Spray Parks

Spray Park Frequently Asked Questions

Splash Pad Frequently Asked Questions

Commercial splash pads are a wonderful addition to a community and recreational facility. Below we have compiled questions we get asked splash pad operating costs, water usage, construction, maintenance and more. If you are seriously considering the benefits of adding a commercial splash pad, book a consult and request more information today. We’re happy to help guide you through this process!

Yes, we will help you prepare the documents and submit them on your behalf if you would like.

The cost to operate a flow through spray park is between $5,000 to $30,000 per year in water costs, depending on the flow rate and overall size of the park. A recirculating spray park has a range of $5000 to $10,000 and has a much lower yearly cost to operate as it reuses the water.  We can do an operating costs estimate that will factor in things like size of your spray park and cost of your utilities.

For a flow through spray park someone should stop by once or twice a week to check to make sure everything is operating properly and there hasn’t been any vandalism. For a recirculating spray park someone will need to check it every day that it is operating and complete a few tasks like take water samples, record operating parameters, and check that the automated system is doing it’s job.

Commissioning a flow through spray park in spring requires removing the winterizing nozzle covers on the spray park features that are flush with the concrete and installing the spray nozzles. Then the water system will need to be turned on, this usually requires reinstalling the water meter that was removed for winter, closing the drain valves located on each of the feature water supply lines, and checking to make sure each feature solenoid valve operates properly. This typically takes an experienced person ½ day. Commissioning a recirculating system is a bit more involved and requires everything that is done for a flow through spray park plus starting up the water treatment equipment. An experienced person typically completed this in 1 day.

To winterize a flow through spray park the water supply is shut off and drained back to a self- draining shut off valve that is below the frost line and the water meter is removed. Then the drains on each of the feature lines are opened to drain any water out of the feature lines. The spray nozzles are flush with the concrete are then removed and a ½ liter or so of RV antifreeze is poured into each until it run out at the drain port. This ensures that no lines will have ice forming in them. The supplied winter caps are installed on these nozzles. Above ground features are not typically removed. Winterizing a recirculating spray park requires the same items as a flow through spray park but also requires the water treatment system equipment to be fully drained of water, some probes removed and a few other small items completed.

The spray park is equipped with a timer that only allows it to operate only during set hours. These hours are chosen by the person responsible for the spray park and prevents it from being activated outside of these hours for example late at night. Depending on which controller is selected the operator can chose different hours for different days (say week days and weekends) and change them over the season.

The water will only be supplied to the features during operating hours and if the activator is pressed by someone wanting to use the park. The park will start and go through a set spray sequence and then shut down again until the activator is pressed again. For a recirculating spray park the water treatment system operates continuously 24/7 during the season but the computer system will only allow water to be supplied to the features during the operating hours that have been chosen by the operating staff.

Many spray parks open at the end of May or early in June and run until the Labour Day weekend. Some operate until the end of September. 

Vortex Aquatics (the manufacturer of the spray park equipment) maintains a database of all the equipment installed at spray parks around the world and by referencing your Project ID they will be able to supply replacement parts. You can call our office or Vortex and we will be able to supply any part you require. Vortex has been around for over 20+ years and many of the first spray park are still in service.

Yes, there are many features that can be changed for something else. With the Safeswap mounting system the original feature can be unbolted on the new one can be installed in its place.  Flowrates and spray patterns do have to be considered when doing this so we don’t overspray onto the grass or require more water than the system can supply.

Yes this has been done successfully. We can look at an option of adding additional spray deck area at a later time, adding a recirculating system or installing the mounting systems in the spray deck for features that can be purchased and installed later.

Although casting features into the concrete is simpler and cheaper it eliminates the possibility of changing features in the future or removing them for repair or refurbishing them. Removable features provide a slight increase in initial cost but save money over the life of the spray park.

Many flow though spray park are designed for a flow rate of about 70 to 150 gallons per minute (GPM) when operating. The largest flow through spray parks can use up to 250 GPM however this is rare. This flow only happens when the spray park is activated by someone touching the activator and setting off a 3 minutes sequence before it needs to be reactivated. A recirculating spray park only uses water to initially fill the holding tank (typically a 1500 to 3000 gallon underground tank) and then water to make up for losses due to evaporation and bather carry off. We recommend installing a 1 ½” water service to supply a recirculating spray park.

Yes that can be done however most of the water will still overflow into the sewer. For example if we installed a 3000 gallon tank in the ground it would only take 40 minutes of the spray park operating at 70 GPM to fill it. There are very large capture and repurpose systems available as well as holding ponds that allow for reusing the water for irrigation.

Yes, the health codes that govern pools and spray park require a potable water source.

Yes, however just like any other fixtures hardness and iron staining can appear on the features. Generally this is only cosmetic and a cleaning program can help. If your area has usually high levels of something the water analysis should be reviewed by our engineers to determine if it might result in problems.

To do this properly each site should be looked at on a case by case basis but generally speaking a 2” line is the minimum we recommend for a smaller flow rate spray park that has a typical flow rate of approximately 70 GPM. Two 2” lines or one 3” line are necessary when looking to supply a spray park up to 150 GPM. If you want more water than that then it is time to look into a recirculating system.

Most municipal systems run around 50-70 psi. Our equipment is designed to operate with a regulator reducing the pressure 35 psi.

A flow through spray park needs one single phase 15A 120V circuit. The actual current draw is 1 to 2 amps.

A recirculating spray park needs one single phase 30-50A 220-240V circuit. It can be designed to use single or three phase. At the time of design we will select the equipment to match the availability of the equipment onsite.

For a flow through spray park the deck drains are typically connected to a sanitary system however some municipalities have also directed the water to the storm system, a pond, a lake, or used it for surface irrigation. A recirculating spray park requires a connection to the sanitary system to direct backwash water and drain the system.

We typically use schedule 80 PVC piping with solvent welded joints. We also have used poly piping with barbed stainless steel fitting and stainless steel clamps as well as fused poly piping when requested by our customer however we have found the PVC piping is our preference and performs well. We never use plastic barb fittings with carbon steel clamps as they will not last. All piping underground must be schedule 80.

We typically construct our concrete decks with a thickness of 6” on 6” of crushed rock, 10M rebar on a 16” grid spacing with control cuts space approximately 10’ apart. We use 30 MPa concrete suitable for freeze thaw cycles. This may need to be adjusted to your local conditions.

Yes it can be. For a flow through spray park we need to excavate about 3 feet into the ground for the piping system and a high water table will make that difficult and make it difficult to gravity drain the piping. There is also a valve vault that needs to be installed in the ground. If the park is under water in spring we should look into raising the spray park elevations, adding swales and possibly a sub-drainage system, or look at a blow out system. For a recirculating system we need to excavate about 10 feet into the ground to install the water storage tank and if we encounter ground water this process becomes much more difficult but not impossible.


Contact us if you are just starting your project. We provide grant writing services, educational presentations, preliminary designs, project budget estimates and site evaluations that will make the planning and fundraising process much easier.

Call us to get our team working for you. 

Toll Free: 1-855-980-8118

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