Waterparks that have sat still and empty during the winter will soon be flowing with guests and good times. To ensure a successful season, now is the time to finish addressing spring maintenance issues.
Start with a Plan
“There’s so much involved in maintenance,” said Steve Brown, aquatics division manager of Splash in the ‘Boro in Statesboro, Ga. “It could be anything from repainting and pressure washing to replacing any equipment that needs to be replaced,” he said. “So the best thing to do is to plan ahead and start early.”
Test the Waters
Depending on your locale, winter’s deep freeze should be a memory and, “once the final freeze has passed, it’s time to turn on the water to the waterpark and identify pipe leaks,” said Mike Kamp, general manager, Alabama Splash Adventure in Bessemer, Ala.
“Try to get your water chemistry balanced as soon as the spring weather hits,” advised Dean Batson, special use facilities manager of 7th Inning Splash and Otter Creek in Taylors, S.C. “By doing this, you can make any adjustments to water quality well before the opening date of your aquatic facility. This will also get you accustomed to how your off-season maintenance tune-ups and replacement parts are doing and to whether or not you have some more maintenance to do.”
Clean the Pool
“Clean pools soon after the last freeze to allow time to inspect and make any repairs to the pools,” Kamp said.
“Taking the time to clean the pool as thoroughly as possible will help [you] have a cleaner pool when it is filled,” added Matt Pardy, park supervisor at Red Oaks Park in Madison Heights, Mich.
Pumps, Parts and Accessories
To keep things flowing in your pools, “check all pumps, and perform preventative maintenance on them, such as greasing and oiling,” said Pardy. “Inflate and inspect rafts and tubes,” Kamp added. “Order replacements early.”
“Inspect first aid and rescue equipment that has been dormant all winter, including AEDs, oxygen tanks, and backboards,” said Kamp. To keep your waterpark a safe environment after hours, “make it a point to replace burned out lamps in light fixtures throughout the park,” Kamp said. And ensuring that the lines of communication literally stay open among employees is critical. “Check communication devices such as park phones at each attraction, the public address system, and team member two-way radios,” he added.
Don’t overlook repairs or updates to your facility’s restrooms and other guest accommodations. “Clean restrooms and allow sufficient time to plan and make repairs to restroom buildings and fixtures,” Kamp said. “Clean rental lockers and resolve any operational issues with locker doors and locking systems.”
Stay abreast of waterpark regulations to keep things flowing. “Renew regulatory permits for pool, retail and food operations. Work closely with regulatory and insurance company inspectors before opening day to avoid unexpected last minute requirements,” Kamp said.
Be sure that your retail shop and restaurants offer the best value-added service to your guests. “Don’t forget to check with your food service and retail departments to address their list of start-up requirements,” Kamp suggested.