LATERAL THINKER: Nimbin plumber Elan Christian, pictured here at the Nimbin skate park, believes he has a unique solution for the skate park noise problem.
LATERAL THINKER: Nimbin plumber Elan Christian, pictured here at the Nimbin skate park, believes he has a unique solution for the skate park noise problem. Jacklyn Wagner

Water to soundproof skate park

IT'S SO noisy Lismore City Council has declared it unusable, but Nimbin plumber Elan 'Trout' Christian reckons he could get his village's skate park up and running again.

Mr Christian, a 'life-long skater' who helped build Nimbin's existing skate park, said giant water bladders, called eco sacs, he installs under houses to catch and use rainwater could be used under the facility to dampen the sound of skateboards on the steel ramps and take some of the heat out of the ramps on hot days.

The idea was put as Lismore City Council prepares to vote tonight on a plan to spend nearly $450,000 in Federal stimulus spending on a new skate park at the village's Peace Park.

It received a cautious welcome yesterday from the council's asset manager, Scott Turner, who said the council would be prepared to look at any proposal Mr Christian put forward.

However, he said the council would generally prefer proven technologies and would at least want to see the eco sacs tested before putting them in.

“What he's saying makes sense to me but, in saying that, the key issue is whether it would reduce the noise enough to meet the rules,” Mr Turner said.

The eco sac is made of the same material as children's jumping castles and is usually put under homes for use in place of conventional water tanks.

Put under the ramps, Mr Christian said the eco sacs could sit flush against the steel, putting a stop to the incredible racket skateboards made on the ramps.

Because they are filled with water, the sacs could mould to the shape of the ramps and flex with them as the metal heated and cooled through the days and the seasons, ensuring they were always in contact with the ramps and still able to muffle the sound of skateboards on them.

The water-filled sacs would also absorb heat, stopping the ramps getting searingly hot.

The sacs could be kept full using rainwater via downpipes from the shelters above each ramp. When maintenance work had to be done on the skate park, the sacs could be emptied and removed relatively easily, and then returned and refilled after the work was done.



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