Southlake Splash Pads
City of Southlake's Splash Pad Systems
There are two different style splash pad systems and both achieve a safe and healthy facility that aligns with CDC Best Practices and the Texas Administrative Code. The City of Southlake has working examples of each type of these systems and are noted below.
Bicentennial Park Playground
The Bicentennial Park amenity is a flow-through, or single-use splash pad, that uses the City’s public drinking (potable) water to feed all spray features and activities. After the water is sprayed by play features, it runs to drains on the pad base, which are routed directly to the park’s retention pond which is used to irrigate the 82-acre park. By routing runoff water directly to the pond, this system ensures clean, fresh water is always being used by pad features. This design relies on the City’s drinking water utility system, a system with several fail safes and a published Water Quality Report. The water spraying out at this spray pad is equivalent to the water spraying out of your shower at your home.
The Champions Club amenity is a recirculation style splash pad that uses filtration and disinfection systems to clean water that is reused within the splash pad system; the same process that keeps public swimming pools clean. Water flows from the drains on the pad to a main collection tank. Water from the collection tank flows through a filtration system, consisting of a filter, UV disinfection system, and disinfection treatment. Only after flowing through this system, is the water pumped to the features that patrons interact with. State-of-the-art chemical controllers and monitoring systems are used to ensure proper water chemistry and quality are maintained to the requirements of the Texas Department of State Health Services Public Swimming Pool and Spa code, and the Public Interactive Water Feature Code, which aligns with the recommendations for healthy swimming from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Chemical controllers are a key component of the sanitation system on any pool or splash pad. A BECSys5 controller by BECS Technology has been installed on all Southlake’s splash pads to ensure proper chemical levels are continuously monitored and maintained. This controller allows for advanced water chemistry control and real-time remote access and status change alerts. If the chlorine levels fall outside the 1.0-8.0 ppm range, the system will alert City staff who will shut the feature down. Proper water chemistry is critically important as a single part per million of chlorine will kill 99.9% of Naegleria fowleri bacteria.
The Champions Club spray pad is maintained at an average of 2.63 parts per million, easily neutralizing the amoeba.
The splash pad at Bicentennial Park is a flow-through system fed by the City’s public drink water. The City of Southlake’s drinking water has an average chlorine residual of 2.55 ppm for the past 12 months. This facility has also been enhanced by Sunbelt Pools, a highly respected pool contractor and service provider, to include a BECSys5 control system and a medium pressure Ultraviolet Supplemental sanitation system as an additional measure of safety and healthiness. The City and Sunbelt Pools have improved on the Bicentennial Park system to achieve the CDC higher standard and mitigate any pathogens that might be present in the water supply.
The UV systems at both Southlake splash pads operate above the minimum requirement of 40mj/cm2 dosing rate to ensure an enhanced level of disinfection and user safety.
While the risks associated with water-borne health risks can feel daunting to the general public, it is important to note that community leaders in Southlake, design professionals at Water Technology Inc., and the local aquatic service professionals at Sunbelt Pools are working together to ensure the safety of our patrons. The preventative measures that we have taken help to alleviate some of the safety concerns relative to Naegleria fowleri and preserve safe community aquatic attractions for many summer seasons to come.