Below about 400 pairs of feet and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water lies what’s called “the dungeon.”

Below about 400 pairs of feet and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water lies what’s called “the dungeon.”

Down the concrete steps, lurking in darkness, are the pipes and equipment that filter the water for Shawnee Splash.

Constructed in 2015, Shawnee Splash contains three pools, two slides, one high-dive, a climbing wall and a play gym. The facility takes between 55 and 60 people to help run it between lifeguards, supervisors and attendants.

And about 404,000 gallons of water to keep each pool full.

“(Maintenance is) daily, seven days a week — all day,” said Kerri Foster, recreation manager for the city of Shawnee. “From fixing door handles to water filtration, everything gets a lot of wear and tear on it.”

Foster was hired during the construction phase of Shawnee Splash, formerly known as Shawnee Municipal Pool, which was built in 1936. She said this is the first year the facility isn’t open on Mondays so the pools can stay maintained.

Foster said when the pools were open seven days a week, the crew working wouldn’t leave the premises until 2 or 3 a.m. sometimes.

“We had patrons in the pool from 6:45 in the morning all the way until night, maybe 11 p.m.,” Foster said. “Full maintenance has to be done while people aren’t in there.”

However, now that it’s only open six days a week, the water has never been cleaner, Foster said.

The cleanliness, though, is mostly due to the four huge filters that sit in “the dungeon,” or basement, of the facility, that filter about 900 gallons of water a minute.

“We’ve got some very powerful pumps downstairs,” Foster said.

The water is treated with chlorine. Foster said the facility uses a computer system that measures how much water is in the pool and how much chlorine needs to be added.

If, however, there’s an accident in the pool, the facility is closed and treated by hand according to national Certified Pool Operator standards, Foster said.

The water used for the pools is the same water that was used to fill them up in May. Every day, new water is added to replace what’s lost from evaporation. However, the rest of the water isn’t dumped until the end of the year.

“I strive to have the cleanest water in the nation,” Foster said. “If it’s not safe for me or my children to swim in, I’m not going to open. These are all my kids, the whole city is my children.”

And the lifeguards help enforce those rules. Foster said she and her employees meet for a minimum of two hours each week for training.

Foster said for many of her employees, it’s their first job, so training becomes more than just the rules, regulations and tasks of the position — it’s also training the employees how to be employees.

“It’s a whole new experience for them,” Foster said. “I don’t think a lot of people give these kids enough credit for what they have to know.”

Shawnee Splash is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m., and open from 1 - 8 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for kids and seniors over 55 years of age.

“I just want everyone in Shawnee to know the rules aren’t there to make their day bad,” Foster said. “I want everyone to come in happy and leave happier.”