Folsom/El Dorado News

Folsom opens new water play areas after reaching reduction goal

Tatum Yarwood, 10, of Placerville stopped at the Livermore Community Park on Riley Street in Folsom with her brother and mother to beat the heat on Thursday. The city of Folsom announced on Thursday that it will open water play features at three Folsom parks in time for the upcoming hot holiday weekend. The water play areas use a minimal amount of recirculated and treated water, and offer an economical way to keep cool this summer.
Tatum Yarwood, 10, of Placerville stopped at the Livermore Community Park on Riley Street in Folsom with her brother and mother to beat the heat on Thursday. The city of Folsom announced on Thursday that it will open water play features at three Folsom parks in time for the upcoming hot holiday weekend. The water play areas use a minimal amount of recirculated and treated water, and offer an economical way to keep cool this summer. jvillegas@sacbee.com

The city of Folsom reopened water play areas at three public parks after exceeding state water reduction requirements for the month of June.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order in April required Folsom to decrease its water consumption by 32 percent from June 2014 to June 2015. The city’s water usage dropped 34 percent, which city communications manager Christine Brainerd said was especially impressive given unseasonably hot temperatures.

Water play areas were reopened at John Kemp Community Park, Livermore Community Park and Nisenan Community Park in Folsom. Parents like Stephanie Gray brought their children out to the parks to cool off from the summer heat in treated and recycled water.

“I wouldn’t have come here if the water wasn’t turned on,” said Gray, who was at Livermore Community Park with her 1-year-old son William. “There’s other parks we could have gone to.”

Gray and her friend Elizabeth Soucy both said they had cut back on water use since Brown’s executive order by watering their lawns less. If the park’s fountain hadn’t been turned back on, they said they would have cooled off their children with a hose or kiddie pool.

The city of Folsom cut back on watering in parks, reworked over 40 roadway medians with sustainable landscaping and installed drip irrigation systems to many city facilities, Brainerd said. It also introduced five financial rebate plans for citizens who practiced various water-saving behaviors, like replacing their lawns with drought-resistant plants.

“We heard feedback immediately from the public when we shut off water at the parks, that they’d really like to see the water on,” Brainerd said. “Now that we saw we can achieve our (reduction) goal, we want to give something back to the community.”

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