It's impossible to estimate how long the playgrounds will be closed before city officials know what the solution will be, he added.
“Speed is not of the essence here. Safety is of the essence,” Whisenhunt said. “We'll put them back in service as quickly as possible, but not until we're sure until the potentially offending material has been removed.”
It's unclear if this will end up costing the city money.
“We don't know that for sure, but all the city's contracts require the contractor meet the specifications of the contract,” he said.
Tom March, owner of March's Mulch, said he doesn't know how the materials wound up in the wood chips, but he said it's possible a competitor upset about losing the city parks contract may be to blame.
“We have spent over $4,000 having our mulch tested, and it all tested perfect,” March said. “We feel like if there's something wrong with our mulch, somebody has either dumped something on it, sabotaged it or whatever.”
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AT A GLANCE
Oklahoma City's 7 Temporarily closed playgrounds