The recent Woodlands Water Park Rehabilitation and Upgrade project was undertaken to replace an original recirculating spraypark in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. The original spraypark was constructed in 1994 and was the first of its kind in western Canada. It quickly obtained overwhelming regional popularity and entertained up to 2,000 visitors on its busier days. However, it was designed for a bather load of approximately 400.

Due to aging equipment and infrastructure deterioration and the labor-intensity required to maintain the treatment equipment to sustain safe water quality for users, a replacement and upgrade strategy was developed for the facility in 2005.

Three spraypark concepts were developed and presented to city residents

at an open house in May 2006, where the public voted on which concept to carry forward. A medieval concept was selected by the public. Construction began in July 2006 and was completed in June 2007.

Local health regulations do not currently include provisions for recirculating sprayparks because nearly all these facilities are built on a smaller scale and do not incorporate on-site water treatment. Instead, most of these facilities draw water directly from the municipality’s water-distribution system and drain directly to the sewers.

Thus, the design team worked closely with health authorities to develop a reasonable treatment standard. The standards developed for this project now are being used by the health authority in similar projects.

Filtration rates for the spraypark were designed to be much lower than for

a typical water recreation facility, such as a swimming pool, which are commonly in the12- to 15 gpm/square feet range, due to the significantly lower operating water volume. The lower operating water volumes typically associated with recirculating sprayparks are subject to a higher risk of rapid changes in water quality, which requires a more conservative treatment system design to achieve and maintain safe water quality.

Ultimately, this project was incredibly challenging because of three key needs: (1) to provide a suitable level of service, or playability; (2) to meet pre-existing bather loads within the same footprint as the original spraypark; (3) designing a water-treatment system to maintain safe water quality for park patrons.

The finished spraypark successfully satisfies all these requirements, providing a premier water recreation facility for people of all ages and abilities. Its features complement each other within a medieval theme, encouraging imaginative adventures for younger users. Whether patrons decide to visit the facility for 15 minutes or the whole day, they are sure to enjoy a fun aquatic experience.

Within the toddler play area, simple spray features introduce water play to younger guests. Spray features such as the Spidey Spray, Aqua Dome, Fountain Spray, Mini Water Tunnel, Misty, Tot-Mister, Foaming Geyser, Donut Spray and Water Jelly encourage unintimidating water play.

In the intermediate play zone, slightly more advanced spray features encourage hours of imaginative game play. Spray features include the Rain Forest, Medieval Tipping Bucket Tower, Splash Palace and Dino Quest. The massive Splash Palace and beautifully painted Dino Quest feature adventures with an incredible sea dragon besieging a castle.

The advanced play zone contains the park’s most intimidating and interactive features. Spray features include the Aqualien, Soak Station, Team Spray, Super Splash and Rising Flag. These all encourage user cooperation to generate the maximum amount of spray and fun. The Super Splash is a gargantuan tipping bucket feature, which randomly spills water over as many as 30 patrons, while the four water cannons located in the Soak Station are always a park favorite.