Richland is still waiting on state approval for a 1,000-foot slip-and-slide to temporarily be set up on Lee Boulevard.
“They’ve asked for additional material two or three times now,” Justin Brown, Richland recreation coordinator, said of the state Department of Health.
Richland announced July 9 that the Slide the City event, which had been scheduled for July 25, would be pushed back into an undetermined day in August because it had not received necessary state permits.
The Richland event would have been the first in Washington state. Similar events in Spokane and Seattle were also postponed.
“When one event gets approved, all of them get approved,” Brown said.
The health department had actually asked for information from Slide the City’s office in Orem, Utah, in February, and did not get a plan back until July 7, department spokesman Marqise Allen said.
The state had several questions for Slide the City after getting the plans. They were detailed in a July 9 letter from Paul J. Reeves with the health department’s water recreation program to Kerm Jackson with Slide the City.
The state had a problem with the application’s request to have a lane for group sliding, along with two lanes for individuals. Reeve wrote that previous discussions revolved around having single sliders, spaced at 100-foot intervals.
“This goes back to us trying to prevent as many slips, trips and, especially, collisions, as possible,” Allen told the Herald.
Group sliding has been allowed at Slide the City events in other states and is done safely, said Rachel Thomas, Slide the City’s coordinator for the Richland event.
The chlorine injection system proposed for the slide also does not appear to have adequate capacity, Reeve wrote. He asked whether there will be enough sanitizer in the water.
“As you know, exposure to air and sun degrades chlorine very rapidly,” Reeve told Jackson. “Due to design, essentially all of this water will be directly exposed to the atmosphere.”
The state also is concerned about how the water would be treated, Allen said. It is designed to be fed by fire hydrants and then held in a containment basin after it is used, before being treated and, ultimately, put back in the Columbia River.
“We haven’t seen their plan on how they want to neutralize the chlorine in the water,” he said.
Slide the City is preparing a response and “absolutely” plans to address the health department’s questions, Thomas said.
Slide the City had scheduled events in 175 cities across the United States and Canada this summer. Thomas said regulators’ concerns vary.
“There are different requirements everywhere we go,” she said.
Tickets for the event had yet to go on sale when it was postponed, Thomas said. Slide the City is still hoping to have it in August.