Filtration problem puts brand new Franklin Park water feature on the fritz

Children at Franklin Park looked in through the plastic barrier at the water feature drainage area, clogged with leaves and sticks.

Families who waited all last year to have access to Franklin Park’s renovated play area are having to wait a little longer to enjoy one of the park’s signature features.

The water feature at the center of the park’s new natural play area — a mini-stream that runs under a series of log bridges — has been turned off indefinitely while Prairie Village Public Works tries to get to the bottom of a design flaw.

Though it functioned during the park rededication ceremony May 21, the water feature worked only sporadically after it was turned on at the start of the season, eventually leading the Public Works department to shut it off for good and put up a plastic orange barrier around the drain area.

The issue, says Public Works Director Bruce McNabb, is the feature’s filtration system.

“There were sticks and sand getting into the system,” he said. “The filter should be working on its own, but we were having to go in there and remove things manually.”

McNabb said the contractor who worked on the park had built the system up to specifications, meaning the problem is with the water feature’s design.

Though McNabb said he couldn’t put a target date on having the feature back up and running, he was optimistic that the water would be flowing again later this summer.