NLand Surf Park files counter suit against Travis County
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 July, 2016 - Earlier this week it was announced that NLand Surf Park, the Austin Texas wavepool currently in the works, had hit a snag when local government officials filed a lawsuit against the park to make them comply with pool regulations.
Up until this point things had been coming along as planned and the park was set to open, however the county saw fit to require the freshwater man-made lake to be held to the same regulations as a public chlorinated swimming pool.
Dialogue between NLand and county officials has broken down and just today NLand released a press release addressing the situation, the gist of which is that NLand is being treated unfairly.
The park, which is set in a man-made lagoon, measures roughly nine-football fields in size. For public swimming pools to operate in Texas they must use specified levels of chlorine, have bathroom facilities close to the pool's edge and can be charged fees for inspections.
You can read the NLand press release below...
Despite NLand Surf Park’s repeated efforts to have a dialogue with Travis County about safety at our world-class facility, the Travis County Commissioners Court has refused to work with us towards a solution that would ensure the safety of park visitors while recognizing the unique aspects of regulating such a large body of water. Instead, on July 5th, the Travis County Commissioners Court authorized county attorneys to file a lawsuit against NLand, which they did yesterday.
We do not want to be in court, but the County has forced our hand. It is treating us differently than other, comparable facilities, and applying regulations in an irrational and unfair way. To defend ourselves against the County’s aggressive action, we filed a lawsuit in Federal Court. The County has violated our constitutional right to equal protection of the law.
NLand has worked with the world’s best engineers to ensure safety in all aspects of our park’s operation. Yet the county has refused to gain understanding of our studies by engaging in dialogue with us. If they’re concerned about amoebas, we invite them to look at the studies or talk to us about our water treatment systems.
Blindly applying regulations for public swimming pools would waste millions of gallons of water and endanger our guests due to the fact that it is 45 times larger than an Olympic-size swimming pool.
As the first surf park in North America and the largest in the world, NLand is committed to safety and environmental stewardship. The park features state-of-the-art rainwater harvesting, filtration and treatment systems that capture every raindrop that falls on the park’s 160 acres. This system lowers the environmental impact and ensures our lagoon has clean and safe water. Our highly engineered filtration process underscores the value we place on public safety and conservation.
Today, NLand employs nearly 200 people in the greater Austin area, including more than 50 teenagers from Del Valle and Cedar Creek. To build the park, NLand partnered with over 30 companies with an Austin presence, infusing tens of millions of dollars into the Austin and Travis County economies. When it opens, 500,000 visitors from across the world will come to visit us in Travis County.
We implore the Commissioners to understand our studies, talk with us and ask questions so they gain perspective in this matter. The Commissioners Court has the ability to change course and meet with us to find solutions that work for everyone in Travis County. In fact, the County Health Department has the authority to do exactly that.
Our goals align: to provide a safe venue and bring economic growth to Austin and especially Del Valle. We look forward to sharing our love of surfing with Austin and the world soon.