Episode 45: Technology Bytes. . .Water Park

This is Technology Bytes, episode 45, for January 14th, 2024.

Technology Bytes is a microcast where I share brief bytes on interesting technology.

My name is Joel.

Enjoy, and here we go.

Today’s technology is water parks.

Now, you may think that’s coming out of left field, or that’s really not technology at all, or maybe it’s just not interesting.

I’m not sure where you stand on that.

But I spent a couple of days at a water park with my family, and it is amazing, the technology that is in that water park.

Let’s just run down a few things.

In my list later on, I had two things.

I’m going to move those up.

But one is sanitation.

If you spend all day in a water park with hundreds of other bodies and people and children, you know that sanitation has to be at the top of people’s list.

Otherwise, the illness that would run rampant from everyone who visited the park would shut them down.

People just would not go back.

And the other thing that is just as important is safety.

With the number of people, with the number of moving parts, with the water, with the depth, with the kids and adults and slides and attractions, all of those things mean safety has to be of the utmost importance to a water park.

All of that takes technology, radios, communication, cameras.

All of those things become important for the patrons to be healthy and safe.

Let’s for a minute just list attractions that happen.

Now, I don’t know if I was at a big water park.

I was at the Great Wolf Lodge, so if any have visited, you kind of know what you’re seeing there.

But there are wave pools.

There are splash pads.

There’s a little place set aside for little ones that don’t know how to swim and are very young.

I had a 2-year-old grandson with me.

There are slides that use inner tubes.

There are group slides.

There are individual slides.

There are tubes.

There’s all kinds of things that are at that park.

The Lazy River, the place to play basketball, just almost countless, but not really because you can see it all.

And there are so many moving parts.

There’s so much moving water that the technology is fascinating once you start thinking about it.

So let’s talk about a couple things.

How do you move millions of gallons of water and keep it fresh?

Well, there’s two things that happen there.

One is physics because water weighs a lot.

And speaking of safety, so you’ve got water running through tubes.

You’ve got water running in a river form.

You’ve got waves of water, and all of that has to be recycled.

There’s no way they can just let it sit, and there has to be some amazing chemistry that is used.

Maybe it’s an unfortunately large amount of chlorine, but I think that’s only part of it.

And the amount of electricity, the pumps that happen to move that much water, I don’t know how many gallons, but it’s got to be in the millions.

And replenishing water, how much can you recycle?

What happens when the water is taken out of the attractions by people’s clothing, bathing suits, and tops, and water shoes, and splashing, and all of those things?

And then you’ve got moving parts all over the place that have to do with physics.

You’ve got splash pads where buckets are filling up, and tubes are spraying water everywhere with on and off switches that the kids can play with.

And how do you do that without building up pressure that might be unsafe and keep the water moving?

It’s like maybe more water goes this direction than that direction, but that’s all had to have been thought about, all had to have been engineered.

Weight of water in the buckets, how do you know that the steel poles that hold buckets are strong enough?

How do you know that the platform’s not going to break under the weight of 10, 15, maybe 30 people?

All of those things have to be thinking, have to be thought about, and engineered, and solutions made that both protect the safety of the people who are visiting, and the sanitation and health of those as well.

And at the same time, make it enjoyable for people who are there.

So you’ve got lifeguards, you’ve got technicians, and doctors, and nurses, and whatever else you might need so that the patrons can have an enjoyable time.

Can wear themselves out, can take numerous rides, can know that they are being watched in a safe manner, to participate with total strangers in similar activities, and be kind to one another.

All of those things have to be taken into consideration.

While you may think that’s a low-level technology, some of it is.

Some of it absolutely is.

But there’s a lot of it that takes so much work through engineering, and structural engineering, and chemical engineering, and physics, and all of those sciences, that it’s just not someone who came out of high school.

These are people with engineering degrees by some of the major colleges in our nation, top minds who have spent their brain cells and their lifetime coming up with ideas, concepts, games, attractions that keep people entertained, that keep people safe, and keep people healthy.

Well, that’s all I have for today.

I am a little tired.

Maybe this is a little shorter than normal.

Spending two days at a water park will do that to you.

If you have any comments or suggestions, you can send them to me at technologybitesatmarriedfamily.com.

As always, I want to thank you for listening to the Technology Bites microcast, and I look forward to the next time we are together, taking another bite of technology.

Technology Bites www.techbitesatmarriedfamily.com

Joel Mearig @technologybytes