Earlier today, “Ashvegas” reported that Slide the City, a nationally touring slip-and-slide event scheduled to come to Asheville May. 23, has been canceled. This left plenty of Ashevilleans, who had initially expressed much excitement for the event, both disappointed and angry.
The article contained an email from Jim Hayes, from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, to Slide the City’s Brad Behle, which stated the slip-and-slide company’s current set-up is unable to meet North Carolina swimming pool regulations.
However, when Hayes spoke with Xpress, he stated that the problem the state has with Slide the City is that the slide includes a landing pool, which circulates and filters water — and is therefore classified as a temporary-yet-standardized public pool, subjected to rules and regulations for pools set forth by the state.
“The problem we are having with the state health department is that … we are considered a pool,” says Slide the City organizer Behle. “To [operate] a pool, you need a deck and bathhouse.”
But, he continues, “we’re a one-day event, not a permanent pool fixture, and it’s difficult to provide such things for a slip-and-slide.”
Hayes adds, “They have the option to operate the slide without the pool and use a recirculation tank to clean the water to return to the slide.” But so far, the company has “not submitted any plans for doing that. This department is in communication with the organizers [as they] to try to get a plan in place that will meet the minimum health and safety requirements for the slide to operate.”
While it certainly seems like there are a few hiccups in the organizers’ plans, Behle says, “We’re doing our best to come up with a plan to specifically meet the N.C. code. It’s new to us, as all the other states we’ve been in, we were completely up to code with our current system. N.C. is a different story.
“We’re hoping to have something figured out shortly and are working closely with the state to meet their requirements. We submitted several plans that still have not been to their liking,” he continues. “We’ll keep trying until the event is a go in Asheville!”
So, Asheville (and the eight other cities in N.C. with scheduled events), don’t put away your super-soakers and blow-up floats yet — there may be hope yet.