County of San Diego testing splash pads and water parks for safety

Posted at 12:31 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 21:31:40-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)--The County of San Diego is taking steps to make sure splash pads and water parks are safe from any dangerous bacteria like the type affecting an Arizona man who visited a splash pad.

Glendale resident Jonathan Daggett, 29, may have contracted flesh-eating bacteria two days after he went to a splash pad.  He began feeling nauseated and the some of his skin peeled off his body.

Dr. Frank LoVecchio said it's not certain that Daggett contracted the bacteria from the splash pad but shared that as temperatures rise in the summertime, so too does bacterial growth. 

RELATED: Man says he contracted 'flesh-eating bacteria' after visiting Arizona splash pad

10News asked the County of San Diego about water safety at nearby splash pads, including the popular Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway.

Here's what we found out: 

  • Splash pads are considered public pools under California law 
  • The Department of Environmental Health inspects public pools 1-2 times per year
  • State regulations require public pools be continuously chemically disinfected
  • State regulations also specify levels of disinfectant concentration when a public pool is in use

RELATED: Beat the heat at San Diego's splash-tastic water parks

"The Waterfront Park additionally has ultraviolet light disinfection system, which functions to inactivate contaminants like bacteria and viruses," county program manager Alex Bell told 10News. "The quality of the water at the [park] is monitored by both an automated system and by Certified Pool Operators who test the water four times per day to ensure that the water remains clean and free of bacteria."

Bell said the county's two other splash pads, Hilton Head and Eastview, are monitored similarly and are being tested daily.  

Another popular location, the sprayground at Santee Lakes is managed by the Padre Dam Municipal Water District. A spokesperson told 10 News they filter the water similarly to a public pool. Depending on the amount of people using the facility, they said they test the water up to eight times a day. They have had no reports of any illnesses.

Sandy Coronilla is a KGTV digital producer. Follow her @10NewsSandy