Water parks, in general, are a one-stop shop for entertainment, fun and are considered one of the ultimate getaways with family, friends, and colleagues. The best water parks offer various slides, rides, pools, wave pools, and other fun, thrilling activities that can be enjoyed by one and all, be it kids, teenagers, youngsters, or even grownups.
Water park builders and developers invest a lot of time planning and executing the project, which includes design, manufacturing, installation of equipment, landscape, gardening, construction, operation management, and service.
The emphasis is always on the theme, variety, and location. Also, a lot of effort goes into marketing the final product. One of the key focus areas where a lot of thought and energy goes is the precautions taken by the waterpark owners and manufacturers before the waterpark gates are opened to the public for the ultimate fun experience.
Why are precautions required?
The rides and any heavy machinery in the water park can pose a threat to public safety. Operators will constantly state, they will NOT accept liability for any losses or damages sustained by any person however arising. But the fact remains that when an accident occurs on the premises, it will surely bring a lot of bad and unwanted poor publicity. It is therefore essential that appropriate safety measures and rules are put in place.
Consider what rules should be implemented to ensure public safety. Are there any height, weight, and age restrictions that should be put in place? Certain slides are thrilling enough to pose health risks for specific audience demographics. Hence, such rides need to be bundled with medically related restrictions, and you need expert team members who would then have the responsibility of enforcing the limited access.
Since a significant visitor demographics are young, child safety is crucial in planning and designing the water park. Signages should be put in place if required with caution signs for all rides, slides, and pools with a risk element. It would be appropriate to put proper signages at all the sections highlighting key areas such as:
- Medical Room
- Changing Rooms
- Admin area
- Electrical Machinery area
- Utility Closets
- Commercial Stores
- Emergency Exits
Additionally, guest control rooms and security should be accessible to approach in case kids go missing or require assistance.
The park would need to be ready with a plan of what needs to be done if an emergency was to strike. This could be a minor slip, an accident, or a bigger issue like a machine or ride malfunctioning, which could cause a serious injury to the visitors. This can range from managing foot traffic, having a Health and Safety Team, placement of first aid booths, demarcations towards emergency exits, egress plans etc.
Foot traffic movement needs to be planned by waterpark owners to avoid stampede-like scenarios at times of emergencies. It would be wise to have a Health and Safety team on-site comprising of workers, managers trained in first aid courses. The size of the team could vary as per the water park size. Each incident, minor or major, should be recorded in the health and safety register, and the team should develop a plan to prevent accidents of such nature in the future.
Water Park Designs
All rides and slides need to have an anti-collision mechanism and an emergency stop mechanism, easily accessed and operated by the team managing the site and activity corners.
Anti-skid platforms should be in place in all areas where there is a potential risk of slip and falls, especially in all the restrooms, showers, and visitor storage lockers areas.
In waterparks, depending on the people in the pool, water is going to overflow which cannot be allowed to flow out. Not only will it result in water shortage but also pose a slipping hazard. Hence, re-routing the water spillage is one of the main challenges during water park designing. Any overflow of water from the pool will need a proper outlet to be flushed and reused. If not addressed, the overflow of pool water to the walking passage will increase the probability of clients slipping and falling.
If the park operates during evening and night hours, all spaces must be well lit and equipped with proper lighting.
Installing Quality Equipment and Constant Inspection
Water park owners must ensure that the equipment they install is of high quality. Procurement of slides and pools must be done through a renowned Water slide manufacturer in Kansas like Splashtacular, who can provide expert technicians for installation.
Electricity is vital for smooth operation of a water park but it doesn’t play well with water itself. Hence, all electrical systems should be shielded properly to avoid coming in contact with water and appropriate breaker mechanisms should be installed for smooth functioning of water park slides and rides.
Slides, wave pools, and other rides should be tested, especially when reopening the park for public use. A test ride can ensure that all slides and rides are working correctly and are safe for the public. There needs to be a team in place having the responsibility of routine checking of alarms, public announcement systems, emergency exits, and any other miscellaneous equipment..
Hiring Trained Members
Certain types of slides or pools may involve the visitors going through slides at high speeds. To ensure the visitors can enjoy such rides without any hassles, staff should be stationed at starting point and ending point. The team at the activity launch guides the visitors on how to use the rides correctly at entry, and the second team will there to receive them on the other end. Before opening a water park, the developers should ensure a well-trained team of operators is hired and in place for all such slides. There should be proper coordination by way of walkie–talkies, eye contact, and signaling.
Lifeguards, first aid teams to be present manning and managing all the slides and pools. Life vests should be available at high-risk areas for the safety of visitors. The staff should be groomed for handling the footfalls, especially for managing a large number of visitors on weekends and holiday seasons.With all the safety measures put in place, a complete operation and equipment handling training guide should be provided to each waterpark team member regularly.
Water Treatment Plants
With hundreds of footfalls and with the figure swelling to thousands during weekends and school holidays, it becomes imperative for water park manufacturers that they have water treatment plants that ensure consistent water quality. This means the levels of different components in pool water such as pH, chlorine, chloramines, hardness, etc. need to be checked and maintained at all times. These treatment plants need to be big enough to efficiently treat water of all rides, slides, and pools throughout the day for the facility to work smoothly. So, the maintenance staff needs to be trained to perform regular inspection of the plant and machinery. Additional pool attendants can be hired to regularly carry out any cleaning which may not be possible by water treatment plants.
In a well-planned water park with all safety and precautions in place, the waterpark owners can ensure a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable day for their customers. The precautions mentioned above will help you to ensure your waterpark operates smoothly even after years of constant closing for winter (off-season) and reopening before the summer begins.