Newly opened Calgary water park closed by Alberta Health Services

Outdoor water park ordered closed by Alberta Health Services
WATCH: Several parents are expressing concern over the safety of a wading pool in northeast Calgary. Jill Croteau reports.

UPDATE: Prairie Winds Park water park reopens after concrete caused ‘scrapes, cuts and puncture wounds’

Calgary’s Prairie Winds Park has been a popular spot for families to cool off since it opened last week, but the wading pool was shut down by Alberta Health Services (AHS) on Monday amid complaints from the public.

AHS said the pool was closed because of a faulty chlorine controller. According to AHS, the water is not continually being disinfected, which poses a health and safety risk to pool users.

The closure comes in light of several complaints from users, particularly parents, who say their children’s hands and feet were “sliced” and “cut” in the pool.

Prairie winds foot injuries
A concerned parent submitted this photo after they said their child’s feet were injured at Calgary’s Prairie Winds Park wading pool. Kimberley Forrest

“On Wednesday we were at Prairie Winds Park, it was day 2 of it being open and we were excited to go,” pool user Christy Marsh said. “We were there shortly after lunch and the kids were swimming for about 45 minutes and then they came out screaming and crying because they had cut their fingers and their toes.”

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“My concern is that it’s the same water and there’s people bleeding. If all three of my kids are bleeding, and there’s other people bleeding into the same water that’s open for the public, that bothers me some.”

Prairie Winds Park had a delayed opening last July and was even closed briefly this summer.

According to online blog Calgary Playground Review, the most recent closure was due to a hazard caused by the underwater grates in the lazy river feature.

Prairie Winds park
The grates and floor area at the Prairie Winds water park.

Marsh said that when she went to the office at Prairie Winds, the staff were aware of issues in the lazy river, but there was no signage to warn swimmers of the dangers. The city did not respond to a Global News request related to the lazy river concerns.

When pressed by Global News, AHS released a second statement related to the reported injuries, saying they’d received a referral from Health Link on July 28.

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“An inspection concluded that some portions of the concrete in the lazy river area were not properly sanded,” AHS said.

“As such, it is possible that when people would drag their feet or legs across the concrete, it would leave abrasions.”

AHS deferred to the City of Calgary for any further comments or questions.

The city did not have a spokesperson available for an interview Monday.

“We are working with our contractor to investigate the cause of the rough basin in the pool,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to Global News.