Splash pads are becoming increasingly popular among businesses that want an alternative to pools. This attraction can offer many benefits to businesses, including increased interaction and cost benefits. Splash pads come with safety features to ensure kids can play safely and your business can reduce liability.
This commercial splash pad guide will explain everything you need to know about adding this attraction to your park. Learn more about the features, the benefits a splash pad can offer your commercial location and how to properly install this recreational water play area.
Read the full article or jump to a specific section:
- What Is A Commercial Splash Pad
- Commercial Splash Pad Benefits
- Cost Benefits of Commercial Splash Pads
- Considerations Before Splash Pad Installation
- How to Install A Commercial Splash Pad
- Choose Soft Play For Your Commercial Splash Pad
What Is a Commercial Splash Pad?
A commercial splash pad, also known as a spray pool, is a recreational area that has little or no standing water. This product provides a rich sensory experience and facilitates water play for kids. At Soft Play®, our commercial-grade splash pads incorporate the following features:
- Zero-depth space
- No or little standing water
- Shock-absorbent flooring
- Seating to enable adult interaction
- Inclusive space for all abilities and ages
- Available play climbers, water walls and water tunnels
- Recommended tools, installation instructions and hardware
- Water play elements intended to sit in a range of zero to six inches of water
When compared to swimming and wading pools, a splash pad is a safer and more economical option that still offers aquatic fun. If you want to incorporate a splash pad or a splash pad turnkey system at your commercial location, turn to us at Soft Play. Our playground equipment can attract families to your business and help you grow your revenue.
Commercial Splash Pad Benefits
Fun and engaging aquatic play areas can fit your budget, design preferences and spatial requirements. Consider a splash pad if you want to add the following benefits to your business:
- Encourage interaction: With a splash pad, you can offer your guests an aquatic play environment that facilitates interaction. Kids can blast water cannons, play games and wait in anticipation of the bucket above pouring water onto them. Splash pads even allow for interaction between parents and kids, so they’re fun for the whole family.
- Offer versatility: Multiple spray zones make splash pads versatile so they appeal to every age group.
- Provide accessibility: A well-designed splash pad is accessible for all kinds of physical abilities, so every kid can join in the fun.
- Energize your environment: With a commercial splash pad, you can energize a formal or urban space with interactive fountains and wet plazas. A splash pad can attract visitors and serve as a fun place to gather in your local community.
- Increase revenue: To increase revenue, you can plan for adjacent pavilion rentals. Optional fees can fund maintenance, operations and future expansion.
- Enjoy efficiency: Locating your splash pad near established amenities can make your commercial property more efficient, including in parking, restrooms, picnic areas and maintenance.
- Offer a refreshing experience: During the summer, a splash pad can provide a refreshing recreational activity to keep kids cool and prevent overheating.
- Tie in your branding: Enhance your company’s branding by working with our team to select themed components for your splash pad.
- Generate interest: With a universal splash mounting system, a city can rotate spray fixtures every so often. Doing so can renew interest in the location and encourage visitors to come back. You can also stand out from your competition, drawing more visitors to your location.
- Enjoy durability: We use materials of the highest quality to create all of our playground equipment, ensuring our play components can withstand harsh weather conditions and years of use.
- Gain customer loyalty: With the installation of a splash pad, your business can gain new customers and increase customer loyalty by giving families a reason to continue returning for more fun.
- Choose from various design options: We offer various design options for splash pads. Splash pad surface colors and spray elements come in all colors, shapes and sizes to enable countless theming and design possibilities. With so many options available, you can tie in elements from your local community or develop a new, unique area that stands out.
With all the advantages a splash pad can offer, it’s no surprise more businesses are becoming interested in installing these aquatic play areas.
Cost Benefits of Commercial Splash Pads
Your company can also enjoy the following cost benefits when you choose to invest in a splash pad.
Compared to a swimming pool, the cost of a splash pad’s initial construction is far less. Additionally, a splash pad doesn’t need many security features that are required at swimming pools like administration facilities, gates and fencing. Because splash pads can take less time to install than a pool, your operations won’t be on pause for long, offering another cost benefit.
After your splash pad is built, maintenance costs are significantly less than the maintenance costs associated with swimming pools. Equipment operating costs are also much lower, especially in a pass-through system that doesn’t use any pumps, filters and chemicals.
