City of Marble Falls mulls impact of street water slide

Contributed/Urban Slide
Marble Falls city officials unveiled a preliminary assessment of the impact of a chamber-sponsored street water slide event, which could use from 80,000 to 100,000 gallons of water in a 12-hour period.

 

 

 

 

By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

Marble Falls city officials unveiled a preliminary assessment of the impact of a chamber-sponsored street water slide event, which could use from 80,000 to 100,000 gallons of water in a 12-hour period.

On Saturday, June 15, the three-lane Urban Slide will allow revelers to slide and coast on tubes along an 850-foot downhill slope on Third Street, starting at the intersection of Main Street downtown.

The Houston-based private company contracted with the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce to offer the for-profit event. City streets including a portion of Third and its intersections at Avenue J and K will be closed for the event. Barricades will end at Third Street and Avenue L.

The water slide party starts at 10 a.m. and runs until dark, ending with a laser light show.

City officials said they considered how the event could raise concerns for those “sensitive to water consumption.”

We were shocked that the water they used for this type of an event was so low,” Marble Falls Assistant Manager Caleb Kraenzel said. “It's an audaciously low number.”

Officials estimated the water used would be similar to what 16 single-family household units would use in one month.

It is a water event. Water events are great for any community especially in the summer time,” he said. “That was the first thing we analyzed.”

However, the sole way to calculate actual figures would be during the event, he added.

We're 'metering' the water for the event,” Kraenzel said. “After we know the actual consumption, we'll not only use that for an after action evaluation, we'll also use that amount to quantify the cost of the water use.”

Crews plan to control the flow of water after it exits the slide.

We're going to pipe it into the sewer system and send it to the wastewater plant to treat it and irrigate with it,” he said of the municipal irrigation site, just off Colt Circle. “It is a one-pass. The water goes through and gets passed to the end-collection point.”

Officials also mulled whether the event would impact the water plant, which was recently repaired and upgraded following damage from the October flood. The city is currently under stage 2 water conservation.

We're discussing possibly going to phase 1 on Friday (June 14),” he said of the less restrictive guidelines.

The city will also provide some safety features.

There will be a first-aid station on site . . . a command post,” he said. “If any resources need to come in, that's where they will link up.”

Ultimately, officials supported the event – which included awarding the chamber $10,000 in hotel/motel tax funds (HOT) funds – because such recreation could have “a positive impact on business.”

This (the HOT funding) is event specific. With it being a new event, we don't have any ticket sales or revenue to go on,” Kraenzel said. “Once we have those figures, we'll have an idea how self-sustaining the event would be.”

According to event promotions, riders must be at least five years old and more than 46 inches tall to use the slide. The rain-or-shine event will be canceled in the event of severe storms.

Sliders can register for two-hour “waves” of fun, purchase an all-day pass or cut the line with a Slide Fast Pass.

It seems to be relatively popular and pre-ticket sales have gone well,” Kraenzel said. “We're hoping it's economical and popular event.”

For more information and tickets, go to marblefalls.org/slide.

Find this story and more news in The Highlander, the newspaper of record for the Highland Lakes. To offer a comment or news tip, email connie@highlandernews.com.

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