Scorching summer bonanza for aquatic centers, beaches - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Scorching summer bonanza for aquatic centers, beaches

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The hot, dry summer of 2012 in southern Wisconsin has been a bonanza for city pools and aquatic centers in the Madison area.

Madison city parks department spokesperson Laura Whitmore says attendance at Goodman Pool through July 18 was 41,880.

That's compared to 29,112 for the same period last year, a more than 45% increase.

Sun Prairie Family Aquatics Center spokesperson Jana Stephens says June swim attendance at her facility was 13,729, the highest attendance total for the month in six years.

Stephens says aquatic center attendance on the fourth of July was the highest in more than a decade.

Aquatic center managers expect periodic closures due to rainy weather in a summer season. But Middleton Aquatic Center spokesperson Megan Meyer says her facility has yet to close for a full day since opening for the season June 9.

Whitmore says other indications of a banner, pool season are a spike in the sale of season passes, and an increase in the pool's fledgling swim team from forty members in its inaugural season last year, to one hundred swim team members this year.

Whitmore says roughly a third of the team benefits from pool program scholarships, increasing the exposure of youth to organized swimming.

Whitmore also says city beaches and the splash pool at Cypress Park have soaring visitor numbers. Whitmore says 64,743 have visited city beaches and the park so far this season, compared to 57,064 last year. Whitmore says beaches such as B.B. Clarke beach have benefited from the placement of booms, to ensure almost algae-free water inside the barriers.

Goodman Pool lifeguard Kelsey Johnson says higher patron numbers and higher temperatures require more observation to check on water safety issues and conditions such as heat exhaustion. Johnson says lifeguards have increased their water intake to stay hydrated, and take dips in the pools as they rotate between lifeguard stations.

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