Splash Pads

How much does a splash pad cost?

There are a number of factors to take into consideration when determining the cost of a splash pad. Site preparation (excavation, granular prep, concrete deck etc.), installation, features and finishing work (landscaping, sodding etc.) will all vary by project. Contact us to discuss your needs and we can work together to determine a budget.

Do splash pads use chlorine?

The simple answer is yes! Domestic water supply is typically used for splash pads and contains a small amount of chlorine based on potable water standards. Higher concentrations of chlorine are used when the water from the splash pad is being recirculated and requires additional disinfection as per pool code regulations.

Are splash pads dangerous?

A splash pad is a zero-depth aquatic play area that allows families to cool off with peace of mind. Many park administrators appreciate how they require no lifeguard supervision as they pose no more risk than standard dry-play playground equipment.

Is the water from a splash pad recycled?

A splash pad in a public or municipal setting typically has a flow-through system that uses the domestic water supply. In a private sector environment (i.e. campground, amusement park etc.), a recirculation system that “recycles” the water is often used due to the high volume of water that would be required to operate the splash pad.

When does my local splash pad open?

The splash pad operating season typically runs from late May until the end of September depending on weather. Check your municipality’s website for a listing of splash pad locations and operating hours.

How many gallons of water does a splash pad use?

Splash pad water consumption will vary based on water line size and if a recirculating system is in use. Water usage can range from 20 to 100 cubic meters of water per day depending on the water quality management system in place.

How big should my splash pad be?

There are a couple of key considerations when it comes to splash pad capacity. An oversized splash pad may look empty and uninviting. An undersized splash pad will be overcrowded during peak load periods, compromising the quality of the user experience. In general, we recommend a user capacity of 1 person per 25 sq.ft. of splash pad area. To learn more, read the full Capacity Guide from Vortex.

Do I need washrooms near my splash pad?

From a thermal comfort perspective, you want people to come and stay for a while and one of the basic necessities is a place to use the washroom. Having a washroom near your splash pad helps to keep your splash pad clean and prevents kids from using the washroom in the splash pad. Additionally, having a washroom nearby will keep families at the splash pad longer. If a bathroom isn’t feasible at your splash pad, a portable toilet is another option.

What other items should I add to my splash pad area?

Site furnishings make spaces more comfortable and useful for users. Consider adding site amenities to your splash pad such as benches, tables and chairs, and shade. Additionally, to help keep your splash pad neat and tidy, provide guests with litter and recycling receptacles. Lastly, planters help spruce up outdoor spaces with natural pops of colour and life

How much water does a splash pad use?

Water usage will be determined by the water management system you choose. See our question on drainage to learn more!

What happens to the water that drains from the splash pad?

There are a few different options to consider when it comes to managing the water that drains from a splash pad.

The first option is to simply just let the water flow-through the splash pad and directly into the municipal wastewater system. This is the easiest water management option and the one that requires the least amount of maintenance. A flow-through system uses, on average, 75-100 cubic metres of water per day. This is based on a 2” water service.

The second option is to capture the water that drains from the splash pad and repurpose it for surface irrigation, such as watering a nearby sports fields. The water will need to be disinfected prior to use. Capture and repurpose systems use, on average, 50-75 cubic metres of water per day. The capacity of your holding tank will determine how much of the water can be repurposed and the overflow goes to storm or sanitary.

The final and most comprehensive option is to recirculate the water using advanced water treatment processes so that the water can be used again on the splash pad. This WQMS (Water Quality Management System) does require monitoring. Re-circulating systems use, on the high-end, 20-30 cubic metres of water per day.

How much maintenance and servicing is required for a splash pad?

At minimum, each splash pad requires a seasonal start-up and shut down. We also recommended a daily visual inspection—something we call a drive-by—to check for broken glass or debris. It’s also beneficial for the sequence—the run time or duration of functionality for all features—to be tested daily. Each sequence runs, on average, for 3-5 minutes. Additional maintenance will be determined by the water management system that is used. For example, the water tank will need to be emptied regularly on a repurpose system and water will need to be tested often on a recirculating system.

What is the warranty for a splash pad purchased from ABC Recreation?

It’s important that your splash pad is covered by a comprehensive and well-defined warranty comparable to what we are able to offer through our manufacturer Vortex Aquatic Structures International Inc.

  • 25 years for structural stainless steel on features and hardware
  • 5 years all plastic and fiberglass components
  • 10 years on weld workmanship
  • Minimum 2 years warranty on all electronic components

What splash pad services does ABC Recreation offer?

Our service team is equipped to troubleshoot any issue you have with your splash pad. We can provide support with:

  • Installation
  • Annual maintenance for spring start-up and winter shut-down
  • Electronic (i.e. controller)
  • Mechanical (i.e. water distribution valves)
  • Structural (i.e. components, the splash pad deck)
  • Training for new staff
  • Splash pad optimization (i.e. water conservation)
  • See Our Services page for more information on how we can help!


How durable is your playground equipment?

Our playground manufacturer Landscape Structures only uses the best materials and innovative features to build products that will last for generations. From the exclusive compression clamps that keep fingers and clothing safe to the tunnel slide design that eliminates pinched fingers, their focus–and ours–is on safety and durability. Their equipment is backed with the most comprehensive long-term warranties in the industry. You can learn more about the materials used and quality standards here.

