How To Build A Splash Pad in Your Backyard: 7 Steps For Success!

Have you ever considered putting in your own private water park and then wondered how to build a splash pad for your backyard? It’s not as hard as you may think if you follow these seven crucial steps.

A   is a fun addition to any backyard or pool area, but there is a high level of detail to the installation. A professional installation is not necessarily required, but at the very least a tutorial should be followed to ensure a proper build. Follow along with this step by step guide and you will be sure to end up with a beautiful splash pad for the whole family to enjoy.


  1. Choose a design for the splash pad project.

There are a lot of choices to make when preparing to install a splash pad. Many different non-slip surfaces are available for the deck including pavers, rubber and textured concrete. Depending on the look that you are going for, one or the other of these surfaces may be the best choice. It will also be necessary to think about things like space and number of water jets to be included. No matter what your preferences are for the project, there is likely to be a kit that can supply the desired outcome. Of course you may need a custom design if you have very different ideas for your installation.


  1. Get all of the pre-project details taken care of.

Splash Pad 6When approaching a project of this scope, prior proper planning will be necessary. The first thing to do before starting construction will be to contact the building department for your locale and be sure that you are approved for installation. It would be disappointing to get started on a project only to have your municipality tell you to tear it apart again.

The building department will also be able to tell you if a licensed electrician will need to take care of the electrical system for the splash pad. Regardless of local code, it is best to consult an electrician unless you are very familiar with electrical connections.

While proceeding through this planning phase, be sure to sketch out the plan for the project. Include things like the layout of the pipes and electrical wiring. The sketch should also list the locations of the pump, holding tank and filter. You will need to account for accurate spacing between the manifolds, valves and pipes. If you are using a kit, the manual for installing the splash pad should list these measurements.

  1. Make a plan based on the chosen layout.

The next step will be the beginning of the building phase. First prepare the area by marking out the dimensions of the splash pad. Be sure to note the locations of the pump, filter and holding tank when performing this task.

Man DiggingNext around 18 inches of soil will need to be dug up and removed from the area of the installation. Be sure to dig trenches a bit deeper to accommodate the pipes and the electrical wires. Also, be sure to dig a deeper hold for the holding tank. Keep in mind that if your drainage system is gravity-fed, the area drain will need to be at least six inches above the holding tank. This will impact the depth of the hole needed for the tank.

Keeping the pump protected is one of the most important parts of maintaining a splash pad. This should be taken into consideration during the building process so that it is less difficult later. For a pump that is on the surface, a shed or other protective shelter should be used. This will keep the elements from damaging the pump. For an underground pump, it will need to be encased in concrete. Either way, be sure to keep the pump out of harm’s way as a replacement can be costly.


  1. Consult the instructions for your kit.

Not every splash pad has identical instructions. The next step will be to check out the specific layout of the splash pad that you are installing. Attach all of the pieces at this point and install the holding tank where you dug out a place for it. Install the filter and pump along with laying out the electrical wire. Do not connect the electricity to a power source yet.


  1. Put the pieces together.

Splash Pad DesignWhile sticking to the particular installation instructions, lay out the pipes to connect the pieces. The splash pad should now have pipes connecting the holding tank, pump, filter, spray heads and valves. Be sure that the spray heads will be above ground after you have filled in the area to the finish elevation. Also keep in mind that the area drain should be going at the lowest point of elevation.


  1. Fill in the area.

Splash Pad 1The groundwork has been laid and now the fill can begin. First backfill to about ten inches from where the surface of the splash pad will be. Ten inches is the rule for a concrete pad. If you have chosen to install pavers, continue the fill until you are about eight inches from the desired surface level.

Next up will be a six inch deep layer of clear aggregate. This layer remains the same no matter what surface you have chosen to install above it. If a concrete pad is being installed, pour about four inches of concrete over the aggregate. For pavers a half inch layer of sand comes next followed by the concrete pavers.

Remember that it is necessary to have a slope so that the splash pad will drain. A good rule of thumb is for every nine feet of distance; you should have a two inch decrease in elevation.


  1. Take care of the finishing touches.

Check the pipes for the spray heads and trim them if they are too far above ground level. Patch any areas of the concrete or pavers that have gaps remaining. Attach the cover of the area drain and make sure that all hardware is firmly affixed.

Now, hook up the electricity and test out the functionality of the system. Check for leaks and ensure that everything is working safely. From here, the only step left is to enjoy your new splash pad.

This may sound like a lot of work, and it can be. It makes sense to have several people available to help. They should also read through this guide to learn how to build a splash pad along with you.

Look for our next article where we talk about different splash pad kits! Check our the splash pad kits that are currently available here!