A water pump at a public sandbox so children could build sandcastles didn’t exactly pan out the way it was supposed to, so a San Juan Capistrano city commission has ordered it removed.
When Los Rios Park first opened in 2009, it featured a pump that spilled water right into the sandbox, said David Hubler, public works manager.
It’s been “somewhat of a maintenance headache to staff” ever since, he said.
Just as the park was opening, Southern California found itself in drought conditions, with severe warnings to cut back water use, said Community Services Manager Cynthia Alexander. So initially, the water wasn’t turned on.
Some enterprising adults, however, figured out how to get it to work, and over its less-than-five-year lifespan, the pump has needed various repairs and now replacement, which would cost $2,500, Alexander said.
So the San Juan Capistrano Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Commission considered last month what to do with the water feature.
It’s getting the ax.
“In all my hours in sandboxes they didn’t have water. They work just great without water,” said Commissioner Gerry Muir.
“It was probably an interpretation by an architect who thought he was adding something to the program … It’s not useless, but I don’t think it’s feasible,” said Commissioner Ronald Denman.
Commissioner Steve Behmerwohld said he liked the pump but agreed it wasn’t necessary.
“The kids had a blast with that thing. That being said, if the whole thing was taken out, I don’t think it would detract from the sandbox,” he said, acknowledging one kid’s blast is a city maintenance worker’s mess.