If you do use a splash pad with filters, you may need to clean them regularly, especially if kids are tracking in dirt, grass or other debris onto the surface. If you have multiple filters, you can set a schedule that alternates which filter is being cleaned and maintained.
The operational costs for a splash pad are significantly lower than the operational costs you’d pay for a swimming pool. If you don’t charge visitors for using your splash pad, then you may not need access control personnel. Safety concerns are generally lower and don’t require you to hire lifeguard personnel, as well.
Your costs will vary depending on the type of system you choose. You can choose from the two types of splash pad systems – pass-through and recirculating:
- Pass-through splash pad systems: A pass-through system utilizes potable water from the city and is directly drained into the sanitary system, which means monitoring isn’t needed and the greatest cost for this system is the water. In some systems, the water can be collected and used for a gray water application.
- Recirculating splash pad systems: Recirculating systems, on the other hand, collect the water in a holding tank where it is treated, filtered and pumped back out to the spray nozzles. A recirculating system requires scheduled water monitoring and chemical adjustments. Though this system uses less water, monitoring is a cost to consider.
Considerations Before Splash Pad Installation
If you want to install a commercial splash pad, there are a few considerations you may want to make beforehand.
Size of the Splash Pad
One of the first things you should consider before moving forward with installation is what size and shape you want your splash pad to be. At Soft Play, we can customize our splash pads to your needs, so your splash pad can be any size and shape you want. Just let us know what your vision is for your aquatic play project, and we will make it happen!
Splash Pad Safety Features
The splash pads we provide at Soft Play have little or no standing water, which gives kids on your commercial property a safe environment to play with little to no risk of drowning. We offer several surfacing options other than the standard broom finish. Included in our surface options are the following:
- Rubber mixed with resin and used on the concrete
- Fine aggregate particles added to your splash pad’s concrete finish
- A rubber surface poured in place that provides a flexible, seamless surface
The non-slip surface will make safety a priority. Each of these surfaces is also appealing to the eye and will attract kids of all ages to the water play area. When you select one of our surface choices at Soft Play, we will ensure kids’ safety to keep families coming back for more.
How to Keep the Water Clean and the Water Bill Affordable
Your splash pad should have a chlorinator and a UV light clarifier or sanitizer to kill bacteria and viruses. To ensure your system is working effectively and the water is clean, check the chlorinator every day the splash pad is being used.
A major concern for business owners who are considering a commercial splash pad is the impact the play area will have on the water bill. You can expect a bill to initially fill the system. Fortunately, your system will likely not require much water after the initial fill. You may also want to consider the effect the system may have on your electricity bill. In most cases, this monthly cost is low and affordable.
How You Will Winterize the System
When fall comes to an end, your pipes for the splash pad should be blown out. This ensures the lines won’t break during the winter. The process for winterizing your system is similar to the requirements of a sprinkler system. All you need is a small air compressor to complete the short task of blowing out the pipes and ensuring your splash pad will be ready when the warmer seasons come around again.
You may also need to remove all the nozzles and cap them shut, turn off the auto-fill that goes to the holding tank and power down electronic equipment. Your equipment will also come with specific instructions on how to winterize your system. When you’re ready to open your splash pad, you’ll simply reverse the process. While opening your system, perform an inspection and conduct any necessary maintenance on moving parts and equipment.
Additionally, you may want to consider where your equipment will be located, such as under your feet or housed in an equipment room. This is essential to consider so you know from where you will maintain and repair your system.
How You Will Pay for the Splash Pad
How much your splash pad will cost depends on the specifics of your project. Many business owners are concerned about the upfront cost of a splash pad, which is why we offer financing options so you can attract customers now and pay later.
Financing shouldn’t stand in the way of getting you the commercial splash pad you want. As such, you can seek special lease-purchase programs in the U.S. through Navitas Leasing Corporation and Marlin Leasing. Along with financing options, we offer competitive prices so you can enjoy the benefits of a splash pad on your commercial property today. When you choose financing solutions, you can:
- Update an older recreational area
- Get your splash pad as soon as possible
- Improve cashflow when you spread out the cost
- Enjoy tax advantages if your leasing payments are tax-deductible
- Purchase the exact pay equipment you want with affordable monthly payments, including high-quality materials and safer features
You may also be able to fund your splash pad via a loan from the bank or fundraising. But working with us will allow you to conveniently purchase and finance your play area from a single source. If you are interested in our comprehensive financing solution, we can help you through each step and provide the support needed.
