My family always enjoy spending time at water parks. We have been fortunate to visit quite a few over the years, but recently, at KeyLime Cove in Gurnee, Ill., we had an experience we've never had before: we went behind the scenes and saw how the water park works its magic. (Well, it's actually more like science than magic, but you know what I mean.)
The free tours – offered on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. – first became available last spring and have been becoming increasingly more popular ever since. There were about 20 people, including kids of all ages, on our tour.
The tour lasts about 25 minutes – the perfect amount of time for kids' attention spans – and starts in the water park but then moves into the pump room.
Chief engineer Robert Williams is the ecological expert at KeyLime Cove and the tour guide. He oversees a purification program to produce safe, swim-able water.
Williams is friendly and full of fun factoids.
The pH value of the water park's water, for example, is the same as a human teardrop. The water park uses 420,120 gallons of water per minutes. When dyed blond hair turns greenish in pools it's not because of the chlorine, rather the copper in the pipes.
He also lets the kids turn on the water valves – aka "turn on the water park" – for the day. This was a total crowd-pleaser.
Interestingly, KeyLime Cove uses ozone sanitation technology – and therefore less chlorine – to keep the water clean and clear. Ozone is 200 times stronger than chlorine but has no effect on skin or hair. Plus, ozone is a highly effective sanitizer against Cryptosporidium, E. coli and Salmonella.
"Ozone destroys 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses, spores, fungus and mold," says Williams.
We found the tour added an educational element to our trip, which is always appreciated. It's important kids continue to ask the hows and whys of life otherwise they grow up to be grown up who don't ask the hows and whys of life.
Best of all, we found KeyLime Cove to be extremely convenient. It's contained in one building and yet still features five slides ranging in thrill level which will appeal to kids of all ages – as well as grown ups. And the short, 40-minute car ride from Milwaukee is gold.
Be sure to stop off at the Mars Cheese Castle on the way for interplanetary dining. Or at the very least, a bag of curds.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Molly Snyder
Published July 29, 2014
OnMilwaukee.com recently stopped into Little Whiskey Bar, 309 W. National Ave., and talked to Samantha Schreier about Milwaukee, shopping at Woodman's, dinosaurs and more.
Published July 28, 2014
Partcularly on a sunny afternoon, it's pretty incredible how many people stop for a selfie or to snap a shot of their pal with America's favorite shark jumper.
Published July 27, 2014
Milwaukee Water Commons will host it's first event, "We Are Water," as a way to culminate its one-year anniversary and to get community members literally and figuratively closer to the lake. The event will take place on Sunday, Aug. 3 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on the north end of Bradford Beach.
Published July 27, 2014
Because Chula Vista is located three miles from "the strip," it has the most rural setting for a water park. For some, this is the main appeal of the resort which means something akin to "beautiful view" in Spanish.
Published July 26, 2014
Four years ago, Jamie Rand read OnMilwaukee.com's "100 Things To Do in Milwaukee" article. Inspired, Rand decided she would complete all of the items on the list and, in doing so, found Brew City places she never knew existed. She also found the love of her life.
Published July 24, 2014
I had the chance to get behind the scenes of "Phantom Of The Opera" today to check out the famous, one-ton chandelier - created by Howard Eaton who designed the five fiery Olympic rings seen at the 2012 London opening - as well as a few of the props and costumes.
Published July 24, 2014
The Rebirth Brass Band will perform on Friday night at Cedarburg's Summer Sounds series. The free concert takes place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. in Cedar Creek Park. Recently, OnMilwaukee.com chatted with trumpet player Chadrick Honore, who at 27 is the youngest player in the band.
Published July 23, 2014
At 11 a.m. today, Mayor Tom Barrett - along with a group of city officials, designers, organizers and citizens - cut the ribbon on the new swings at the Marsupial Bridge.
Published July 21, 2014
Alissa Gonyea, a Milwaukee Public Schools teacher, planned to have a lesiurely summer that included travel and camping adventures with her son and nephew. Instead, she is taking care of four baby raccoons.
Published July 20, 2014
Festa Italiana ends today, and German Fest is up next. In preparation for next weekend's festival of all things German, OnMilwaukee.com chats with Klaus Fromme, who has been the executive director and president of German Fest since 1981.