Spray Park Equipment: Water Feature Options

Spray Park Equipment: Water Features

There are two types of spray park water features:
1- In Ground
2- Above Ground
Both structures could be built from several materials, Stainless Steel and Fiberglass or PVC Plastic. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. PVC Plastic is a low cost solution and it is usually used and suitable for residential spray park applications. Fiberglass is a commercial material but it is preferred where vandalism is not an issue. Fiberglass is used in fenced, closed, security patrolled theme parks where there is not a possibility of vandalism. Whereas stainless steel is very durable and highly resistant to vandalism, therefore it is the preferred material for municipal spray park applications, which are not fenced and open to public any time of the year. Another consideration should be given to mounting style of above ground structures.

There are two types:
1- Surface Mounted
a) With Jig
b) Direct Concrete Mount
2- Embedded

Spray Park Equipment

Spray Park Equipment

Spray Park Equipment: Surface Mounted

Surface mounted structures are mounted to concrete surface with the help of a jig that is embedded in to concrete or directly bolted to concrete; Nirbo offers both options of surface mounting. These structures can be removed from spray park any time with a few bolts. Advantages are, features can be relocated and repaired off site. This is a highly recommended option; your spray park equipment will last much longer because of offsite maintenance options.

Spray Park Equipment: Embedded

Embedded structures are lower cost compared to Surface Mounted Structures but are permanently embedded in concrete. Disadvantages are they can’t be removed from site without breaking concrete, therefore maintenance options are limited.

Spray Park Equipment: Nozzles

Nozzle material should be either brass or stainless steel. Plastic based materials are not very durable, and they create lots of problems especially when a plastic nozzle is used with a metal structure, this is an issue because thermal expansion properties of plastic compared to metals. Plastic expands several times more than metals, and when they are maintained during hot summer days, nozzles might stick in its housing. We recommend using metal nozzles.

If you have any questions contact the author.

Posted by
Salih Sokmen, P.Eng.
President
salih.sokmen@nirbo.com
Nirbo Aquatic Inc.

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Water Playground Equipment Manifold, Controller and Activator

Water Playground Equipment: Manifold

Manifold is the device where main water line comes into and from which water is divided
into smaller water lines to go to water features. As mentioned in a previous post that we need
25 psi operating pressure on manifold for proper operation of water playground. Most common water line connected to manifold is 1-1/2” from this size pipe one can move up to
40 gpm without any problem. Each water line going to your water features should have a mechanical shutoff valve and a solenoid valve, at 40 gpm pressure loss will be about 4psi from these two valves. Lest assume you have some water loops with misting nozzles, this water feature would require about 10 psi to operate properly. Therefore;

Pressure Left: 25psi -4psi -10psi= 11psi
This left over pressure will determine how far manifold should be located from water playground features. Let’s assume 1-1/2” Sch80 PVC pipe is connected between manifold and water features.
Pressure loss per 100 ft of pipe is about 7psi for 1-1/2” Sch80 PVC pipe.
Therefore 100 ft * 11psi/7 psi= 157ft

As always there are some assumptions made in this basic calculation, you should consult your water playground equipment designer or contact myself for detail analysis of your water playground design.

Water Playground Equipment

Water Playground Equipment

Water Playground Equipment: Controller

Controller is the device which sequences water playground features. We recommend controller to be right next to manifold and prewired. Nirbo controllers are located right on top of our manifolds and they are preassembled and wired and factory tested. Controller should also have following capabilities, daily Start and Stop time of the water playground and sequencing capabilities. Some manufactures add lots of extra programming features in order to make their controller different, but they also complicate user interface, virtually all users use controller only few times a year and don’t like to go to site with a complex user manual. Therefore controller user interface should be simple and intuitive.

Water Playground Equipment: Activator

Activator is the device that sends a signal to the controller that someone in the water playground wants to operate the water playground. It is a very important component of water playground equipment, this should be a low voltage device typically 24V AC or DC. One problem we often encounter is vandalism of switches, kids usually gets frustrated when they try to operate water playground off-season and off- hours and vandalize the activation switch. As an owner you should be aware cost of replacing activation switch, some manufacturer design custom switches in order to be different, and changing these switches will cost you several hundred dollars, whereas Nirbo uses standard vandal resistant switches and always gives you a spare switch and original manufacturer’s part number so they can be replaced at minimal cost without delay. Standard Nirbo switch costs about $50 to replace; it is made out of stainless steel and built by worlds leading switch manufacturer.

