Inflatable splash park in Broken Arrow OK’d by city councilors


By John Dobberstein, Editor

Broken Arrow city councilors approved a special use permit Tuesday for a proposed water park on the city’s east side.

Splash Aqua Park Inflatables requested the permit to build the park on 170 acres at the northeast corner of New Orleans Street and County Line Road. The park will utilize the pond near the Jack Graves Outdoor Education Center.

The Broken Arrow Zoning Ordinance permits “general outdoor recreation” in A-1 districts, which includes water parks and slides, with a Specific Use Permit.

Splash Aqua Park has a similar operation in Wichita, Kan., but owner Stephen Hager says the Broken Arrow park will not be quite as large.

Up to 200 people are potentially out on the park per hour. The park is slated to open May 27 and would operate until September.

Anchors are screwed into the bottom of the pond to hold the inflatables in place, and at the end of the season the inflatables are removed, leaving the anchors in place with buoys to mark their location for installation upon the next season.

Additionally, the applicant says nearby Northeastern State University is supportive of the proposal and there is an agreement between them to allow the park to use NSU’s parking lot and accesses — providing a large amount of parking and two entries and exits.

Hager says all customers at the park must wear life vests, listen to a safety speech and lifeguards will be present.

He added that his company plans to make a donation, based on revenues, to the Boy Scouts for the use of the pond.

One question that came up among residents is the quality of water in the pond. Hager said the pond was dug, has a bedrock bottom and is only 12.5 to 13.5 feet deep with a bedrock bottom – it is not a coal pit. Hager is paying to have an aerator installed to improve water quality and added a company will be coming to further cleanup.

The pond will have to meet all county health department requirements and will be tested every month.

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