The heat is on

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:37 AM

One popular place for keeping cool is at the waterfront splash pad near Grand Haven's Municipal Marina.

New York resident Andrew Lenhart, who is visiting family in Grand Haven, said the splash pad is great for the kids.

“I have a daughter and son who are really enjoying it," he said.

Lenhart’s family was one of many who were frolicking in the water jets in an attempt to keep cool the past few days.

“This is the first time (we’ve used it),” he said. “We come usually once or twice a year to visit family in the area, and it’s the first time we’ve seen the splash pad.”

The splash pad was first turned on in September 2011.

Local heating and cooling experts say they are waiting for an increase in business — especially after a milder winter when many people weren’t using their furnaces for heat.

Tom Lowe, assistant manager for Glockzin Heating & Cooling in Robinson Township, said he likes it when temperatures get warm.

“As far as our business goes, it goes with the weather,” he said. “I expect calls to go through the roof.”

While calls are expected to increase for service and installation, Lowe said there are ways people can maintain their current cooling equipment so they aren't left out in the heat.

“The No. 1 tip I can tell people is to clean your air filter," he said. "The cleaner it is, the better it is going to work. That’s the first thing the homeowners can do to assure they have air conditioning through these heat spells.”

Lowe said it was also important for people to keep in touch with those who might be vulnerable due to the heat, such as the elderly.

“Make sure you take the time to check in with your neighbor,” he said.

Grand Haven Water Facilities Manager Joe VanderStel said the dry, warm weather means water use is on the rise.

“We’ve had 3-4 days of heavy use,” he said. “I predict by the end of the month, we’re going to have a phenomenal reading for the month of June.”

VanderStel said the local water plant is running about 14 million gallons per day. At some points during the day, he’s seeing rates of 18-19 million gallons go through.

The Northwest Ottawa Water System plant has a capacity of pumping out 23.25 million gallons of water a day.

“There hasn’t been any rain for some time,” VanderStel said. “People are trying to keep their lawns green.”

Local fire officials are looking to make sure people are safe when it comes to hot, dry conditions.

‘The fire conditions are extremely high right now,” Grand Haven Township Fire Chief Tom Gerencer said.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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