By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Wild Waterworks is hoping to make a big splash this season after sputtering on its opening day.
The facility, which is billed as having one of the largest outdoor wave pools in Canada, delayed its June 7 opening until this Saturday after discovering its pipes needed an emergency repair.
“It was a complicated leak that was discovered,” said Gord Costie, director of customer service. “It put us off track (and) we couldn’t make the scheduled opening.”
Instead, the Hamilton Conservation Authority-operated park will open for June 14 and Father’s Day with a special admission promotion: $10 per person, down from the $21.90 usual admission for people age 11 to 64.
“We want to start the season off on the right foot,” said Costie. “It was definitely a disappointment for our customers and our workers. They really wanted to have the park opened up now.”
He said the project to repair the pipes was in-depth. Workers had to dig up the concrete area, conduct the necessary repairs, then fill in the area, and paint it, he said. Costie said the pipe problem was discovered through a plumber’s camera system.
“It was a long process,” he said.
Although he didn’t say what the cost of the project was Costie said the work will be accommodated through the HCA’s budget.
“We do plan on this type of thing happening,” he said.
And he didn’t entirely blame the brutal winter for the pipe problem. He said at the end of the season before the park is put into winter hibernation, the pipes are blown out to prevent these types of repairs.
“It was a little bit of bad luck,” he said.
Costie said the park was fortunate the pipe leak didn’t happen during the height of the park’s important summer season in July and August.
Costie is hoping to make up for the missed opening with the special admission deals on June 14 and 15, which includes dads getting in free on Father’s Day. “(Sons and daughters) can take their dads out for a swim,” he said.
This year Wild Waterworks, which attracted about 106,000 visitors in 2013, has given one of its more popular areas, Little Squirt Works, a makeover with its slides, sprays, and mists.
“We freshened up that area,” said Costie.
The facility provides a million gallons of heated water for various tube and body slides, and the “eazy” river. Parking remains free, an essential ingredient for a population that drives to the area.
“The rest of the park is still in great shape. It’s still a popular attraction,” said Costie.
The admission remains affordable for families, said Costie. And Wild Waterworks provides memberships, sunset passes and season passes for individuals.
“There is a lot of added value,” he said. “Now all we are hoping for is good weather.”