Seven Peaks

Workers prepare Seven Peaks Waterpark Duneland for opening back in 2015.

Parents shouldn't have to worry about their children's safety when using a supposedly regulated water park facility.

Unfortunately, reports have surfaced that a number of children recently suffered chemical burns from chlorine recently during a day that was supposed to be all about fun.

It happened at Seven Peaks Waterpark Duneland in Porter, a facility that Porter County Health Department officials said opened for the season last Thursday.

The park is now shut down — as a result of the chemical burn reports — until it can pass proper permitting inspections.

The pressing question is what kind of oversight, or lack thereof, was in place to allow the park to open without proper inspections and permits in the first place?

Porter County Health Department administrator Keith Letta told The Times Monday the park opened without the requisite permits, inspections and water sampling required by law.

Owners of the water park have not responded to Times inquiries into the matter.

After receiving complaints about the chemical burns, inspectors visited the water park and found several violations, Letta said. In particular, Letta said the park opened without a chlorine feeder in place, meaning staff were chlorinating the water manually.

And when chlorine is administered manually, it's difficult to get the levels correct, Letta explained.

"Kids have needed medical attention because of chemical burns," Letta said.

"They have been closed until further notice," Letta added later in The Times interview. "They will be closed until they can pass the inspection and get their equipment up and running."

The closure is clearly appropriate, but it shouldn't have taken a number of injured children to prompt it.

The health department should dive deep into an investigation on how this occurred — and more importantly how it can be prevented in the future.

Region residents deserve — and should be demanding — answers.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Assistant Local News Editor Crista Zivanovic and Regional News Editor Sharon Ross.