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Manteca stands by decision to turn off water play feature
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Manteca City Manager Karen McLaughlin’s decision to turn off the interactive water play feature at Library Park this year due to the drought isn’t popular with some folks.

Resident Riley Vinson appeared at last week’s council meeting urging the city turn the water feature on. He indicated it was his belief more kids were wasting water on hot days by turning on hoses in yards and playing with them.

McLaughlin said the city opted to turn off the play feature as part of the effort to meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s request that all Californians reduce water use by 20 percent as the state is in its third year of a severe drought.

McLaughlin said it wouldn’t be right for the city to waste water while asking residents to cutback.

Unlike some water play features such as the ones in Ripon and Lathrop, the water at Library Park is not recycled. Instead it goes directly into the storm drain.

Play features in Ripon and Lathrop recycle more than 90 percent of the water.

Manteca went with the system it did to save money up front as well as to reduce ongoing maintenance costs. Water play features that recycling water typically cost twice as much to build and have significant ongoing expenses related to water testing and making sure recycled water meets health department standards.