No Water for San Diego's New Waterfront Park

As temperatures climb, residents looking to cool off along the Embarcadero found the splash fountain turned off

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The county's new waterfront park opened this weekend to rave reviews. One of the highlights was the reflecting pool and water jets. But on Monday, some visitors were disappointed to find the pool had been drained. NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda explains why.

    Two days after the opening of a new, free waterfront park in downtown San Diego, residents looking to cool off found the splash fountain turned off.

    Construction cones blocked off part of the new public space at Pacific Highway and Harbor Drive, between Grape and Ash streets on Monday. 

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    "A backup in the drain system" led to the water in the splash fountain being turned off Monday, contractor Jim Dorsey told NBC 7.

    The subterranean drainage system was overtaken by the amount of water, amount of kids and amount of activity, and created some mud that ended up being a bit of a problem, he explained.

    "There was just more kids diverting more water from the jets than anyone had anticipated," Dorsey said.

    A county spokesperson says children sitting on the jets redirected water out of the pool and onto the decomposed granite bed outside of the pool.

    An image captured over the weekend (see below) shows the mud that collected near the pond.

    The decomposed granite then seeped into the draining and filter system.

    The pond area was drained as part of a weekly maintenance schedule but because of the decomposed granite, the system was back-flushed and the pond stayed dry longer than anticipated.

    County officials turned the water back on Monday afternoon, but the pool remained in "reflection mode."

    Meanwhile, the county said they will be looking at long-term solutions to the problem with the jets. Until then, the jets will be turned on in hour-long intervals three times a day.

    Residents who headed to the park to find some escape from the heat Monday were disappointed.

    Dawn Johnson of Mira Mesa said the park was great but, "It'll be even better when the water's working."

    Rafael Luis of El Cajon said his plan was to head west with the kids and find some water to stay cool.

    “We’re like, it’s hot, let’s go,” Luis said. “ We get here and nice park, really nice park. No water, but it’s okay. It’s the first few days, so you know they got to work out the kinks.”

    Thousands of locals flocked to the grand opening event on Saturday to check out the playground, shaded benches, gardens and interactive fountain.

    Melissa Maher of Point Loma said the park is a great addition but needs some fine tuning.

    “I’m a little bit concerned about the slickness of the slides with no padding or anything underneath,” Maher said. “Also with the no shading, means the slides are going to be really, really hot.”

    The new park spans 12 acres, eight of which used to be parking lots north and south of the Administration Center.

    To learn more about the park, visit the County of San Diego website.