Wild Rivers Waterpark

Irvine, CA

Project Overview

Wild Rivers Waterpark is a 20-acre, $60 million project that has been years in the making. After the previous location closed in 2011, the park has returned with new rides and slides, plus state-of-the-art features including a water coaster with virtual reality capabilities. raSmith collaborated with the client and stakeholders including Bundy-Finkel Architects and Conceptual Design & Planning Company (CDPC) to help bring this exciting development from concept to completion.

This project was relocated to the Orange County Great Park area and included two main challenges. Based on the City of Irvine’s Master Plan of Drainage, the site was required to drain eastward, but a 26-foot drop in the other direction called for a creative solution. To meet the City’s requirement, raSmith proposed a retaining wall at the southwest corner with a series of gravity storm drains throughout the site to avoid pumps and discharge to the existing Agua Chinon Channel.

Another challenge — the waterpark is located within the El Toro Marine Base Groundwater Protection Area, which prohibits the infiltration of stormwater. The design overcame this obstacle by featuring a series of lined bioretention basins with underdrains. The basins include a ponding area, a three-inch mulch layer, 36-inch engineered soil layer, and 12-inch gravel layer. The bottom of the basins are lined to prevent infiltration, and an underdrain has been installed within the gravel layer to drain the treated stormwater off site. Generally, as stormwater passes down through the planting soil, the pollutants are filtered, adsorbed, biodegraded, and sequestered by the soil and plants.

raSmith’s comprehensive services included: ALTA survey, planning documents, grading plans, utility design (domestic water, sanitary sewer, and storm drain), and underground fire and fire access plans. The storm drain design also included a Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) and hydrology report. During construction, raSmith provided pad certifications (and line and grade certifications) for the buildings, pump houses, filter rooms, and water attractions.

Watch this aerial video showing the opening day of Wild Rivers Waterpark.

Photos and video courtesy of Bundy-Finkel Architects. Site image courtesy of CDPC.

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