Playground@Landscape Ausgabe 1/2012

Only clean playgrounds go down well

When asked about important criteria that playgrounds have to meet, the top priorities for parents are safety and cleanliness. Of course, waste bins need to be emptied at regular intervals and the play areas have to be cleaned from waste of any kind. Dog and cat excrement plays a particularly important role for sand or gravel areas are often frequented by these pets. Unlike with other areas, it is not enough to remove the pollutants and contaminants superficially using a rake and broom. The excrement can often be found in deeper layers. The best way to remove any excrement is to replace the material, which, however, is very time-consuming, complex and cost-intensive. An alternative is mechanical sand cleaning, which costs less than half as much as sand replacement. Many expenses aren´t incurred at all with sand cleaning; for example, there will be no cost incurred for the excavation and removal of the old sand as well as for the refilling with fresh, new sand. This, on the other hand, saves you additional machine and personnel costs. Damage caused by lorries and excavators is avoided as well. The purchase price for new sand alone often exceeds the total costs incurred for the sand cleaning service. The Sandmaster company based in Wendlingen on the Neckar is your specialist in the field of play sand cleaning. Depending on the filling depth, the sand is "turned", lossened, aerated and cleaned in continuous operation down to cleaning depth of up to 40 cm using the custom-built sand cleaning machines. Even small particles greater than 5-8 mm in diameter, such as animal excrement, leaves, broken glass or cigarette ends are filtered out and almost completely removed. The contaminants are collected in a catch tray without being crushed or ground and can then be specifically disposed of. The cleaning helps reestablish the sand´s biological balance and improve the surface´s fall protection properties in accordance with DIN EN 1177.

There are nomerous sand cleaning service providers in the market now. However, there are substantial differences especially in the process and cleaning quality. It is therefore advisable to request presentation of expert reports and test certificates prior to contract award. By the way, Sandmaster has also a solution to the problem of dog and cat excrement: the Kot-Stop poop preventer. This soy-based product contains natural and nature-identical flavourings with a strong meaty smell and taste as active substances. By applying these meat flavourings to areas that are to be protected, such as the sand in children´s playgrounds, the treated area smells to dogs and cats like the food in their feeding bowls. As is generally known, dogs and cats never foul their own food. Hence, they won´t leave their excrement on areas treated with that substance either.