View Full Version : Water fx in haunts

Von Spooky Nachos
04-06-2010, 10:05 PM
I visited DARKNESS while at the St. Louis haunt show and all I can say is wow.

I did notice the use of water within the attraction, which I am interested in too, just wondering if the water is treated in any manner to prevent stagnation, bacterial growth or other unwanted problems. Not over-thinking it, but I know standing water can be a health problem (i.e. Legionnaire's disease) so just wondering if anything is done to the water such as an addition of a minor amount of chlorine. Anyone thinking this far into things?

Usually, this bacteria seems to grown in warmer water, but sometimes in air-conditioning ducts in larger buildings. Here are some Legionnaire's disease details from the CDC:

"Legionnaires' disease can be very serious and can cause death in up to 5% to 30% of cases. Most cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics [drugs that kill bacteria in the body], and healthy people usually recover from infection.

The Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in water. The bacteria grow best in warm water, like the kind found in hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, or parts of the air-conditioning systems of large buildings. They do not seem to grow in car or window air-conditioners."

I know water in haunts is probably never heated, and in many parts of the country, probably is quite chilly due to the fall weather, but I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts.

04-06-2010, 10:14 PM
I have waterfall's and they remain clear all year inside. Knock on wood i haven't had any problems that I know of.

04-06-2010, 10:19 PM
As a safeguard you could probably throw something like Bacteriostat in there. It is normally used in humidifiers, but is a safe water additive to help inhibit the growth of any sort of bacteria.

Mike "Pogo" Hach

Von Spooky Nachos
04-06-2010, 11:03 PM
Good idea, Mike. Yeah, I'd prefer to be a little safer than sorry and it probably isn't that expensive to add Bacteriostat. This is definitely worth looking into as I found this on Wikipedia:

Legionellosis infection normally occurs after inhaling an aerosol (suspension of fine particles in air) containing Legionella bacteria. Such particles could originate from any infected water source. When mechanical action breaks the surface of the water, small water droplets are formed, which evaporate very quickly. If these droplets contain bacteria, the bacteria cells remain suspended in the air, invisible to the naked eye but small enough to be inhaled into the lungs.[7] This often occurs in poorly ventilated areas such as prisons where a condensating air conditioner can spread it throughout the entire room, infecting anyone not immune to the strand of bacteria. Potential sources of such contaminated water include cooling towers used in industrial cooling water systems as well as in large central air conditioning systems, evaporative coolers, hot water systems, showers, whirlpool spas, architectural fountains, room-air humidifiers, ice making machines, misting equipment, and similar disseminators that draw upon a public water supply. Freshwater ponds, creeks, and ornamental fountains are also potential sources of Legionella.

04-07-2010, 05:56 AM
One Product..... Bleach ( Clorox ) the smell is gone in an hour. I am from the South and I use this in my swimming pool ( no it does not bleach out the liner) I stoped using chlorine because of the price and you have to use so much of it. I buy about 25 gallons at 1.29 per gallon and pour it in all at once it last about a month. You can get in the water and swim in about 6 hours after pouring it in and it has no smell or taste! Now you guys have learned something! Shane and its bet you did not know that! Shane this time.

04-07-2010, 06:36 AM
Waters been an up and coming thing i think, like aerial rigs. More and more haunts seem to be using it. I know im building scenes this year and im using waterfall type walls in one set of rooms. This is all great info about how to keep it safe and treated!

Rotting Fleh Radio

Jim Warfield
04-07-2010, 06:36 AM
Legion members who got that problem.
The hotel's cooling tower water backed up , got mixed with the drinking water, spread it.
Having people not drink water is alot easier than having them not inhale the air.
Cooling towers trickle water over exterior vanes, heating the water to maybe 98 degrees, creating a regular petri dish for air born germs to effectively grow.
Reading the technical descriptions of the machinery involved, I think that 98 degree air temp would be a major contributing factor.

04-07-2010, 07:16 AM
BLEACH....is there anything it can't do? lol Shane, there is no doubt you are a southern man. In the hot/humid climates everyone knows that if ya don't hit it with a little bleach then something grows.

Von Spooky Nachos
04-07-2010, 02:09 PM
From the "better safe than sorry" school of thought, it sounds like it would be a good idea to slightly chlorinate water and keep it moving. Out of season, it's probably best to drain it.

As long as the water is moving and kept below 68 degrees, it sounds like Legionaires at least isn't a problem. However, stagnant water could contribute to other bacterial, protozoa, mold or fungal growth problems.

I'd still like to hear from others who have water features in their haunts. I am guessing most theme parks and public fountains are sanitized with something, maybe there is even some health code that determines this.

Also in reading all this, it sounds like public jacuzzis are just a bubbling cesspools and to be avoided.

freak 'n' stein
04-08-2010, 12:02 AM
Good discussion topic cause I've always wanted to do an indoor swamp scene. Larry, any input?! I saw your croc sitting over in some water and the HUGE waterfall scene looked like it handled a good bit of H2O...

...and I would have NEVER guessed Shane was as Southern as he is if I didn't see him and hear him with my own eyes and ears. Hahaha! I look forward to your haunt Shane!!!

SlightlySick Illusions
04-08-2010, 12:36 AM
Wow never even thought of that as a problem. I will have to do more research on this. We have several water props in our haunt but I drain them at the end of every night to clean out all the junk people end up throwing in them.

04-08-2010, 05:29 AM
The Dungeon has a water fall/pond with several hundred gallons of water used 8 months out of the year (March thru October). Over time the water level goes down a little from splashing and evaporation so we top it off with fresh water. For 3 years, we've never added chemicals and the only time we drain it is at the end of each season.

04-10-2010, 01:16 PM
x2 for bleach. Its what we have always used.

04-13-2010, 10:25 PM
How much bleach do you use? Do you test pH or anything or just dump it in? Do you refresh it time to time?