DIN 18034: What to look out for in terms of bacteriology & hygiene risks with water on the playground

25. January 2020

The German DIN 18034 standard is dedicated to the topic of “playgrounds and open spaces for play”. It is also relevant when it comes to hygiene regulations, bacteriology and risks of water in the playground. Among other things, the DIN 18034 standard summarises the requirements for water quality. In this blog article, we want to give you an overview of the most critical aspects of the DIN standard in relation to the topic of water in playgrounds.

Table of contents

What standards & specifications must a water playground meet?

As with any other playground planning, planners of water playgrounds must always consider the technical requirements as well as the safety of the users in addition to the design. In addition to the DIN 18034 standard, DIN EN 1176-1 (Playground equipment and playground floors – general safety requirements) is particularly relevant here. Further information, especially for kindergartens, can be found in DGUV Information 202-019 Natural play areas. The new version DIN 18034:2020 generally refers to the EU Bathing Water Regulation for the handling of water and requires a risk assessment of the individual situation for the use of water on playgrounds instead of the previously standard reference to health authorities. Only drinking fountains are required to be of drinking water quality.

Standing water in playgrounds

According to EU Directive 76/160/EEC or the bathing water ordinance of the respective federal state, water on playgrounds should generally be at least of bathing water quality. This also applies to standing water on playgrounds. In order to be able to guarantee this water quality, regular inspections should be carried out.

Higher requirements for water playgrounds in swimming pools

Public swimming pools occupy a unique position. Here, the water quality of swimming and bathing pool water can even be required for certain play attractions, according to DIN 19643.

Various specifications and regulations for dealing with water in playgrounds can be derived from the DIN 18034 standard. But what about existing facilities? What requirements apply to playgrounds that have been in existence for many years and were possibly built when other regulations were current?

In principle, grandfathering applies to existing playground facilities if:

  • at the time of construction, the rules of technology applicable at that time complied with
  • the playground has not been significantly changed since then
DIN 18034 - eibe Wasserspielplatz in Park mit guter Wasserqualität. Umringt von spielenden Kindern.

Water playgrounds from eibe

Children love splashing around and playing with water, especially in combination with sand. Whether alone or in a group – many children can let off steam for hours in water playgrounds and engage in both physical and creative activities. Our corresponding blog article explains what else is good to know about water playgrounds beside the regulations on water quality. If you have any questions about the design and regulations for the construction of a water playground, our eibe consultants, who have a wealth of experience and numerous case studies to share, will be happy to help.

By the way: You can read why water play is so important for children’s development in our blog article on this topic.

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