How can I raise funds for my playground project?

Looking at the financial hurdle you must overcome to create a community or school playground can be daunting, but fundraising doesn’t have to be a chore – it can be fun! Together with our friends at Landscape Structures, we can help you:

  • Develop a detailed playground project plan
  • Establish a timeline and budget
  • Brainstorm fundraising ideas or events that will appeal to local businesses and individual donors in your community
  • Research funding opportunities that you may be eligible for

You can learn more about playground fundraising here.

What is a community build?

A community build involves bringing friends, neighbours and business people together to help with the assembly of playground equipment under the leadership of our skilled installation crew. It’s a great opportunity for local residents to gain a sense of pride and ownership for this new gathering place in your community. Even more, these volunteers are helping the school or community save on installation costs.

Can you retrofit my existing playground?

Yes, we can definitely help with that! Retrofitting an existing play area with new components is a cost-effective alternative to replacing an entire site. Over the years we have worked with many municipalities and schools to develop a retrofit plan that will breathe new life into an existing playstructure while ensuring it meets current CSA standards. Get in touch with us to learn more!

What should I do if my playground is vandalized or damaged?

The best way to deal with vandalism and intentional damage is to prevent it in the first place. Try to get your community actively involved at your park. The more eyes and the more people watching, the less likely someone is going to engage in this kind of activity. That said, we know these problems still happen and we encourage you to take photos and reach out to us right away if they do. We’ll work with you to figure out the best plan for removal or replacement.

What is an accessible playground?

An accessible playground is one in which kids of all abilities can access the playground and play together. We believe playgrounds should go beyond accessibility and be fully inclusive to truly support the needs of all users.

Does accessible just refer to users with wheelchairs?

Traditionally, making a playground accessible meant adding features like wider ramps so those using wheelchairs or other mobility devices could access the play events. Now, a much broader range of disabilities (i.e sensory disorders, visual or hearing impairments etc.) are being addressed by experts and playgrounds are being designed differently. We call this design philosophy A Higher Level of Inclusive Play™ and we design play spaces for individuals with a variety of challenges, interests and abilities.

What is Annex H and where does it apply?

The purpose of Annex H is to provide guidance when evaluating accessible play equipment. It is derived from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and establishes a minimum accessibility requirement for all newly constructed playgrounds, which are designed for children 18 months to 12 years of age. The purpose is to ensure all children are included when they go to a playground. In fact, it is recommended all users of CAN/CSA-Z614 adopt Annex H as their accessibility standard for new and renovated playgrounds.

These play spaces can be located in a variety of different settings including schools, parks, institutions, private resorts and other areas of public use. Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is working toward accessibility for all by 2025. Many large public organizations are already required to comply.

Outdoor Musical Instruments

What kind of musical instruments do you offer?

We offer a variety of drums, metallophones, chimes, bells, xylophones and marimbas just to name a few. In addition to the individual instruments, we also have musical collections that are designed to play together.

Safety Surfacing

Does my play space require safety surfacing?

Any playground equipment that has a fall height will require protective safety surfacing. Playground equipment that does not have a fall height will not require it.

What is the required depth for safety surfacing?

The required depth of safety surfacing is dependent on the fall height of the playground equipment. Typical depth for Engineered Wood Fiber is 12” but that will vary based on fall height. The required thickness for rubber will be determined by the rubber type and fall height.

Site Furnishings

What is the best surface to mount a bench or litter receptacle on?

Furnishings like benches and litter receptacles are best installed on a level concrete pad. Many designs do not require permanent anchoring and can remain as portable amenities, however, anchoring to the concrete is recommended for security, and in some cases, is required for stability. Anchoring to paving stones is much less secure and generally not recommended.

What is the best surface to mount a picnic table on?

Many traditional picnic table designs can be placed directly on grassy, gravel or concrete surfaces if portability is required. You can consider anchoring to a concrete pad or individual piers for added security.

Bike Racks & Repair

What is the best surface to mount a traditional bike rack on?

Most bike racks are available in either surface or in-ground (embedded) mount. Surface mount racks should be installed on a level concrete pad or walkway using appropriate concrete anchors. In-ground racks must be embedded in concrete footings that extend below the frost line.

How are wall-mount bike racks installed?

Wall-mount bike racks can be installed into steel or wood wall studs using the appropriate lag screws. They can also be directly attached to a concrete or cinder block wall using the appropriate expanding or chemical anchors. Anchoring into brick veneers is not recommended.

What is the most durable material or finish for a bike rack?

Many bike rack models are available in polished stainless steel, which is undoubtedly the most durable material, providing a chip-free finish. If a more cost-effective solution is required, you can consider a bike rack constructed from high strength steel tubing. These racks are available with a Hot Dip Galvanized or Polyester Powdercoat finish.

What tools should I look for in a quality bike repair station?

Here’s a list of commonly used tools that we would recommend:

  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Flat head Screwdriver
  • Allen Wrench Combo Set: 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 mm
  • Open-end, flat wrenches for pedals, hubs and bearings: 13, 14, 15 and 16 mm
  • Open-end, flat wrench for head set: 30, 32, 36 and 40 mm
  • Adjustable Wrench 6″ long for axle nuts, etc.
  • Tire Levers for tire repair/replacement