't help you see the issue.
                  The only issue with contamination was because it was spread out in to the air via the waterfall. People swim in the river all the time. But breathing in that contamination is not good.
                  A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Everybody, stay away from the Niagara Falls the unfiltered river water will kill you!!!!
                    Edmonton first, everything else second.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
                      That wasn't really a "city" thing, in my view. They couldn't use the chlorinated water because of new or updated Federal environmental laws, I believe. And there was a genuine health concern of people contracting something from aerosolized river water. The solution was several million dollars for a treatment system, and I agree that's probably not money well spent on something that's only used once or twice a year.

                      Was there some simple solution that I'm not aware of?
                      This was my understanding as well.
                      A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wonder how much Whitecourt paid for their water treatment system for their water slide...
                        Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There is no water treatment system. The water seeps into the man made lake from the ground and gets pumped up to the top of the hill.
                          Edmonton first, everything else second.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
                            I wonder how much Whitecourt paid for their water treatment system for their water slide...
                            Are you intentionally playing dumb? Or unintentionally? The article specifically explains why they don't need a treatment system: because they're not spraying the water, and they're not keeping a reservoir.

                            Originally posted by ThomasH
                            Everybody, stay away from the Niagara Falls the unfiltered river water will kill you!!!!
                            The difference there is that the Niagara Falls are natural, and there would be no potential for liability on the part of any level of government. Not the case with the Great Divide waterfall. As far as how realistic/significant of a health concern there is, I have no idea personally.
                            Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 02-08-2019, 12:12 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you want to talk about being dumb, dumb is not being allowed to run the Great Divide Waterfall.


                              I am just pointing out one way the idea could be hamstrung by bureaucrats

                              Wasn't it you who said;
                              Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
                              I look forward to seeing how the City of Edmonton can turn this in to a 5 million dollar project, 2 years late.
                              Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

                              Comment

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