Gear Up for Safe and Happy Guests

Gauri Kapoor
Posted in WhiteWater Blog on March 5, 2018

Daily. Weekly. Monthly. Quarterly. Annually. Round the clock. There’s no getting away when it comes to maintaining a park. But when it’s the start of the season, it’s even more important – maintenance efforts made now have a direct impact on your park’s bottom line at the end of the year. By keeping your park equipment properly maintained, you can ensure not just high performance, but avoid downtime and ensure safety and higher guest satisfaction. This makes it critical to utilise this time productively to gear up for the new season and ensure that the maintenance work is completed before your guests start showing up.

Start the new season on the right foot
All park equipment needs to be thoroughly inspected and tested following an extended period where it is not operational before it is opened to the public to ensure that it’s running safe and sound. Heading into the season with a comprehensive and organized strategy for the maintenance of your waterpark can not just help reduce last minute unplanned spending for emergency repairs but improve the image of your waterpark’s brand. A well-planned pre-season maintenance strategy can help you take stock of the major repairs and replacements that were started at the end of the season and inspect your park equipment to ensure an uninterrupted service and rider-safety, when the park gates re-open.

Start right to stay right: top 3 things you need to do
While there is a long list of things that you need to do at the start of a new season, here are three most significant ones that you just can’t ignore:

1. Pay attention to slide surfaces and joints. The sliding surface is subject to wear and weathering, which makes it an absolute must to clean and remove water deposit buildup to keep the riding surface smooth and comfortable for the riders, before you re-open your park. The sliding surface can become discoloured and faded due to UV exposure from direct sunlight and chemical oxidation from the pool water – making it look unattractive to guests. By following a highly meticulous process of wet sanding, power buff polishing and gloss sealing, you can bring the faded fiberglass back to life. You may probably want professional help with this laborious process to ensure the right materials are being used on your slides. In addition to this, waxing before the season can also help us lessen UV breakdown and to keep your waterslide’s riding path smooth and slick.

Much like healthy bones in a human body, safe and smooth slide joints are essential for rider comfort and safety. Due to temperature changes, the fiberglass waterslide sections expand and contract daily and can cause joints to deform and crack or chip over time, especially during off-season. Additionally, the caulking used to seal joints can deteriorate from pool chemical exposure and may require re-caulking to stop leaks and close gaps that can become uncomfortable to riders. By following a thorough pre-season regimen of recaulking and waterproofing joints, you can keep your park’s slide joints smooth, safe and trouble free and protect your investment by avoiding costly replacements.

2. Protect your AquaPlay structures. Before you open the park, it’s essential to do a thorough check of the various components of AquaPlay structures – from holes in nets to cracks, chips and leaks, every little part needs to be checked to keep your guests playing the way they are meant to – safe and fun. As a part of pre-season maintenance, you need to check for any loose connections between tipping bucket support frames and the structure’s stand pipes; loose metal roof cladding; and any signs of fatigue in the tipping buckets pivot shaft (cracking of metal or welds). In addition to this, you need to also check for clogged jets and nozzles, the small moving parts and valves to keep water flowing steadily.

3. Tick off the pre-season checklist. Whether its freezing damage, signs of fatigue or the usual wear and tear, there is a lot that go wrong during off-season downtime, but you can get it right by keeping a log of your pre-season maintenance and going over the pre-season checklist – so that, you can plan accordingly and put aside enough time for the necessary repairs and upgrades before the opening day. Here’s a quick glance over what you need to check pre-season:

o Filling pools
o Checking and balancing water chemistry
o Checking filters for blockages and build up
o Walking all waterslide flumes inspecting joints and ride surfaces, clearing out debris
o Inspecting slide tower stairs and all slide entry tubs
o Testing any electronic slide traffic systems
o Cleaning and waxing the waterslide flume
o Run water in all equipment prior to opening to ensure flow is consistent and ensure no leaks, pooling water or standing water

While this is for your ready reference, there is a lot more that goes into pre-season maintenance and it varies from one product and equipment to another – from a play structure pre-season maintenance, water slide maintenance to wave generating equipment and flow rider pre-season maintenance, there are different requirements and mandates for each.

To learn more on the pre-season maintenance for your specific product or equipment, read the Complete Guide to Waterpark Maintenance. Alternately, you can also write to to get your maintenance queries answered by WhiteWater experts.

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