How to Install a Commercial Splash Pad
When a splash pad is properly designed and installed, you will save money and time on operational costs and long-term maintenance. Your business will also have the flexibility to upgrade or expand your aquatic play solution when you choose. If you want a splash pad installed on your commercial property, follow the steps below.
1. Analyze Your Site
Your first step is performing an analysis of your site and making sure the design will comply with best construction practices and local building codes. An aquatic project engineer can handle the pre-planning, scheduling, resource forecasting and any other technical evaluations needed for your commercial splash pad. You can also give your project engineer the reins to handle communications with your landscape architects, aquatic designers and splash pad installers.
With an experienced aquatic project engineer on your side, you can ensure the installation of your splash pad stays on schedule and is finished according to plan.
2. Evaluate the Feasibility of the Project
After you complete the groundwork for your splash pad project, you can evaluate the aquatic play project’s relevant factors that could impact its success. Make the following considerations:
- What you should expect for water consumption rates
- Where your splash pad’s water supply will come from
- What your total budget is for the project, including maintenance and installation
- The type of water management system you need and what the best solution will be for your splash pad
3. Obtain Input From Stakeholders
Next, you may want to collect feedback from the community to determine how well your plans for a splash pad align with your community’s wants, needs and priorities. How successful your splash pad will be depends on this community feedback. By doing the research ahead of time, you can say goodbye to guesswork and be confident in moving forward with your aquatic play project.
When gathering feedback from the community and stakeholders, make the following considerations:
- Whether you want to consider eco-friendly solutions
- Whether you want to consider implementing play zones
- What impact the splash pad will have on its surroundings
- Whether your splash pad will be targeted to a certain age group
- Whether you will be incorporating a local or community theme into your aquatic play area
- What the community wants in a splash pad, such as waterslides for a play pool or a zero-depth play pad
4. Prepare Drawings of Your Aquatic Project
To develop a visual representation of your splash pad’s required components, prepare drawings of your aquatic project. These drawings should illustrate your splash pad’s overall layout, the placement of each play feature, the spray radius, the piping schematics and the flow rates for every feature.
The details included in your project drawings will help you streamline the development, planning and manufacturing process, along with reducing the risks related to your splash pad’s implementation. An engineer or architect can ensure the specs of your splash pad meet requirements and considerations, like sloping the surface toward drains and accounting for overspray due to wind.
5. Acquire Approvals and Permits
To ensure you understand the health code regulations associated with implementing a commercial splash pad, you should communicate with the local health authority. When you apply for permits, engaging with the local health authority will save you money and time and lead to a shortened approval process.
You should also identify the necessary state and city building permits that will be needed for your splash pad’s installation phase. There are likely parameters set for a commercial splash pad’s chlorine and acid feeders. If so, it’s essential that your chemical readings stay within the set range. Systems can become imbalanced and probes can break or get dirty, so these should be checked regularly.
6. Hire Professionals for the Manufacturing and Construction Process
One of the final steps of the process is manufacturing and construction. After you have planned and analyzed all the matters related to your splash pad project, you can hire Soft Play to break ground on your aquatic play area. We will handle everything from laying the splash pad floor to installing the play features.
Our trained professionals can install the system quickly, so you can get to opening day soon and enjoy the latest addition to your commercial property. Speak with one of our representatives to learn more about the financing solutions we offer and our construction process.
7. Enjoy Opening Day
You’ve reached opening day! During this final step of the process, you can open your new splash pad to members of the community and kids of all ages. Expect a big turnout — everyone will be curious about how your splash pad turned out and the fun it can offer. At this point, you can sit back and watch your aquatic play project be a blast for kids and parents alike for years to come.
Choose Soft Play for Your Commercial Splash Pad
At Soft Play, we provide play equipment to entertainment centers, museums, churches, retail centers, trampoline parks, health and fitness centers, amusement parks and more to attract families and keep them coming back again and again. We have more than 30 years of experience, making us the oldest contained playground equipment provider in the world, so we know how to design play that works for kids, parents and businesses.
We can customize our play products to all budgets, available space and ages. Ready to add a commercial splash pad to your business’s experience? Request a quote from us at Soft Play today or contact us for more information.