March 26 • 04:39 PM

Water park springs a leak!

Mill Race at Dryden's General Squier Park re-opens

Jenna Ptak, 5, and Maddie Adamick, 4, both of Almont, cool off on a log in the wading pool at the Mill Race Water Park in Dryden. Maddie’s Mom Katie brought the girls to the park to enjoy Monday’s summery weather. photo by Catherine Minolli.

July 08, 2009
DRYDEN — While the entire area was being drenched in a torrent rain a couple of weeks ago, the Mill Race Water Park pool actually lost water.

The day after the downpour, parks officials noticed that the pool was down about four inches. Try as they might, they could not keep water in the pool, Lapeer County Parks Director Ken Elwart says, which forced the closing of the park during some of the hottest days of the summer season so far.

On Thursday, July 2 the park officially re-opened in time for the soggy, 60-ish degree temps.

"We spent the past week and a half trying to identify where the leak was," Elwart chuckles.

That's not a simple task. Prior to cutting up the concrete decking around the pool, Elwart called in pool experts in an attempt to avoid a major de-construction.

"They come in with listening devices and it's always a 50-50 chance that it will work, and in this case it didn't help much," Elwart says. "We ended up digging out the sides of the pool on both sides."

Elwart says park workers painstakingly tore up about 500 square feet of concrete before finding the leak.

"It was a pretty significant leak," Elwart explains, citing a split 't-joint' as the problem.

The leak was so significant, he adds, that when workers cut the concrete above to look for a leak, the surrounding cement caved in as everything underneath it was washed out.

"It was clearly the leaky area and we fixed the problem," Elwart grins.

He credits the work crew for their diligence, citing that the task before them wasn't pleasant or easy.

"There is no good answer for finding a leak under concrete," he says. "My compliments to the crew. They put in extra time doing rough work cutting concrete and using jackhammers."

The pool was back up and running in time for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Elwart says visitors enjoy the Mill Race Water Park because of it's "community-like" atmosphere.

"It's a smaller pool but there's plenty of room for 200 people," Elwart says. "The wading pool area works out really well for smaller kids, you can see your kids in there from just about anywhere in the park that you sit."

The wading pool is about three feet deep and features a miniature three step slide.

For the more adventursome, the main pool offers two large water slides that Elwart describes as "pretty intense." There's a minimum height requirement of 46 inches to use them.

The water park also features squirt guns, a mush room fountain, lily pads and floating logs to hang out on.

"We really encourage smaller kids to come out," Elwart says.

The Mill Race Water Park is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week, weather permitting. Admission is by cash or check only.

A special 10 visit pass offering what Elwart describes as a "substantial discount" is also available to Lapeer County residents and may be purchased at the water park.

For more information visit or call the park hotline at 810-667-0304.

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