Veterans Field Skating Rink
Making an ice skating rink isn't as simple as flooding the floor with gallons of water and waiting for cold weather. The Sunapee maintenance and Recreation Dept. crew must apply the water carefully and slowly, in order to insure ideal thickness. An ice surface that is too thick requires more energy to keep frozen and is prone to getting soft on the top. A surface that is too thin is also dangerous because skaters risk cutting straight through the ice and poking holes in the plastic liner.
It takes between 25,000 and 30,000 gallons to form an ideal rink surface. The maintenance crew forms the ice in several different layers, in many steps:
The first step is accomplished with the help of the Sunapee Fire department using the tanker truck and repeated trips to the Sugar River to load and unload water into the rink area. At this point the water is 4-8 inches thick.
After a few days/nights of temperatures below 20 degrees the rink is ready for the crew to slowly apply the remaining 10,000 gallons with a flooding hose. "We put on 500 to 600 gallons per hour until the remaining layer is complete.That means 15 to 20 hours (1 hour/500-600 gallons) for that final layer.
Each of those layers is allowed to freeze before we put the next 500 to 600 gallons on. The less water you put on at one time, the better your ice will be." Ideally we also hope to have a slight breeze when we apply so the water smooths out and lays flat.
When creating a new ice surface, temp conditions are very important. Ideally the ice surface should be cared for daily. All snow and shavings should removed before reapply thin coats of water evenly distributed over the entire rink using the multi layering technique.
Please note: Ice conditions can vary greatly with a temperature change as small as a few degree.
Long story short: we appreciate your understanding and patience when temperatures fluctuate. In order for ice to freeze it must remain below 32 degrees consistently. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate very soon!
FYI- volunteers are always appreciated to assist with rink maintenance! Contact
Scott Blewitt, Recreation Director @ firstname.lastname@example.org