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‘Splash Pads’ to resume in San Marcos

SAN MARCOS — The “on” switch is being flipped on the water features of five San Marcos Parks after two years of being turned off due to drought.

San Marcos announced this week that the “splash pads” at Sunset, San Elijo, Buelow, Mulberry and Discovery Lake parks will be turned on from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting Friday and through Sept. 30.

City officials credited the change of heart to easing drought conditions and the city’s water conservation efforts.

“Thanks to continued water saving efforts this past year both in San Marcos and regionally, we are pleased to announce that one of our most popular summer attractions is returning,” City Manager Jack Griffin said.

The city shut down the water features at the five parks in July 2014, when searing heat and record shortfalls of rain pushed California into one of the worst water shortages on record.

At the time, city officials said the shutdown would save the city between 8,100 and 12,150 gallons of water per day.

San Marcos was not alone, as a number of cities in San Diego County shut down the popular splash pads to save water.

The city will continue other water conservation efforts, including reduced irrigation schedules, conversion of conventional sprinkler spray heads with high efficiency sprinkler heads, the installation of drip irrigation, the use of native and/or drought tolerant plants in new or rehabilitated public space landscaping, retrofitting of city buildings with low-flow water fixtures, and the conducting of landscape irrigation audits, according to a city release.