If you have any questions contact the author.

Posted by
Salih Sokmen, P.Eng.
President
salih.sokmen@nirbo.com
Nirbo Aquatic Inc.

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Water Play Equipment Materials

Water Play Equipment Materials

In this article I will be discussing the material options you have for your water play equipment.
1. Steel
2. Stainless Steel
3. PVC
4. Fiberglass

Water Play Equipment

Water Play Equipment

Steel

This material is often used for structures that do not carry water inside. For example a stairs structure that allows access to a water slide. Steel is usually used as a supporting structure rather than a water feature. Because of the existence of chemicals like chlorine and acid in the water and low chemical resistance of steel to these chemicals, steel can’t be used as a water feature material. When it’s used as a supporting structure it should be properly painted to protect from corrosion.

Stainless Steel

This is a very favorable material for water play equipment; stainless steel has good chemical resistance to chlorine and acid which runs through your water play equipment. There are two grades of stainless steel type 304 and 316. When we say stainless steel in this article we mean 304 Stainless Steel. There are certain circumstances where type 316 is more suitable for your water play equipment; we will discuss this in another article. Stainless steel can also be used with polished surface or could be powder coated. If powder coating is going to be performed, you have to make sure that the surface is stand blasted, because smooth stainless steel surface does not have good powder coating adhesion. Make sure your manufacturer provides this as a standard process.

PVC

PVC is not a very strong material therefore it is not an ideal choice for the structure of water play equipment, whereas it is ideal for the plumbing of your water play equipment. PVC has very good chemical resistance to swimming pool water, it is that standard material of choice for water connections and fittings for example valves.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass could be a very strong material and has been widely used in themed water play equipment. One weakness of fiberglass is its crack resistance. Where vandalism is an issue for example municipal water play parks, you should use stainless steel. Fiberglass could easily crack if hit with hard materials for example at rock. Whereas stainless steel might deform slightly but this would not cause any leak or diminish its strength. Fiberglas is not as forgiving as stainless steel where vandalism is an issue. For municipal parks where access to water play equipment is not limited or controlled vandalism will be an issue. If fiberglass is used in the parks it should be in parts where kids cannot access.

If you have any questions contact the author.

Posted by

Salih Sokmen, P.Eng.
President
salih.sokmen@nirbo.com
Nirbo Aquatic Inc.

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Aqua Park Equipment: Drainage System

Aqua Park Equipment

Aqua park equipment drains are usually overlooked and under estimated in terms of their importance, let’s go one step back and consider how the water is going to reach aqua park equipment drains. The aqua park surface should be graded 1-5 %, this will provide proper flow of water to the drains.

Aqua Park Equipment

Aqua Park Equipment

You have to figure out how many aqua park equipment are going to supply water to this drain. Therefore you would know how much water the drain is expected to remove from your aqua park. You should repeat same process for all their drains or divide your aqua park and calculate amount of water needs to be removed from each section of your aqua park. Let’s assume you know how much water you are going to remove from each section. Let’s say your aqua park equipment in section A will provide 100 GPM, and let’s design and drainage system for this section. We recommend drain grate and pipe capacity should be minimum one and half times of water needs to be removed. Therefore we should be designing the drain system for 150GPM. Let’s look at our options. Below is a table that gives drain pipes water removal capacity.

Pipe size 1% slope 2% slope 3% slope
4 inch 27 38 47
6 inch 75 105 129
8 inch 153 211 265

Based on the table above we could use two 6 inch drain pipes or one 8 inch drain pipe to remove water supplied from your aqua park equipment. These are the pipes that are connected to your drain catch basin. Next thing you should be looking at is the catch basin’s grate water removal capacity. Check your manufacturer’s technical spec. One more thing you should be paying attention to is that opening size of that grate, since little children will be playing in your aqua park opening size should be limited to 3/8”.

A typical six-inch pipe catch basin size is 12” x 12”, whereas for an 8 inch pipe that catch basin signs would be 18” x 18”. This will give you a quick understanding of aqua park equipment drainage system. There are many other aspects of aqua park equipment drainage system that has not been discussed in here. We will address those at another time.

