Splash pad

A popular source of summer fun for kids in Defiance was temporarily knocked out of commission during the weekend, but will be restored today with a slightly reduced schedule.

Bronson Park’s splash pad facility, located on the north end of the park, went down just before noon Saturday, city officials reported.

The splash pad’s computer hard drive — locked inside the bathhouse next to facility — quit working, according to Rob Cereghin, the city’s director of service. The hard drive controls the functions to the splash pad.

However, it will be restored at noon today (Monday) and operate as before until 9 p.m. Mayor Mike McCann explained that the splash pad’s valves will be operated manually until further notice.

Daily hours of operation henceforth will be noon-9 p.m., rather than the regular 9 a.m.-9 p.m. schedule until the failed electronic equipment is replaced, according to McCann.

They did not have a backup hard drive on hand and must order a replacement from Canada, he indicated. But with travel to Canada restricted due to the coronavirus situation, it may take some time before the new hard drive arrives.

“It could be weeks, but we don’t know,” McCann said Monday morning.

Those who use the splash pad will have use of all the facility’s features, but it will operate slightly differently until the repair is made.

Before Saturday, the water would run on a set cycle of 10 minutes and was reactivated by users with a foot pedal. However, without the electronics functioning normally, the water will run all the time, McCann said.

With hot temperatures in the forecast and splash pad use expected to be high, he isn’t concerned that water will be wasted.

“If it was marginal weather, I would say we’re wasting water,” McCann said. “In this weather, nope.”

It’s not known what caused the hard drive’s malfunction.

Although thunderstorms were in the area late Friday night — suggesting a lightning strike — the splash pad was still working early Saturday morning. It quit at about 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Cereghin noted.

“We had water clear up until 11:45 a.m., and it just went out,” he said. “I don’t know if it was a power surge.”

Cereghin explained that the city’s IT administrator (Jake Lambert) examined the hard drive Saturday and confirmed that it had quit functioning.

Although the splash pad components stopped working on Saturday, water to the rest of the facility was still operating, as were security cameras and the facility’s radio, according to Cereghin.

The splash pad opened in 2018 following construction with a combination of public and private funding. McCann’s office assisted the Defiance Next Gen group in the private fundraising effort.

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