Do Splash Pads Use a Lot of Water? Everything You Need to Know

Splash Pad

Your child may get used to the atmosphere brought by a swimming pool. If you are looking for another way to let them play in the water, a splash pad is an ideal choice. With the water spraying that this structure provides, does it consume a lot of water?

Splash pads require a vast water supply. Underground tanks installed for its water source can hold up to 150 gallons. The daily amount of water a splash pad can run reaches up to 26,000 gallons. By installing a water system, you save water.

In this article, we will discuss how much water splash pads use, as well as their filters, water systems, pros, and cons.


How Much Water Does a Splash Pad Use?

A splash pad can run about 5,000 to 26,000 gallons of water daily, the underground tanks that serve as a water source can hold about 150 gallons. The sprayed water from splash pads will go to the filters and come back to the tank installed underground. The amount of water that it can consume depends on water resource management. It also varies based on the size of the water pipe and the type of system you will use.

If you build a splash pad, make sure to establish a stable water source. The commonly used system for splash pads is a recirculating system. This can help you save water as the splash pad will reuse the water used to spray on the area.

In 2018, the Water Department Superintendent Reggie Winslow stated, on the Ellsworth American news, that around 3.3 million gallons were used by splash pads annually in the city of Ellsworth alone. This proves that splash pads require a colossal amount of water. Although, there are alternatives to conserve water over time.

Several considerations were discussed by the National Recreation and Park Association regarding the use of water in a splash pad. Water shortage is one of the major concerns in the consumption of water parks. To prevent this problem, water recirculation was proposed to apply to all of the water parks, splash pads, and water structures.

The recycling of water in the splash pads is one of the best options to conserve it. Although, the drawback of this idea is the harmful effects of contaminated water. The water sprayed in splash pads can indeed rinse a lot of dirt brought by the children and reuse it, which is dangerous due to the bacteria it contains.

According to Vortex Aquatic Structures International marketing and design specialist Patricia Rothschild, the water used to recycle splash pads should undergo a sanitation process. The idea is to make the water consumed clean at all times. Rothschild also stated that the water treatment depends on the regulations provided by each state. Chlorination and ultraviolet treatments were suggested by other states.

Since splash pads are usually utilized by children, the water may be contaminated from playing outside the pad. If they bring dirt to the area of the pad, the water will drain to its system. A recirculating water system can help preserve the water that will go through maintenance and sanitation before the water is sprayed back into the splash pad.


Do Splash Pads Filter Water?

Some splash pads possess a sanitation system and filter the water sprayed back into the pad. Some others, in other states, clean it with chlorine. What’s most alarming is that you can’t guarantee whether a certain splash pad has the cleaning setup since some of them just recycle the water without a filter.

Luckily, there are ways to filter the recycled water coming out of the splash pads. A recirculating water system is a process where the water is disinfected and reused. It requires several underground apparatus installations like filters, pumps, and chemical controllers.

If you are looking for safe water for the children playing in splash pads, a freshwater system is the finest choice. This type of water did not go through a sanitation process with chemicals to disinfect it. With such, children who are exposed to splash pads won’t experience diseases caused by contaminated or recycled water.

In choosing the water supply for your splash pad, you can decide between fresh water and a recirculation system.


Fresh Water vs. Recirculation System

The amount of water you’ll need for your splash pad depends on the water system you may want to incorporate with the water structure. To save water, you can benefit from the recirculation system. The safety of the water is the main advantage you can get for a freshwater system.

When choosing the ideal water system for your splash pad, freshwater is a good option since it is drinkable. Children playing in splash pads can indeed accidentally drink the water. Thus, you won’t have to worry with this system since the water is safe and clean.

If you opt for the recirculation system, you will spend more on the installation of the sanitation equipment under the splash pad. But the hassle doesn’t stop there. You will also need to process the requirements needed before you can install the system.

You are required to hire engineers to plan the recirculation system, as well as a contractor for the maintenance, and to buy the equipment and sanitize chemicals, alongside several other things. The estimated amount you can spend for this is more than $50,000.

As for freshwater, you don’t need to install expensive equipment nor hire an engineer for the layout of the water lines. That means you are not going to pay a lot of money just to ensure the water is safe for the children to use. There are no inspections needed for the disinfecting chemicals.

Even though the recirculating system can clean the water, the chemicals mixed with it can be harmful to the children. If your child’s skin is sensitive to chlorine, it can cause irritations that come with itchy and red skin. It is also dangerous for people with dermatitis to get exposed to these types of chemicals as it can worsen their condition.

Unintentional ingestion of the treated water is also dangerous as it can harm your child.


Pros and Cons of Splash Pads

Splash pads provide enjoyment to kids with their greatly designed water spray structures. Installing this or letting your kids play in this area can bring about both pros and cons. Before you engage in this kind of unique playing ground, you must keep several factors that may impact your child in mind.



  • Less supervision is needed for the children since there is no standing water. You can let your children play in the splash pads freely without worrying about them drowning.
  • It is a good alternative to swimming since you don’t need to dip your children in the water.
  • Splash pads bring children a new way to enjoy the water and will offer them fun. If you are hesitant about letting your child play in swimming pools, splash pads are your next best option.
  • Splash pads are environmentally safe since they recycle the water used after the spraying or sprinkling action. Thus, you are not wasting water, even if your children play for a long time.
  • Installing splash pads is more affordable than building a pool. Although it requires you to put up sanitation equipment, it is still less of a hassle and cheaper than the planning and creation of a swimming pool.
  • Splash pads require less maintenance after the setup compared to swimming pools, for which you need to conduct a regular cleaning process.
  • The creative designs of splash pads are another advantage if you want to install them. You can build slides and other structures that will produce water spray.
  • Splash pads are also an ideal way to beat the heat in the summer. Aside from the fun, your kids can cool down with the water sprays while playing.



  • You can expect your children to be safe from drowning, although they may injure themselves due to slipping on wet concrete floors.
  • Since you cannot be sure whether the splash pads have a recirculating or freshwater system, water contamination can bring risks to you and your child.
  • Slippery grounds are dangerous, so you are still advised to check on your children at all times as they tend to run when playing.
  • The installation of a recirculating system for the splash pads is complicated. It requires you to comply with several state requirements and hire an engineer for the planning.
  • Splash pads use a huge amount of water depending on the water system used.



Splash pads require a lot of water if the management doesn’t install apparatus to preserve them. That is why water systems are now associated with this kind of structure to save more water. The only major drawback of recycling water is the contamination and chemicals that can harm the children playing in it. If there are no bacteria, accidental consumption of treated water can put them in danger.

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