water fountain wedding_MG_7355
Local News

3. Water adds to the beauty of life in Homewood and Flossmoor

Angela and William Dunnett pose by the Irwin Park
fountain in Homewood, demonstrating another use
for the park district’s water resources: a beautiful
setting for marking special occasions.

(Provided photo by Thomas Photographic Services)

Cool, clear water.

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District offers a variety of ways for the community to enjoy the beauty and refreshment of water.

Lions Club Pool on Ridge Road is one of the park district’s summer delights. You can splash in the baby pool and swim in the full-sized pool from late May until Labor Day.

Doug Boehm, superintendent of parks and planning, said the pools use 350,000 gallons of water pulled over three to four days from a well on park district property.

The park district chemically treats the water and uses a process called back washing, a special filtering process to clean the water, Boehm said. It’s a way to preserve the water, rather than emptying the pools each time the water appears cloudy.

On hot days, it is estimated 1,000 people use the pool and showers at Lions Club Pool, Boehm said.

Young children love the Splash Pad at Millennium Park. It has a 1,000-gallon tank for Lake Michigan water and the system works to recycle the chemically treated water.

The H-F Racquet Club pool uses 58,000 gallons of Lake Michigan water. Weekend pool parties, Aquacize and Aqua Group fitness classes have a regular schedule and, of course, swim lessons are offered for moms and tots, kids and adults. 

The fountain at Irwin Park is there for the enjoyment of all who drive by, walk by or play by it.  The 1,200 gallons of Lake Michigan water shoots from the circular exterior to make arches that meet at the center as a jet of water shoots straight up.

Boehm said the fountain is turned on in April and gives delight to residents into early October.

The fountain is drained every 10 days and the interior is scrubbed down. The water is not chemically treated because the fountain is not intended for bathing or drinking.
At the H-F Ice Arena, crews melted the ice in July, made repairs and then used Lake Michigan water to lay down new ice in the big rink.

“We laid down as many as four layers per day for six days depending on outside temperatures. Increased humidity does not allow for rapid freezing of the ice, therefore more time is needed between applications. We use water provided by the village,” said Shon Washington, ice arena manager.

At Coyote Run Golf Course, a computerized irrigation system and a computerized pump station run sprinklers through the night, according to Dave Ward, superintendent of golf. The staff draws water from two wells that fill an irrigation lake “and then at night we pump out the lake,” he explained.

“We can apply 1,200 gallons a minute at 120 psi (pounds per square inch).  If you do the math, in our eight-hour water window — in mid-summer we irrigate at night from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. — we can potentially apply 576,000 gallons, though we never put down that much,” Ward said.

“If we water our 45 acres of fairways four-tenths of an inch, we apply about 300,000 gallons. In a typical year we will use from 12 to 15 million gallons,” he noted. 

The park district budgeted $84,000 for water expenses at its facilities in Homewood and Flossmoor and at Irons Oaks in Olympia Fields, said Renae Ross, superintendent of finance and administration.

Cheryl Nevels of Hazel Crest is a regular swimmer 
at Lions Club Pool in Homewood. Health issues 
make swimming the best form of exercise for 
her. “I love this pool,” she said. 

(Photo by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)


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