The petition that recently launched in effort to halt the
1,000-foot massive Slip 'N Slide that could descend on San Francisco come July has gained a little bit of high, forcibly dry ground, with the addition of 300 more signatures in the past several hours. Petitioners, who now number in the 700s, are crying foul over the use of California water during the drought, holding forth in all caps, telling the Utah-based organizer, Slide the City, to "go back East" (?) and throwing jabs like, "Only if they bring the water from Utah!"
We caught up with Slide the City spokesman Ryan Johnson, who broke down the numbers for us. A day of sliding would use between 13,000 and 15,000 gallons of water—about one-twentieth of what an average golf course goes through in a day, as Johnson told SF Weekly—and Slide the City would be able to recover somewhere between 10,000 and 11,000 gallons of that for recycling, Johnson told us. Between 2,000 and 5,000 gallons do get lost, he explains, "because people are wet when they get off the slide." The water sliding off people's bodies is about equivalent to the amount of water it takes to produce between one and a half and two and a half pounds of beef.
Most of the water—two-thirds conservatively, four-fifths optimistically, by Johnson's rough estimate—would be pumped back into the trucks that bring the water in. Johnson says Slide the City has been working with San Francisco's water engineer on a plan, which is still being hammered out. "We could use it to water parks or it would go to the recycling plant in Daly City," says Johnson. The cost of recycling would fall to Slide the City, which is charging an admission price of between $15 and $55 (depending on the number of slides and the time of purchase).
After water is recycled, it's suitable for things like park irrigation, toilet flushing, and in decorative fountains, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
"We're very sensitive to the water situation in Northern California," says Johnson, adding that if his group can't arrive at a workable plan, "we'll forgo the event."
No location for the slide—which is still seeking a permit—has been set, but one possible location is Pine Street, in the Financial District, says Johnson. "We'd use some of the steep part of Pine, but it flattens out after that," he says. "We want it to be a safe slide."
· Killjoys Threaten Massive Urban Slip 'N Slide Over Drought [Curbed SF]
· Stop CALIFORNIA From Allowing A Giant Water Slide Through Major Cities During Statewide Drought [Care2]
· Local Killjoy Starts Petition to End Giant Waterslide, Says It's a Giant Waste of Water [SF Weekly]
· Virtual Water, Real Impacts [EPA Blog]
· Recycled Water [SFPUC]