If you have any questions contact the author.

Posted by
Salih Sokmen, P.Eng.
President
salih.sokmen@nirbo.com
Nirbo Aquatic Inc.

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Which splash pad equipment to choose for your project?

There are several things needs to be considered for choosing the right splash pad equipment
1. Commercial or Residential Application
2. Vandalism Concerns
3. Municipal Park or Commercial Theme Park

Splash Pad Equipment

Splash Pad Equipment

Let’s try to address each item briefly: Splash pad equipment is a lot more expensive than dry playground equipment. There are several reasons for this for example material used is a lot more expensive. Structures carry water; therefore their design has to be hydraulically sound, this complicates manufacturing and design process significantly; resulting in increased cost.

Commercial or Residential Application

If you are considering building a commercial splash pad you should keep away from splash pad equipment manufactured for residential applications. Splash pad equipment manufactured for residential applications is usually made up of lower grade materials, for example plastics nozzles and nozzles housings. A commercial splash pad equipment should use durable materials for example stainless steel.

Vandalism Concerns

If your splash pad is going to be installed in an open municipal park environments and has unrestricted access, you should keep away from splash pad equipment manufactured from materials like fiberglass, PVC or their use should be very limited, since this equipment can be vandalized anytime of the day. If vandalism is a concern then you should look for splash pad equipment manufactured from materials that are very durable for example stainless steel.

Municipal Park or Commercial Theme Park

Commercial theme parks can be ideal place for using fiberglass based splash pads, with fiberglass one can create free form structures a lot easier than metals and since vandalism is not a problem in these environments use of fiberglass will not create any trouble for owners.

If you have any questions contact the author.

Posted by
Salih Sokmen, P.Eng.
President
salih.sokmen@nirbo.com
Nirbo Aquatic Inc.

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An Introduction to Splash Pad Design

Basics of a Splash Pad Design

Nirbo is a leading splash pad design company. Our company is located Toronto Ontario Canada, as a high quality splash pad design and manufacturing company we strive for product excellence in all aspects of splash pads. There are four aspects needs to be considered in a splash pad design.

1- Water Source
2- Manifold, Controller and Activator
3- Water Features
4- Drainage

Splash Pad Design

Splash Pad Design

Splash Pad Design: Water Source

This article is solely focuses on water supply side of splash pads designs where water is supplied from city main lines. This type of splash pad design is also called; fresh water system, city water systems, water to waste systems. We often get following questions regarding this type of splash pad design. Do I have enough pressure in my main line to operate the splash pad; the answer almost always is yes. The static pressure required to operate a typical splash pad manifold is 30 psi and city mainlines almost always have more pressure than this; typically 50 to 100 psi. Therefore we need to reduce the pressure to operate the splash pad properly. That is why we need a pressure regulator also called pressure reducing valve to reduce the pressure. All pressure reducing valves are not same; therefore a high flow pressure reducing valve should be used to minimize pressure loss. Most common water supply line size is two inches, there are several reasons for two inch size and why it works, we will come this later. There are many assumption made in this article which does not apply to all splash pad designs, therefore we highly recommend you contact to Nirbo or your aquatic engineer for a good splash pad design.

Manifold is the device where main water line comes in and from which water is divided into smaller water lines to go to water splash pad features. As mentioned before we need 30 psi static pressure on manifold for proper operation of splash pad. At 80 gpm flow rate we lose 5 psi at pressure reducing valve. Therefore gauge on manifold would read 25psi, when there is 80 gpm water flowing trough. Now we established minimum required pressure at the inlet of pressure reducing valve which is 30 psi, let’s have a look how far manifold can be from main water line. Pressure loss for a 2“ Sch80 pipe is 6psi for every 100ft (including some fittings let’s assume 8 psi), let’s assume city main has 50psi, therefore manifold could be about 250ft away from city main line.

There are some assumptions made in this article so you should consult your aquatic designer or call myself for further consulting.
I will discuss other aspects of splash pad design in another post.

If you have any questions contact the author.

Posted by
Salih Sokmen, P.Eng.
President
salih.sokmen@nirbo.com
Nirbo Aquatic Inc.

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