KNIGHTDALE — The first time Lindsay Blackburn took her 3-year-old, Graham, to Knightdale Station Park, he was impressed by the playground but more interested in the large hole right next to it.
“The first time we were here, (I) noticed it and he noticed it, too,” she said. “He wanted to play in the grass. It’s kind of inviting to him.”
She was concerned about the safety of her son going into the hole. It’s not too steep, but it does drop off close to the edge of the playground.
It’s situated right where the paved walkway ends around the playground and is intended to help drain stormwater from the park.
According to Knightdale town engineer and director of public works, Fred Boone, the town has heard concerns like Blackburn’s and the department is in the process of building a fence around it.
“The primary feedback we've gotten from the public is that they would like a fence around it as more of a deterrent for kids running down into the stormwater facility,” Boone said.
The basin drains water slowly rather than pushing all excess water through pipes quickly. It takes about 24-48 hours to completely drain, Boone said.
“If that basin was not there, there would be a direct discharge and it would move rapidly,” he said.
Blackburn said she’s seen similar basins, but was surprised about this one’s location.
“I knew it was for drainage,” she said. “I’ve seen it before but not in the middle of a playground.”
Rosalind Williams from Wendell has a 2-year-old, Darius, who is still too enamored with the playground to notice the basin. She wasn’t sure what the basin was for the first time she visited Knightdale Station Park, but she figured it was for drainage.
“It’s steep, but it could be worse,” she said. She said she thought it was odd it wasn’t already fenced in.
According to Boone, it’s common practice to not have a fence around any stormwater facility. It’s not required and the basins don’t pose any inherent risk to anyone’s safety.
The discussion of putting a fence in place didn’t come up during the planning of the park because it wasn’t required and, besides getting soggy sometimes, Boone said the basin is safe.
“The only real driver is to keep kids from going down there,” he said.
The town will be using the same style of fence used throughout the park to fence in the basin. The money will come from the planning department and will not have to go through the approval process from the town council.
Boone said the department hopes to have the fence up by the end of November.
Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews