water park slide

    Published: September 16, 2016

    How Does a Water Park Get All its Water?

    In an increasingly water-conscious world, a water park seems like a luxury from the past. Imagine the water consumption of a 900,000-gallon water park in a state afflicted by drought. The park would use a stunning 328,500,000 gallons a year if it refilled every day.

    Fortunately, no water park consumes that much water, if for no other reason than the financial cost. Like any business, water parks are concerned with maximizing profits, which means keeping operating costs low. Besides, using that much water would be disastrous from a public relations standpoint—consider the reaction such waste would generate in drought-weary California.

    So if water parks aren’t tapping the local water supply for a complete refill every day, where do they get their water?

    Reclaim, Refilter, Reuse
    Most water parks are well acquainted with their reputation as water-wasters, and the need to advertise any advances they make in water conservation. For most parks, this means reclaiming, filtering, and reusing as much water as possible.

    Reusing is a common practice. The Schlitterbahn Park in Galveston, Texas, recaptures, filters, and reuses 97 percent of the 3.5 million gallons needed to keep the park running. The three percent the park loses is claimed by evaporation.

    Architecture also plays a role. Every wonder why water parks seem to tower above the surrounding landscape? That’s so the designer can build one attraction above another. Water pumped to the top attraction is fed to lower attractions through gravity.

    To be fair, not all water parks are built with the same focus on water conservation as Schlitterbahn. In 2014, Castaway Cove in Wichita Falls, Texas, found itself hit with drought restrictions. Their response—to truck in 9,000 gallons of water a day from other sources—was neither environmentally smart nor financially practical.

    The future of water parks depends on their ability to conserve water and convince the public they can, in fact, be environmentally sustainable. A park that replaces water-hungry landscaping with drought-resistant plants, installs low-flush toilets, and develops innovative methods of reclaiming and filtering water is more likely to earn the public’s goodwill and more likely to keep the gates open.

    In many ways, water parks find themselves in the same situation the water softening industry experienced. Faced with salt-based water conditioners that generate gallons of briny wastewater a day, industry leaders had a choice: continue selling water-intensive systems or develop a more environmentally friendly solution.

    At Pelican, that meant developing our innovative water softener alternative with salt free technology systems, capable of softening your hard water supply without flushing wastewater—and your money—down the drain.