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Wolf recycles 98% of its water
Residents concerned about drought, adding resort
A Great Wolf Resort indoor water park. - photo by Photo Contributed

It will take roughly 300,000 gallons of water to fill the water park portion of the proposed Manteca Great Wolf Resort.

But once it is filled, city officials noted systems in a massive sub-basement that the indoor water park resort has as part of its design has equipment that recycles 98 percent of the water.

“The only water that is lost is what the guests take on them when they leave the water park (portion of the resort),” noted Manteca City Manager Karen McLaughlin.

In light of the current water emergency, several residents have raised concerns about the impacts Great Wolf could have on municipal, water supplies if the drought continues into future years. Concerns also have been raised about the city creating a nearby recreation lake along with 10 soccer and mufti-use playing fields.

McLaughlin inspected Great Wolf’s water recycling system when she toured the Grand Mound Resort in Washington two years ago.

“They don’t waste a drop,” McLaughlin said of water. “They even recycle the water they use to do the laundry.”

McLaughlin added that she was impressed that you couldn’t even detect a chlorine smell.

Much like modern-day car washes, indoor water resorts have a pressing need to recycle water to contain costs. If they didn’t operational costs would become prohibitive given the price of treated drinking water. Car washes such as the new Clear Drop on the corner of Cottage and Yosemite avenues in Manteca also have a 98 percent recycling rate for the water they use to clean each vehicle.

Environmental documents for the envisioned 500-room resort and 85,000-square-foot indoor water park that also will have a conference center will be circulating for public review in about two weeks. The City Council is expected to make a final decision this summer. If they bless the proposal, the earliest the Great Wolf could open would be in 2017.

“My understanding is the water use for the Great Wolf with the indoor water park would be no different than a 500-room Hilton Hotel with outdoor and indoor swimming pools,” McLaughlin said.

The 300,000 gallon figure for the Manteca Great Wolf is an estimate based on a similar resort the company operates in Williamsburg, Va. That resort has a 10 percent smaller indoor water park at 79,000-square-foot indoor water park that uses 300,000 gallons. The Williamsburg location has 404 guest rooms.

As a comparison the one-time use of 300,000 gallons to fill the indoor water park is just under one-tenth of one percent of the 296 million gallons of water Manteca’s 72,000 residents, businesses, and municipal parks used in March.

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Family Entertainment Zone water use

McLaughlin said the city is looking at having artificial turf on perhaps one or two of the 10 proposed playing fields that are part of the proposed family entertainment zone directly across from the future extension of Daniels Street from the Great Wolf site that’s west of Costco on 30 acres owned by the city.

The nearby Big League Dreams sports complex has an indoor soccer field that uses artificial turf.

The envisioned lake is being designed to double as a storm basin. The bulk of the water to fill it, though, will likely come from the high water table in the area where in some spots you tap into water at five feet below the surface. 

Construction crews installing pipes in the area of southwest Manteca have to de-water trenches and pump the water into storm drains in a bid to dry out areas so they can lay pipe.

“The water at that high level isn’t potable,” McLaughlin said.

The city envisions some water recreation on the lake such as paddle boats.

McLaughlin noted the FEZ portion of the project that includes the lake and playing fields “is farther into the future” than the Great Wolf project.

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Resort would create 570 jobs, $9.4M annual payroll

McWhinney Development is pursuing a 290,000-square-foot hotel with 500 rooms – with a possible future expansion of 200 rooms – along with an 85,000-square-foot indoor water park and a 20,000-square-foot conference center. A possible expansion would add 79,000 square feet to the water park and double the size of the conference center.

Great Wolf promises to create 414 permanent jobs and 156 part-time jobs in Manteca with an annual payroll of $9.4 million and the overflow spending of 400,000 yearly visitors.