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 Oct. 30, 2014
Maritza Paz owns two restaurants, both called Chef Paz, but located 4,000 miles apart with one in Peru and the other in West Allis at 9039 W. National Ave.
Published Oct. 29, 2014
After nearly 10 years of more or less being off the radar with only the occasional stand-up gig, comedian Dave Chappelle decided to embark on an earnest comeback tour and many presumed - although some questioned if - he could bring it back.
Published Oct. 27, 2014
For part of September, Mr. Webo's Mexican restaurant, 2301 S. Howell Ave., had irregular hours. Then a sign appeared on the door saying it was closed for remodeling. Now the signs are off the building, there's paper on the windows and rumors of eviction.
Published Oct. 26, 2014
In 2002, Mitchell Wakefield opened Tess with a business partner, 2499 N. Bartlett Ave. Today, Wakefield owns the restaurant with his wife, Ashley. Inspired by a friend with Celiac disease, Wakefield developed a menu at Tess that is 75 percent gluten-free.
Published Oct. 25, 2014
In 1941, John P. Kallas started Kallas Honey, a local business that will soon turn 75. The company launched in the Kallas' Glendale home and later moved to a larger facility, also in Glendale. In 1999, Kallas Honey moved to its current facility at 5500 W. Douglas Ave.
Published Oct. 24, 2014
In May, Omar Amin - along with cousin and business partner Alaa Musa - opened BB's, 633 W. Wisconsin Ave. "BB's" stands for "build a breakfast" and "build a burger." Build-your-own smoothies and milkshakes are also available.
Published Oct. 22, 2014
Many Milwaukeeans who grew up in the `60s, `70s and `80s remember the Kooky Cooky House - an electronic gingerbread cookie factory that featured dozens of moving parts - that was located in the now defunct Capitol Court Mall. This year, an updated Kooky Cooky House returns to Discovery World.
Published Oct. 21, 2014
Milwaukee music venue Shank Hall will celebrate 25 years in business in November. For this latest segment of Milwaukee Talks, OnMilwaukee.com sits down with owner Peter Jest to hear about the best shows of the past 2 1/2 decades, the fire that almost destroyed the music room, the role Spinal Tap played in it all and much more.
Published Oct. 19, 2014
Kevin Spencer is well aware of the backlash that can happen from calling oneself a magician or an illusionist. Spencer - along with his wife, Linda - brings "Spencers: Theatre of Illusion" to the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. The show is a mix of theater, rock concert and magic.
Published Oct. 19, 2014
What started out as a hobby for Laron Taylor is now a demanding full time job. His small business, Lai Lida Cookies, is doing better than ever and Taylor says he will soon offer bake-at-home cookie dough, too.