This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

SPLASH ZONES – An New Exciting Feature Requiring Close Control


WHAT IS A SPLASH ZONE? Splash zones are a relatively new water based feature introduced to many leisure facilities. They consist of a series of water features located on a rubber crumb surface pad. Water is delivered from the features and sprayed over children. The water then moves from the pad to a drainage system. From there the water is collected in a balance tank, is then passed through the purification system and should pass into a separate collection tank which feeds the features. Many are outdoors however there are some indoors.


There should be two balance tanks – a dirty tank collecting polluted water from the pad and a clean tank holding purified water for delivery to the pad via the feature pump. There should be a one way link back to the dirty tank to allow for water level control during periods when the features are not operating. Careful consideration should be given to the material used for the pad surface. Whilst rubber crumb will reduce human impact injuries, these surfaces can hold bacteria and promote infections, particularly so, if the cellular internal structure is exposed. Earlier designs allowed water to pass through rubber crumb which provided a network of channels ideal for the proliferation of bacteria and biofilms.

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING It is not always recognised that splash zones can pose a serious microbiological threat, in particular Legionella. Therefore it is essential that physical and chemical cleaning is carried out to a high standard. This should be complemented by constant monitoring and control of disinfectant and water chemistry. It is a fact that if the water has the recommended disinfectant level, is properly cleaned and diluted then the risk of contamination is very minimal. Consideration should be given to a ‘rest’ period during the day, especially after periods of heavy bathing, to allow the system to recover. The zone area must be kept meticulously clean. To this end the surface must be resistant to chlorine based chemicals and common biocides. It should also allow for regular physical cleaning. The balance tanks need to

36 February 2013 SPN

be checked regularly for signs of contamination and periodic cleaning will be required. Confined Space Regulations are commonly required.


Generic and site-based training are essential in producing safe hygienic water. Training starts with the installer who should provide the first practical meaningful documented training. This should be supplemented by a generic course to provide a basic knowledge of water treatment for the prospective operator. The STA can provide the latter with their Pool Plant Operators courses; the course will provide vital basic information. Site based procedures can be developed and integrated into Normal Operating Procedures and Emergency Action Plans.


The risk of drowning is limited commonly to the balance tanks, these are often confined spaces and they must have controlled entry with lockable covers.

All zones should have suitable filtration and automatic chemical dosing equipment as detailed by the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG). There should also be a clearly defined dilution policy. Pollution of the system should be

addressed including biological pollution from sea birds, vermin and wastes from users - bathers should be encouraged and be able to toilet and shower before access to the splash area. Chemical pollution from source water, water treatment by-products and other sources need to be monitored and controlled as per PWTAG guidelines. Similarly physical pollution needs to be addressed.

The threat of infection from air droplets and Legionella pneumophilia is a very serious risk; zones can generate perfect conditions in terms of temperature, nutrient and transmission

via water. Other human pathogens can also proliferate in a badly managed zone. Due to the nature of the chemicals used they have to be risk assessed and safe systems defined and implemented. All should be risk assessed and where required appropriate risk control measures applied and strictly adhered to.


Persons who carry out risk assessments and draw up the control measures to minimise the risks should have relative competence, ability, experience, instruction, training and resources available to carry out the tasks meaningfully and safely. They should also know the potential sources of risks, control measures and remedial action to be adopted for the protection of operators and users, and, to introduce measures to ensure the controls remain effective.

In simple terms risk assessments must be carried out, monitored and acted upon. It is also a duty of the operator to appoint a person to take day-to-day responsibility for controlling and eliminating any identified risk from Legionella.

Managing safety is a legal requirement.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE USE AND CONTROL OF SPLASH ZONES The main document for the control of splash zone water is contained in the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group publication ‘Swimming Pool Water Treatment and Quality Standards’. The STA have developed protocols and there are a number of key recommendations we should be aware of which apply to all wet leisure facilities: 1. Introduction of fresh water to limit organic and chemical loading is essential. Most busy splash zones will need to replace water on a frequent basis. A good guide is the pool water dilution policy of 30 litres of fresh water per bather per day! This means we must dump water at a controlled rate with direct relation to bather use. Therefore it is essential we know the number of bathers using the zone.

2. Bathers shower before use to wash away unwanted debris such as perspiration, body fats, cosmetics etc. which can act as

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100