Splash Pad

Taking the Lead in Splash Pad Safety



Readers of this blog will likely remember that splash pad safety is something of an obsession around Life Floor. After years of attending industry trade shows, doing sales talks, and even participating in parks and rec town hall meetings, we’ve realized that safety regulation has severely lagged for splash pads.

We decided the best way to effect change in this area was to find a way to lead that change ourselves. That’s why our CEO, Jonathan Keller, presented a white paper and proposal regarding the need for splash pad safety surfacing at this year’s NSF-50 annual meeting at NSF International.* The NSF Standard 50 joint committee responded by creating a task group to develop recommendations for new standards. We were especially excited when Jonathan was asked to chair the task group. He’ll be working with a number of regulators, industry leaders, and NSF staffers to tackle this important problem.

Despite a number of jokes from the veterans about the relative dryness of the proceedings (Copper silver ion generators are, we learned, secondary or supplemental disinfection devices, and should never, repeat never, be used in a primary capacity. Apparently, this cannot be stressed enough in some quarters.) we actually found the meeting to be surprisingly interesting. For those of us in the aquatic recreation industry, this was truly the room where it happens. A number of important public health issues, with the potential to affect millions of people, were presented, discussed, and debated with enthusiasm and professionalism.

Over the next several blog posts, we’re going to be sharing a blog-friendly version of our presentation and white paper. We’ll also keep you updated on Jonathan’s work on the task force.


*NSF International is a independent organization that tests and verifies consumer product safety. You probably have some NSF certified stuff in your home or office. NSF Standard 50 is body of standards for aquatic recreation, mainly pools and spas. 

Five Ways To Make Your Splash Pad Stand Out

Splash pads and spraygrounds are one of the few water features that show up not only in water parks, but also in municipal parks and even in private residences. Getting a sprayground to stand out against the competition can be tricky, but here are five simple ways to make guests' experience memorable for all the right reasons. 

1. Delight Your Guests With Thematic Elements

The growth in popularity of spraygrounds and splash pads in recent years has resulted in a much wider array of available products than ever before, which means park planners can let their imaginations soar when designing or redesigning a splash pad. One of the biggest ways parks can set themselves apart from the residential splash pad market is with careful theming.

 Aquatic animals present a classic option, as do pirate and tiki designs, but they are by no means the only themed choices available. For example, Water Odyssey’s desert collection presents a clever take for an aquatic landscape and VORTEX’s Aqualiens adds an element of abstract whimsy to a play space; if there’s a tone patrons seem to be connecting with, there is almost certainly a design theme that will enhance their experience.

2. Make Sure You Have the Right Surface

There are plenty of options when it comes to what to put in a splash pad or sprayground, but two things are consistent across all parks: The surface is wet and guests are there to have fun. Choosing a surface that doesn’t get slippery and can absorb the impact of an inevitable tumble will help visitors remember your park as a favorite summer destination and as a great place to cool off. 

Life Floor’s soft, slip-resistant tiles can reduce slips in wet areas and boast a critical fall height of 1ft to cushion any falls that do occur, which will keep kids and their parents happy and returning to the splash pad all summer long. Life Floor augments and improves any other improvements made park-wide by giving guests one less thing to worry about and complementing existing design choices.

3. Keep Them Busy

While it may be tempting to generalize and say that splash pad patrons are overwhelmingly children, the reality is, especially in urban environments, everyone loves the chance to beat the heat. Varying the heights of overhead features will create an eye-grabbing layout and give adult guests a chance to enjoy the play area whether they are just passing through or spending time in the area shepherding younger children. 

Thankfully, plenty of options are available to give guests the experience they want without compromising the feel of the area. From thinner spray features to misters to cascading waves, the options for how much water rains down on guests, and look of the feature itself, is far more variable than it has ever been before, making splash pads and spraygrounds appealing additions to any play space. 

4. Have A Spot For Guests to Dry Off And Cool Down

The pad itself will be in bright sunshine all summer long -- or at least that’s the hope! -- but guests may want a shaded space to limit their UV exposure. A full picnic pavilion can be a nice addition, but space constraints often make these structures a poor fit. Cabanas can provide additional income if they’re rented out rather than simply first-come, first-served, but also take up enough space to be a difficult fit in some spaces. 

Shade sails have become a popular and stylish option for providing shade without putting up a massive structure. There are more traditional solutions as well, from pool umbrellas, to solid cantilevered systems that can double as rain protection in a pinch. Whether space is an issue or not near the slide pad, there are now several strong options for providing guests some relief from the elements. 

5. Make Your Splash Pad The Hottest Concert Venue In Town

For the splash pad that has everything under the sun, every new innovation, and every gadget and gizmo their guests could want, comes one of the most unique musical instruments ever created. The hydraulophone utilizes water flowing past a series of reeds to produce different tones, as illustrated in the video below: 

Hydraulophones can be built by hand or purchased, but one thing is certain: Having one will set any sprayground or splash pad apart from the competition. 

For more information how Life Floor improves any splash pad, sprayground, pool area, or any other wet play area, check out all the places Life Floor can go!