Anyone who remembers their childhood knows that children love playing in public water fountains. They even enjoy playing in the backyard sprinkler out on the lawn. It doesn’t take much to keep children entertained.
Have you considered building a splash pad for your park or recreational facility? Splash pads can transform an ordinary park area into a space-efficient aquatic playground that can be safer than a swimming pool. A splash pad has no standing water, which eliminates the need for constant supervision. They also require less maintenance than a swimming pool, and they use less water.
In this article, No Fault will present the benefits of building a splash pad, along with some considerations to keep in mind as you plan your own mini water park.
So … What’s A Splash Pad, Anyway?
You’ll hear them called a lot of names, including: splash pad, splash deck, sprayground, aquatic play pad, spray pool…. Whatever name they go by, splash pads will typically consist of colorful, soft rubber surfacing, spray jets and above-ground spray features, along with the necessary drainage to make it all work.
A splash pad can operate on a freshwater system, a grey water system, or a recirculating system. Typically, the water is treated to at least the same level of quality as swimming pool standards.
Above ground add-ons for a splash pad might include features such as themed showers or movable nozzles (also known as cannons), which allow children to spray one another. These showers and nozzles are often controlled by hand-activated motion sensors which run for a limited time.
As you can see from some of the photos on this page (all of them actual No Fault Splash Pad projects), the options are virtually limitless!
Success Starts With Smart Installation
Like any other play equipment, splash pads require proper installation to ensure optimal performance and safety. Here are a few installation tips:
Discuss design plans, installation and duration of concrete base work with the manufacturer and slab contractor. It’s important that all work in and around the base be finished prior to installation. Together, you’ll work as a team to create a plan for a successful project!
Non-slip safety surfaces, like our No Fault Safety Surface for Water Play, can only be installed on a dry, clean, and dust-free subsurface. Before installation, keep the site off-limits and sweep away foreign objects like dust and dirt.
No Fault Safety Surface requires a 48 to 72 hour post-installation curing period. There should be absolutely no walking on the splash pad during this time.
The bigger the splash pad, the longer installation will take – and the more good weather you will need for a successful installation. With as little as 100 square feet, you can create a fantastic splash pad. However, for areas more than 2,000 square feet or large inlaid designs, safety surfacing may require several days to install and cure.
Things to Remember About Your Safety Surfacing
No Fault provides the best-in-class rubber safety surfacing that makes splash pads attractive and safe. A poured-in-place rubber surface like No Fault Safety Surface provides a non-slip, heat-resistant cushion to guarantee years of safe play.
Some people build splash pads without safety surfacing. These water play areas are dangerous for a couple of reasons:
- Contact with concrete, cement, and asphalt can cause serious injuries in the event of accidental slips and falls.
- Materials, such as sand and concrete, absorb heat from the sun. Check out our other article in this month’s newsletter for more on this.
Although colorful designs are a big part of the splash pads we build, we strongly encourage that you avoid using black surfacing. Tests show that water treatment chemicals like bromine, ozone, and chlorine can break down chemical bonds in black EPDM rubber.
Regular Maintenance Protects Your Investment
Splash pads require regular maintenance to ensure water-play time is safe and enjoyable for everyone. Monthly maintenance will help keep your splash pad stain-free, slip-free, beautiful, and fun.
Cleaning is best done in the morning or at dusk. This allows cleansers to work their way into stains and germs without getting dried out too fast by the heat.
Start by sweeping, vacuuming, blowing, or hosing off the surface to clear it of dust, dirt, leaves and all other debris. Steel wool and abrasive scrubbers are not good for this! Instead, use a scrub brush with medium bristles to remove tough stains and minimize damage to your beautiful new splash pad.
Get the surface damp (this will prevent unnecessary friction), then apply a gentle cleanser. What kind of cleaner should you use? Avoid solvents and petroleum-based products such as gas, diesel, and hydraulic and lubricating oils—these products are damaging to No Fault Safety Surface. This includes harsh, color-leaching solutions like chlorine bleach, strong disinfectants, and concentrated degreasers. We recommend using an all-purpose cleaner like Formula 409 or Jomax House Cleaner and Mildew Killer.
Splash pads are a safe, affordable, and exciting enhancement to your park or recreation area. No Fault has worked on hundreds of splash pads over the years. We can advise you on the best way to plan for construction. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll help you plan for many fun-filled summers to come!