116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The Wasserbahn Waterpark Resort in Williamsburg, with two pools, tube slides, a 160-gallon bucket dump, geysers and a floating log walk, has been a popular Interstate 80 destination for families since it opened in 2004.
But the water park, located in what is now the Ramada Williamsburg, was closed by the Iowa Department of Public Health in September 2013 after numerous ongoing violations related to poor water quality and hygiene.
Johnson County health inspectors, hired by the state to inspect Iowa County pools, found the Wasserbahn had inadequate chlorine, poor record keeping and broken equipment. Hotel staff also failed to return inspectors' phone calls and didn't submit regular water tests as required, inspections showed.
The hotel's previous owner, Young Kim, agreed Sept. 6, 2013, to close the water park until he could hire an experienced engineer to audit the water park's equipment and procedures and compare those with original design plans for the facility. The consent agreement also required Kim to hire a pool management company and submit regular water tests.
What's happened since
The state public health department granted the Wasserbahn permission to reopen July 17 after owners satisfied requirements for new equipment and cleanliness. Owners repaired ultraviolet sanitation systems, which use light rays to kill bacteria and viruses.
The pool management company comes in every week to verify water tests.
Yule and Sae Park bought the hotel and water park in July and moved from California to run the businesses.
'I think we can rejuvenate the life back here, bring more people and show we care,” Yule Park told KCRG-TV9 in August.
Johnson County Public Health inspector James Lacina did a routine inspection of the Wasserbahn Nov. 4, when he noted two minor violations. Pool staff did not record weekly tests for one week in October and operational records did not indicate the pool had been closed on two days in October when Oxidation Reduction Potential was below required levels for maximum chlorine effectiveness, the inspection report states.
'Record keeping is greatly improved,” Lacina said. 'Numerous new procedures are now in place.”
When Lacina returned for another routine check March 6, the Wasserbahn had continued to improve.
'New chemical feed system installed in February 2015 (Eco-Lab All-in-one Hypo Feeders 1030),” Lacina wrote. 'They serve all pool/spas.”
He cited Park for two minor violations - twice-daily water tests not recorded for three days in February and a partially filled first aid kit - but again praised the waterpark's progress.
'Procedures and record keeping continue to show great improvement,” Lacina wrote.
The water park may apply in July to be released from the Sept. 6, 2013, consent agreement.
'They have done a nice job,” Lacina told The Gazette. 'We've been watching closely and asking a lot of them. They are far, far better off than they used to be.”