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Water rides are in plans despite drought

Mason Pruden of Fort Mill makes a splash in Boomerang Bay at Carowinds in this file photo. The waterpark operates on well water and should not be affected by the drought when it reopens in May, park officials say.
Mason Pruden of Fort Mill makes a splash in Boomerang Bay at Carowinds in this file photo. The waterpark operates on well water and should not be affected by the drought when it reopens in May, park officials say.

FORT MILL -- Water rides at Carowinds won't be affected by the ongoing drought when the park reopens in March, a park spokesman said Thursday.

Officials in Georgia are discussing whether similar rides at Six Flags Over Georgia will be shut down when the park opens for the season in March, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday.

Carowinds has two of the three rides in question, spokesman Scott Anderson said.

One is White Water Falls, where riders are in a large boat that drops down a 50-foot waterfall. The other is Rip Roarin' Rapids, a rafting adventure ride.

Anderson said the rides have retention ponds and run off well water, so they wouldn't be affected by water restrictions.

Carowinds, which straddles the North Carolina and South Carolina state lines, is in the process of expanding Boomerang Bay water park, which will open in May. A 600,000-gallon wave pool is being added.

Anderson said it's too soon to tell whether the drought will affect Boomerang Bay.

"We're not really in the position to make that decision yet because we are four months from opening the water park," he said. "I think it's something we will decide on ... more like a month out."

Boomerang Bay operates on water from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities.

Cam Coley, spokesman for the utilities department, agreed with Anderson.

Coley said utilities officials are meeting with major water users to discuss ways they can conserve water. Carowinds, while not a top 10 user, is on the list of major customers.

The water park includes a 700,000-gallon wave pool, a 300,000-gallon lagoon, a lazy river, five water slides and various other water activities.

The main park at Carowinds opens March 21. Boomerang Bay is scheduled to open May 24.

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