Spray pool

Spray pool

A spray pool is a recreation area, often in a public park, that sprays water so that users can play in it. The water typically emanates from a point on or near the ground, but in some cases this same kind of mechanism will be installed so as to emanate from near the surface of a swimming pool or wading pool. In other cases, a ring of jets will shoot arcs of water towards a center point.

A typical definition was laid out by a 1996 Heath Act in British Columbia which stated that a spray pool is "an artificially constructed depression or basin for use by children, into which potable water is sprayed but not allowed to accumulate in the bottom." [ [http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/reg/H/Health/Health289_72/289_72.htm#section2 Provisions of the Health Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 179] ]

Similarly, the city of Norfolk, Virginia specifically defines a spray pool as "any shallow manmade structure constructed from materials other than natural earth or soil used for spraying humans with water and which has a drainage area designated to remove the water from the shower or spray nozzles at a rate sufficient to prevent the impounding of water." [ [http://www.norfolk.gov/pub_health/Codes.asp City of Norfolk, Virginia: Codes and Regulations of Interest] ]

Depending upon the strength and arc of the flow, the force of the spray can be relatively strong (especially close to the point where the water emerges) or may have more resemblance to rainfall or even a fine mist. When not combined with a swimming pool or wading pool, a spray pool sometimes has a shallow "splash pool" a few inches deep.

As mentioned, the area beneath a spray pool typically has drain openings so that the water it produces will not flood the surrounding landscape. In some instances, the water collected in these drains is recycled back into the spray mechanism, thereby conserving water. In other cases, the water emanating from the spray nozzles is continually drawn from a fresh water supply as previously mentioned.

Popular in summertime and especially prevalent in urban areas, the spray pool offers an alternative to the practice of opening fire hydrants so that children can play and cool off in the water - a practice which is illegal and has been cited as dangerous in that it lowers the water pressure in a given area and makes firefighting more difficult. [ [http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/press_releases/07-30pr.shtml The City of New York] ]

Placement and management of spray pools a varies according to the municipality in which they are located. For example:
*On Boston Common, the so-called "Frog Pond" (which is a public ice-skating rink in winter) features a spray pool for children in the summer. [ [http://www.cityofboston.gov/parks/OpenSpace_07draft/OSP0812Section7.3.3EN.pdf] Open Space management for Emerald Necklace] The facility is managed by the Boston Common Frog Pond Foundation and staffed by youth workers from the Boston Youth Fund. [ [http://www.cityofboston.gov/parks/TTD/frogpond_summer.asp City of Boston: Boston Common Spray Pool] ]
* The spray pool at Phillips Park in Aurora, Illinois dates from the 1930s and has closed and reopened several times. It is now part of the Phillips Park Family Aquatic Center next to the Phillips Park Zoo. [ [http://www.aurora-il.org/parksandrecreation/municipalparks/phillipspark/timeline.php Phillips Park - History Time Line] ]
*Seattle & King County, Washington has a "Plan Guide for Water Recreation Facilities - Spray Pools" listing very specific considerations such as the use of non-slip surfaces and the positioning of the spray pools so as to "minimize pollution by dust, smoke, soot and other undesirable substances." [ [http://www.metrokc.gov/health/pools/spraypools-planguide.doc Seattle & King County, Pool Plan Review Application] ]
*Oregon City, Oregon has a spray pool at the Oregon City Carnegie Center. Formerly run by the city, the center and its programs recently reopened under the auspices of a private organization called Fine Art Smarts. [ [http://www.oregoncityparks.org/classes-and-activities/documents/Trailnews_Summer2005.pdf City of Oregon City: Trail News] ] [ [http://www.occarnegie.org/ Oregon City Carnegie Center] ]
*North Berwyn Park District in Berwyn, Illinois offers a permit for the use of a city-owned community center and spray pool for birthday parties. [ [http://www.nbpd4fun.org/PDF/SprayPoolForm.pdf North Berwyn Park District] ]

ee also



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