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A watertight design

Reading time: 2 minutes. Of interest to swimming pools, architects & consultants

The most important aspects in the design and materialization of water play equipment are waterproofing and water drainage properties, which prevent moisture problems in and around the equipment. Water play equipment attached to the floor of the pool, such as Spray Park equipment (interactive water fountains), is connected to the (installation) technology in the pool basement by means of pipes, which pass through the finishing floor and the underlying cement screed, as shown in the picture below.

Given the high water pressure in a swimming pool, however, such equipment cannot simply be bolted to the floor as it would in a dry environment, because any construction point could prove a potential leak. Even the use of waterproof chemical anchors does not offer a full guarantee against this. Should a leak occur, water from the pool would penetrate the cement screed, which then absorbs the water up to the point of saturation. The water would subsequently seep into the basement, where the leakage eventually becomes apparent. The installation method, additional waterproofing provisions and use of high-quality products are therefore essential in preventing such leakage problems.

Installation

If a bolt were secured to the floor when installing water play equipment, it would penetrate the surrounding waterproof layer. Watergames & More therefore prefers to cast such equipment into the floor instead of surface mounting it, with a view to vouching for superior watertightness. Furthermore, the advantage of casting is that the structural base of the water play equipment can be placed flush with the surface of the finished floor. As this approach avoids the use of plastic blocks or spheres placed over structural components and piping, it is not only more aesthetic and waterproof, but also reduces the ‘toe-impact hazard’ to end users.

Picture on the left: Water play equipment with plastic spheres over the structural parts, which pose a potential risk of falling to end users. Picture on the right: Cast-in water play equipment, with a sleeker & safer finish.

Waterproofing provisions

There are various measures or additional provisions that can be implemented to further rule out the risk of leaks. Firstly, the watertight layer between the cement screed and the floor finishing provides the waterproofing, as does the additional anti-leak flange attached to the cast-in foot of the water play equipment. Furthermore, an additional (sanded) PVC collar is attached to the base of the cast-in foot, which creates resistance. This apprehends any droplet that might seep through the grouting, and evaporates it directly.

Advice

The higher the quality of the installation and waterproof/water-resistant products, the better. Given our considerable knowledge and experience of both products and working methods, we are pleased to advise clients throughout the process from A to Z. Sound knowledge is the basis required to make the right decisions for a watertight swimming pool design and in realising specific design ideas. Please contact us for further information and tailored advice.

Read more about the use of materials in a swimming pool here.

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