The Ashland Parks and Recreation Department will pave over the wading pool at the Daniel Meyer Pool because of health concerns about fecal contamination.
The shallow wading pool for toddlers and young children shares a circulation system with the main pool, parks staff said.
Health regulations require that wading pools have higher levels of sanitizer since they are more often used by babies in diapers and toddlers who aren't potty-trained.
After a 2013 visit by Jackson County health inspectors, the wading pool was temporarily shut down because sanitizer levels were too low. The main pool passed the inspection, parks staff said.
The wading pool is at the tail end of the facility's water circulation system. By the time water with chlorine reaches the wading pool, chlorine levels have often dropped too low to meet standards, said Parks Recreation Coordinator Lonny Flora.
In order for the wading pool to have enough chlorine, more would have to be added to the main pool, which could potentially lead to too much chlorine in the main pool, Flora said.
Building a separate circulation system for the wading pool would have cost an estimated $30,000 to $50,000, he said.
Paving over the wading pool instead will cost about $3,000, parks staff estimated.
The paved area can be used for additional seating and birthday parties, staff said.
Babies and young children who are not potty-trained must wear swimming diapers at the pool.
If fecal matter does contaminate the pool, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires additional sanitizer and the barring of the public from the contaminated water for up to 30 hours, according to parks staff.
Flora said it's unfortunate that parents will no longer be able to take their young children to the wading pool, but they can use the main pool or the spray area at Garfield Park.
The spray area is popular with toddlers and young children, who can also play on a nearby jungle gym at the park.
The Daniel Meyer Pool season runs from mid-June through Labor Day.