By Breanna Walton, Army Flier StaffApril 29, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Sliding down the double flume water slide, playing in the spray park with its 13 water features and eating lunch at Tiki Bay are a few signs that summer has arrived at Fort Rucker.
The opening of Splash! Pool and West Beach April 30 for the summer season provides children and parents a way to cool down from the south Alabama heat and humidity.
"We welcome everyone to our facilities and we hope they have a phenomenal time," said Jon Cole, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation aquatics manager.
The Splash! Pool and spray park general hours are seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The full facility, meaning Splash! Pool and spray park, is open weekends only April 30 to June 12, daily June 13 to Aug. 12 and weekends only Aug. 14 to Oct. 2.
Additionally, the spray park is open weekdays April 30 to June 12 and weekdays Aug. 14 to Oct. 2 from 1-5 p.m.
A season-opening pool party is Saturday with live entertainment from noon to 4 p.m. The Memorial Day pool party is May 30, the Independence Day pool party is July 2 and the Labor Day pool party is Sept. 5.
There is a fee charged for entering Splash! Pool. Children ages 2 and under are free, ages 3-12 are $1.50, ages 13-17 are $2.25, and ages 18 and up are $3.
Season passes are also available for Splash! Pool and are prorated throughout the summer. Season passes are sold at both physical fitness facilities, leisure travel, outdoor recreation and Splash! The prices are as follows: a one person season pass is $50, a two-person pass is $80, a three-person Family pass is $110, a four-person family pass is $140 and $25 for each additional member.
As a returning patron or first timer, there are a few rules and regulations everyone should keep in mind.
The pool is open to active duty military, dependents, Department of Defense civilians and contractors and their guests.
Children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. If a child cannot stand or swim a parent or guardian must be within one arm's length of the child at all times.
"The lifeguard's primary responsibility is to prevent incidents," Cole said. "They are going to respond to incidents, but prevention is the key."
Cole also requested that patrons honor the other rules beyond the basic pool rules.
Food and drinks are not allowed within 10 feet of the pool - they are restricted to the upper deck. Only individuals can slide down a slide - no double sliding - and there is a 3 1/2-foot height requirement for the slides. There is no running or horse play allowed in the spray park.
Lastly, Cole wants to encourage parents and children to be aware of recreational waterborne illnesses.
"This is one of the biggest problems we face," Cole said. "RWIs are from fecal contaminations. This goes back to showering before entering the pool and using the restroom on a regular basis."
Cole encourages everyone to shower before entering the pool, take young children to the bathroom every 30 minutes and suggests that people who are ill or have an upset stomach to stay at home.
West Beach at Lake Tholocco opens the same weekend as the Splash! Pool and has multiple features for Families and individuals looking for a place to relax or have fun.
West Beach has a swimming area with dock, a 70-foot long double flume water slide, a water trampoline, small slides, a spray pad and a sandy beach area.
The facility is open normal hours April 30 to June 11, weekends only May 28 to June 12, normal hours June 13 to Aug. 12 and weekends only Aug. 12 to Sept. 5.
"We also want to remind everyone that it is hot outside, so drink plenty of fluids and wear sun block," Cole said. "Also, follow general water safety advice."
For more information on Splash! or West Beach, call 255-2296 or 255-4305; or visit www.ftruckermwr.com or www.poolsafely.gov.