Splashpad® Sanitizing and COVID-19

Aquatic facilities and parks and recreation departments already employ established checklists and schedules to clean and maintain their Splashpads throughout the season. In light of COVID-19 concerns, we have compiled a list of recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Health Canada to assist you in evaluating your current procedures.

Water

According to the CDC, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in aquatic play areas. If your Splashpad water management system is a:

  • Flow through. The potable water from the city is disinfected with chlorine which should inactivate the virus in the water.
  • Recirculation. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) should inactivate the virus in the water. Maintain proper disinfectant levels (1-10 parts per million free chlorine or 3-8 ppm bromine) and pH (7.2-8). If your system uses Ultraviolet Disinfection (UV), this provides an additional layer of disinfection.

Reference: Water and COVID-19 FAQs

Indoor aquatic play features

  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, most common household disinfectants should be effective.
  • EPA recommended list
  • Health Canada recommended list
    • Follow the cleaning and disinfectant product manufacturer's instructions for concentration, application method and contact time, etc.

Outdoor aquatic play features

The CDC suggests that outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning but do not require disinfection. It's recommended that you do NOT spray disinfectant on outdoor play areas - it is not an efficient use of supplies and is not proven to reduce risk of COVID-19 to the public.  High touch surfaces, such as the water features themselves, should be cleaned routinely.

Reference: Considerations for Public Pools, Hot Tubs and Water Playgrounds During COVID-19

Cleaning schedules

We encourage you to review your team's protocols and procedures for cleaning public spaces. As an example, consider shutting down your Splashpad at regular intervals during operating hours to thoroughly clean and disinfect indoor water play features, and clean outdoor features.

Note that park and recreation departments and aquatic facilities should follow local, state and provincial guidelines that may determine when and how recreational water facilities may operate. 

Reference: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility

Links to additional resources

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Government of Canada

World Waterpark Association