1 Flow-through

These systems work like any tap-water faucet taking in clean water from a source and cycling it through the play structure and out into a sewage drain. With play elements connected directly to a domestic water source, the only mechanical equipment is the valve system that controls water flow to each play element. Because there?s no recirculated water, utilizing a flow-through water-treatment system is the least problematic in terms of water-quality issues and the risk of RWIs, but they use a tremendous volume of water.

?In a moderately sized wet playground with 10 wet-play elements, water usage could range from 200,000 to 300,000 gallons per day,? says Randy Mendioroz, principal and founder of Aquatic Design Group in Carlsbad, Calif.

Water conservation concerns have made this option increasingly less popular, especially in drought-stricken areas.

2 Flow-through with water recovery

Flow-through systems with water recovery include a below-grade water collection vessel to store water for use in irrigating adjacent sports fields or gardens. The stored water is filtered to remove large particulate matter before it is diverted. These systems reduce water loss, but maintenance costs for the filtration and initial capital costs can be significant.

3 Recirculation

Similar to a traditional pool, recirculating water within the spraypark features requires filtration, water-chemistry controls and pump systems. One pump system discharges water through the play features and the other moves water through filtration. Water is used conservatively, but it must be treated properly to ensure maximum sanitization. This means operators must have knowledgeable maintenance staffers and proper protocols in place.