HAVING A BLAST!
Add a splash of waterplay to your on-site visitor appeal...
The height of the season is the ideal time to review your current water play offering – or even a new attraction. An objective survey, with your guests in situ, will help identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for enhancements through investment.
“We recommend holiday parks and visitor attractions contact us towards the end of the summer into early September to embark upon a design process if they would like new water play in location for their following season,” advises Michelle Minns-Sykes of leading water play provider, Ustigate Waterplay. “This provides ample time to play around with some great ideas and to apply attention to detail.”
The typical duration for a full turnkey solution in design and build, from order to completion, is 16 weeks. A smaller scale aquatic scheme can be created in as little as two weeks.
Certified products can be selected from a nautical theme a sailboat with a captain’s wheel, tipping bucket and cannon to a nature theme picking out a choice of trees and leafy features. All themes offer varied water effects, with several products that also have 360° rotation ability.
Modern day aquatic play has accelerated in terms of its product development in the last 30 years. No longer seen as a static above ground feature that sprays water from a variety of heights and differing directions, there are many products with rotational abilities that place the water directions and water effects in the water player’s hands.
Ustigate’s Splashpad® collections include Toons, Sea Silhouette, Watergarden, Nautical, Contemporary, Classic, Water Journey™, New Fine Mist, Spraylink™, Ground Sprays, Poolplay™, Lazy River and New Coreoplay Playable Fountains. All available in a rainbow of colour choices, many products are complemented with translucent Seeflow™ to reflect aesthetically pleasing and colourful shadows around the environment when sunshine and water are present.
Ustigate’s most popular water play theme is the award-winning Explora water play scheme, designed and developed to engage children to move, push, pull, spin and splash. Explora features Luna with Twistnozzle™ enabling children to push and pull to change the direction of the fine, water sprays and there are a variety of play items with different sized orbs and water effects that invite children to spin and spash.
The orbs in Bobble No.1 and Bobble No.2 are self spinning and invite children to a close-up, hands-on experience with water. “Our new build services include the design, installation, water testing, commissioning and staff training prior to handover,” says Michelle who adds: “Our 57 years of aquatic play fruition provides us with knowledge, experience and expertise and an enquiry begins with gathering information, a meeting, site survey and design brief.”
The award-winning team is celebrating 20 years of aquatic play partnership with Vortex Aquatic Structures International Inc this year. With all projects unique, a typical budget for any water play scheme, location and installation needs to cover the play equipment value, plant room and connection to services.
Ustigate offers a portfolio of 150 individual Splashpad® products and 50 different ground spray options, all formed from collections to fit an abundance of themes and environments. Splashpads and water play projects come in all shapes and sizes starting with supply only of interactive water features to compliment and enhance a pool setting to full turnkey solutions in the design and installation of new facilities featuring inclusive splashpads, Elevations™ and waterslides.
Ustigate offers a complete design to installation services and we also collaborate with architects appointed by holiday park operators to design and install new water play facilities. Quite often a holiday park will be enhancing their facilities and the water play will sit within a larger development. The Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) recommends a recirculation water system will consist of a two tank system; one tank for the clean water and another separate tank for the dirty water.
Following play, water will drain into the dirty water tank and it will only enter the clean water tank when it has passed through UV filtration and water treatment, making it clean and fit for play again. This system is the equivalent of the water management for a swimming pool and it guarantees one body of water to be of the highest quality and safe for public interaction. All water is chased to drain after play resulting in a water play area without any water depth that does not require lifeguards.
A splashpad is designed with age appropriate zones, making it the perfect playscape for young children to build their water confidence as well as providing an arena for older children that arrive with water confidence to enjoy being soaked by a tipping bucket or some cannon fun with their friends and family. There are many products that engage collaborative and cognitive play and the benefits of the Vortex product line available from Ustigate is their playability.
Aquatic play is no longer offered from static products that spray alone because there are products with exclusive technologies such as Twirltec™ and Turntec™ enabling children to take their aquatic play items on a full 360° spin - resulting in twirlling, spiralling water patterns as well as a change of water direction. The products engage children to interact together and the technologies engage children to interact with the products - the water play moves from a ‘beyond control’ tipping bucket to placing the water play and water direction into the excitable hands of the water player; promoting physical, mental and social development as well as maximising fun.
Spraylink™ and Ground Sprays are all round favourites that will appear in all designs because of the fact they are inclusive and popular with all ages and abilities. The most popular ground sprays are straight up Jet Streams, arched Water Tunnels, Team Sprays where children work together to cover up nozzles to create a bigger splash and Hop and Star because children love to bounce and splash.
Sustainability, environment and economy are key drivers for our future and remaining active outdoors is key to our good health and livelihood. The IPCC of the United Nations have advised heat waves are expected to become more frequent, more intense and longer lasting because of climate change. Trending worldwide is more planting, climate shelters, cooling stations and less carbon emissions to slow the rate of climate change.
Ustigate has introduced their new Fine Mist collection featuring Refresh and Glomist with solar LED’s - products designed and developed by Vortex to keep us cool! Refresh is an attractive, arched product with two refreshing misty water effects; also provided with a UV stable toeguard. Glomist is offered at two different heights, provided with integrated activation, either three or five misty water jets and solar LEDs. The solar cell battery is rechargeable.
Both Refresh and Glomist are low consumption water misting products that are fed from potable water making them economic to run and environmentally friendly to local landscape. Also launched in March this year, Ustigate offer a choice of six pre-designed Coreplay Playable Fountains that include Sunset, Rainbow, Ocean, Volcano, Firework and Wave! A choice of animated dancing water jets with sequenced water movement and colourful lighting.
Ustigate offer the addition of solar PV to reduce the carbon footprint of the facility and electricity costs. Water is conserved via the manual setting of the height of the water features as well as grouping play items together for feature activation on at the same time. Controllers provide information on water usage, water treatment and critical plant room equipment. Remote access is available for facilities that have an internet connection in the plant room.
“This methodology conserves water as well as adding to the excitement and anticipation of not knowing which water feature will pop up next,” explains Michelle. “If for any reason children are being entertained elsewhere, the water play will be in sleep mode until children come along and press the button to start the flow. “ The majority of the Splashpad® Product Index is available with a Safeswap™ anchor providing the ability to exchange products in the future without the need to break the ground.
The Safeswap™ anchor system enables a water play area to be established in phases as well as guaranteeing a facility will remain modern and cost effective to modernise in the future. For group operators with several splashpads, products can be rotated between sites to keep water players intrigued and excited. Our ground sprays can also be exchanged for a variety of different and fun water effects. A water play facility is designed and built for life with water play products offered with a 25 year warranty.
Michelle advises: “The Ustigate team is proud of all of our projects in our 57 year history and the fact we are renowned for providing high quality aquatic play facilities. “Three of our projects have been awarded Water Leisure Venue of the Year at the UK Pool and Spa Awards for three consecutive years,” she points out.
Michelle adds: “Pick a company to work with that has been in operation for the same duration as the warranty because it proves they will still be trading and available to honour the warranty for its full life term.” She concludes: “Take the time to visit some sites where you can see the choice of water play products in operation; it is a big investment and quality and maximising interactive playability should be at the forefront of decisions.”