The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Planning and Environmental Impact Design: from EIA to EID
Chapter: Chapter 5 Reservoir planning and design

Children's play reservoirs

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Like drinking water, children need to be safe. When water has been abstracted from a supply reservoir and purified to a potable standard, it is stored in 'service reservoirs' before being piped to consumers. They are built to be as secure as possible against all forms of pollution, often in concrete tanks covered with a layer of neatly mown grass and surrounded by childproof fencing. The 1963 report by the Institution of Water Engineers stated that there was no objection to the use of service reservoirs 'for sporting or recreational purposes' if the structures are suitably designed (Institution of Water Engineers 1963). It was the only bold recommendation in the report, but caution prevailed and the suggestion was dropped from the second edition. In 1981 Recreation: water and land stated that 'Access to some service reservoir roof areas is allowed on a restricted basis but the incidence of vandalism and acts against public property preclude any general relaxation of long prevailing attitudes towards this type of reservoir' (Dangerfield 1981: 48). One way of providing service reservoirs with a degree of security and yet making use of the neat and clean grass surfaces would be to restrict their recreational use to supervised toddlers and childrens play. Youngsters need to play in a safe and supervised dogï¾­free environment.