November 25th, 2021
If you are starting to plan a splash pad, there’s one decision you’ll have to make sooner than later. And the sooner the better.
Of course, water flow is at the heart of your splash pad and everyone’s enjoyment of it. You have two choices for the sources of water: flow-thru or recirculation. They both can work for your installation, but one of them might have advantages that make more sense for your requirements.
Also known as potable, freshwater or city water systems, flow-thru systems are powered by the water (and water pressure) of your local municipal water system. The same one that provides your tap water.
Freshwater, using the municipal water pressure powers the water features and their spray patterns. Afterward, the water drains into the municipal sewer system.
Flow-thru systems have low up-front costs because there’s no need for pumps, filters or other equipment. However, they have the ongoing cost of constantly using freshwater. As such, they may not be the right choice in areas where water is expensive or conservation is a priority.
Also known as Water Quality Management Systems, recirculation systems use equipment to constantly monitor, pump, filter and chemically treat the same reservoir of water.
In addition to conserving more water, recirculation systems also give you more control of water quality and the water pressure going through your splash pad equipment.
However, both your upfront and ongoing costs can be higher than for flow-thru systems. Upfront costs include the equipment needed to store, pump and treat the water. Ongoing costs include the power to run the equipment, water treatment chemicals, water testing, and equipment maintenance, among others. And you’ll still have ongoing water costs to replace water lost to evaporation.
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