By Matt Lavelle
The state of California has been suffering through a drought that has forced counties through out the state to cut back on water usage.
In Santa Clarita things like washing your car in the driveway with a hose that doesn’t have a shutoff nozzle, serving of drinking water other than upon request and using potable water in decorative water features that do not re-circulate the water have been banned to help lessen the drought.
Breaking any of such prohibited actions would lead to up to a $500 fine for each day where a violation of the policy occurs.
Santa Clarita contains a popular tourist attraction, Six Flags Magic Mountain. This roller coaster and water park that sits atop a hill and flashes its large rides to the coming crowds as they peer up into the sky at the monumental drops and loops.
During the summertime, although, the other half of the theme park becomes the more visited attraction. Hurricane Harbor, a water park frolicking with water slides and large pools of water sits just next to the roller coaster side of the park.
The California heat prompt many people to visit the park every day, meaning that these water rides run constantly all day long.
“Everything goes through the filters and is reused,” said head of the Communications department Sue Carpenter. If all the water is being reused, no water is being wasted. “It always depends on the weather, if its going to be 50 degrees and rainy we’ll cut back,” said Carpenter; showing that the park is watching and being responsible for their water usage when coming to needed output.
Outside of Hurricane Harbor, there are few major water sources inside of the Magic Mountain side of the park. Magic Mountain has three water rides: Jet Stream, Roaring Rapids and Tidal Wave. “Our water rides will close at 5 p.m. because people stop going on them as it gets colder,” said Carpenter.
Closing rides early not only eliminates excessive spillage of water but also saves water by draining it back into the holding tanks before the still sitting water evaporates enough overtime to require new water to be put into the ride.
Magic Mountain also has other sites that run water that are not rides. The center piece of the park, Valencia Falls, which is the fountain that sits in the front for all to see as they first enter the park. “The fountains, waterfall, and misters are turned off after closing,” said Human Resources Supervisor Jesse Cardinaels.
The fountain also uses a newly implemented re-circulating drains that keep the same water flowing through the spouts of the fountain. The iconic fountain is the newest addition to the water saving list in the park.
Along with the water saving improvements to the rides and attractions, the bathrooms in the park have been fitted to be water friendly as well. “All restrooms have low flow toilets and urinals,” said Carpenter.
This alone is saving water at a massive rate in the park. This is a decision that a lot of companies and areas are putting into place, and has seen it work in tremendous effect.
At times during the park hours the water rides inside of Magic Mountain will be closed and drained. Especially during the colder parts of the year.
The water rides wont be running so that the park can put it’s employees into position in places that are busy, instead of sitting at a water ride that isn’t attracting attention.
“We will always close water rides, at least two of the three at a time,” said Carpenter.
This allows for the park to successful run as a business while also keeping up doing its part to save water during the drought.
As the average resident usages about 70% of their water on outdoor usage, with 50% of it being wasted, it is crucial that big companies in the area continue to conserve water to further the community effort to end the drought.
The park itself has changed over the years. Changes ranging from adding new rides to adding shops has seen things disappear through he years.
What some people don’t know is, when the park opened in 1971 there was a lake called Whitewater Lake, later renamed to Mystic Lake. This enormous amount of water consumed most of the park in its early stages was removed in favor of more coasters and Hurricane Harbor.
“If we continue to do what we do and conserve, we will continue to be a leader in this industry,” said Carpenter.