NSF International is taking steps to make recreational splash parks and water venues safer. A new section of NSF/ANSI 50: Equipment and Chemicals for Swimming Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs and Other Recreational Water Facilities establishes minimum criteria for safety flooring at interactive water play venues. Considered the premier pool and spa safety standard, NSF/ANSI 50 is required by most commercial swimming pool codes. The update is intended to improve safety by addressing health effects, slip resistance, impact attenuation, imperviousness, cleanability and durability of flooring surfaces at splash pads and other types of recreational pool and water venues.
For decades, NSF International has worked with key industry stakeholders to make pools, spas and recreational water products safer. In 1977, NSF facilitated the development of NSF/ANSI 50 with the American National Standards Institute to establish minimum requirements for virtually every component at public and private recreational water facilities and spas, including pumps, drain covers, filters, treatment chemicals, suction fittings, grates, ozone and UV systems and water test devices. Specifically, the standard addresses material health effects, corrosion resistance, performance, disinfection efficacy, durability testing, design and construction, marking and user instructions.
In 2016, the NSF/ANSI 50 Joint Committee began considering a request to develop a new section of the standard to address safety surfacing for interactive water play venues. The joint committee is an impartial consensus-based standards development group comprised of a balanced number of representatives from regulatory, industry, academic and consumer groups. After three years of standards writing, method development and verification, the Joint Committee validated and approved the new section, which will be published in the 2019 version of the standard.
“NSF International has been committed to public safety for 75 years. The NSF/ANSI 50 Joint Committee considers the latest product and material test methods, such as safety flooring criteria, when updating standards to help protect the public. This update to the standard helps enable a safe and fun recreational water experience for kids of all ages,” said Jessica Evans, Director, Standards Development at NSF International.
Life Floor foam rubber flooring tile designed for use in barefoot wet traffic areas is the first product to be certified to the new section of the standard and bear the NSF/ANSI 50 mark. “Life Floor is proud to be certified to NSF/ANSI 50 because it gives operators confidence that our flooring solution is engineered to last and function in water play spaces. Our company is founded on a mission to make all aquatic areas beautiful and safe, which is why we set out four years ago to help develop criteria for aquatic safety surfacing. Just as playgrounds went through a safety revolution in the 1980s and 1990s, we believe splash pads and interactive water areas need a globally recognized organization like NSF International to facilitate the development of standards that keep users safer all over the world,” said Life Floor CEO Jonathan Keller.