Like any investment, all municipalities want their existing splash pads to provide years of safe fun, action and excitement for their communities. With a little foresight and creativity, there are ways to renovate your current splash pad without breaking the bank to do so. In my next series of blogs, I will try to take what we here at ARC have learned tn over 15 years of splash pad design and apply this knowledge specifically toward options for renovation.
I. Stay Relevant
Splash pads have been around for well over 15 years now. Many of the early splash pad products may now appear dated, worn out or not functional. Mechanical systems may need an overhaul or programming in the area of the splash pad may have changes significantly. These are a few examples of reasons to renovate.
Water usage is now a primary concern in many areas. Water shortages, drought and water conservation may make your single pass mechanical system outdated or unacceptable to your community. Water shortages have always been a problem in the Western Unites States. It is now a source of considerable tension all across the U.S. and large parts of the world where entire populations do not have a source of safe drinking water on a consistent basis.
Water usage is predicted to be the central environmental issue in 2015, surpassing carbon-causing air pollution.
There are now many more options for re-purposing water and water reclamation methods such as re-percolating the water back into the ground, reusing the water for irrigation of adjacent park land or draining the water into rain gardens specifically designed for the retention and absorption of water are now popular choices for re-distribution and conservation of water-our very precious resource.
There are now products in the market which are used on splash pad features that contain high percentages of recycled post-consumer materials- these products are more environmentally friendly.
It may be the case that over the years your splash pad has been in use the surfacing has become dilapidated or unstable. Supply lines to features may be cracked or broken rendering features unusable. The spray features and groundsprays are also not working properly, worn or present certain safety hazards requiring replacement.
Evolving aquatic codes, consumer protection safety act revisions and ANSI/APSP16 compliance requirements may mean that certain aspects of your splash pad are not as safely designed as what is currently required or accepted. Some existing conditions may present issues creating certain hazards and increased liability if someone is injured on your splash pad.
During the time that many splash pads were installed most states did not have in place adequate health and environmental regulations. These regulations continue to evolve. My suggestion is to take the conservation approach and engage the design services of a competent design firm that is familiar with current and proposed legislation regarding codes across the country.
There have been many advances in technology that you can take advantage of with regards to your splash pad. Energy efficient motors and lighting, automatic chemical controllers with remote monitoring capabilities modern advances in manufacturing allowing better designed and fabricated products. The application of Ultra Violet (U.V.) systems that can increase the overall safety of the water and decrease the spread of infection of certain organisms such as cryptosporidium.
These are a few examples of reasons to consider a renovation project for your splash pad. If you are considering building your first splash pad, there are lessons to be learned from those who ventured down the splash pad road before you.
Renovation does not necessarily mean jack hammering up your slab, scrapping your operating system or starting all over (although these are viable options as well if you have the budget necessary to complete this type of major renovation).
In my next blog, I will focus on other options for renovation that do not necessarily mean you need to start from scratch.
ARC has successfully completed several renovation projects for various cities-both large scale and small. We have replaced entire mechanical systems, or modified a structure to meet the specific needs of the site, including mounting and splash zone.
If you are considering a renovation-large or small, please consider giving ARC a call- talk to one of our ARChitects about what we can do to help you- and your community. It’s just water without us.
Part II coming soon!