Title:
Water conservation pool
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In the invention, a lower water chamber is constructed and held in a bladder which underlies the floor of the pool. The lower water chamber constitutes the base of the pool and is initially hollow and empty before being filled with water. The water chamber has a fill opening and a drain opening. The fill opening has a valve for receiving a standard garden hose. The drain opening preferably also has a rigid connection for receiving a standard garden hose. After the water bladder is filled, the user closes the fill opening and the drain to make a closed water bladder. The water bladder is preferably made of a plastic, polyolefin, or elastomeric type of material which is watertight and strong enough to hold the weight of children.



Inventors:
Chen, Samuel (Hong Kong, CN)
Application Number:
12/148369
Publication Date:
10/22/2009
Filing Date:
04/19/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H4/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RAMSEY, JEREMY C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEWHOPE LAW, PC (Los Alamitos, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A water conservation pool comprising: a. a water bladder having an inlet, wherein the water bladder is hollow and flexible for filling with water, wherein the water bladder is strong enough to support the weight of children on top; b. a bounce surface disposed on a top surface of the water bladder; c. a water wall for retaining water in a water open area, wherein the water wall is filled with a fluid and has an inflation pressure such that it remains substantially rigid during use and supports the water bladder around a periphery of the water bladder.

2. The water conservation pool of claim one, wherein the water wall is filled with air blown from an air blower such that it has sufficient inflation pressure to prevent substantial deformation of the water bladder.

3. The water conservation pool of claim one wherein the water wall has air stabilizing chambers that are filled with air blown from an air blower.

4. The water conservation pool of claim one, wherein the water wall is filled with air blown from an air blower, wherein the water wall has air stabilizing chambers that are filled with air blown from the air blower, wherein the water wall retains a shallow pool water above the water bladder.

5. The water conservation pool of claim one, wherein the bounce surface is not flat, but instead defines a shallow basin for retaining a shallow pool of water above the water bladder.

6. The water conservation pool of claim one, wherein the bounce surface is flat and further including water bladder walls protruding from the water bladder, wherein the water bladder walls retain water in a shallow pool above the water bladder.

7. The water conservation pool of claim one, wherein the water wall is filled with air blown from an air blower, wherein the water wall has air stabilizing chambers that are filled with air blown from the air blower, wherein the water wall retains a shallow pool water above the water bladder, wherein the bounce surface is not flat, but instead defines a shallow basin for retaining a shallow pool of water above the water bladder.

8. A water conservation pool comprising: a. a water bladder having an inlet, wherein the water bladder is hollow and flexible for filling with water, wherein the water bladder is strong enough to support the weight of children on top, wherein the water bladder has a substantially circular footprint; b. a bounce surface which is substantially circular disposed on a top surface of the water bladder; c. a water wall for retaining water in a water open area, wherein the water wall is filled with a fluid and has an inflation pressure such that it remains substantially rigid during use and supports the water bladder around a periphery of the water bladder; d. a buffer area defined on a top surface of the water wall, wherein the buffer area surrounds the bounce surface.

9. The water conservation pool of claim 8, wherein the water wall is filled with air blown from an air blower such that it has sufficient inflation pressure to prevent substantial deformation of the water bladder.

10. The water conservation pool of claim 8, wherein the water wall has air stabilizing chambers that are filled with air blown from an air blower.

11. The water conservation pool of claim 8, wherein the water wall is filled with air blown from an air blower, wherein the water wall has air stabilizing chambers that are filled with air blown from the air blower, wherein the water wall retains a shallow pool water above the water bladder.

12. The water conservation pool of claim 8, wherein the bounce surface is not flat, but instead defines a shallow basin for retaining a shallow pool of water above the water bladder.

13. The water conservation pool of claim 8, wherein the bounce surface is flat and further including water bladder walls protruding from the water bladder, wherein the water bladder walls retain water in a shallow pool above the water bladder.

14. The water conservation pool of claim 8, wherein the water wall is filled with air blown from an air blower, wherein the water wall has air stabilizing chambers that are filled with air blown from the air blower, wherein the water wall retains a shallow pool water above the water bladder, wherein the bounce surface is not flat, but instead defines a shallow basin for retaining a shallow pool of water above the water bladder.

15. The water conservation pool of claim 8, wherein the buffer area has a flat top surface.

16. The water conservation pool of claim 15, bounce surface is not flat, but instead defines a shallow basin for retaining a shallow pool of water above the water bladder.

17. The water conservation pool of claim 15, wherein the bounce surface is flat and further including water bladder walls protruding from the water bladder, wherein the water bladder walls retain water in a shallow pool above the water bladder.

18. The water conservation pool of claim 15, wherein the water wall is filled with air blown from an air blower, wherein the water wall has air stabilizing chambers that are filled with air blown from the air blower, wherein the water wall retains a shallow pool water above the water bladder, wherein the bounce surface is not flat, but instead defines a shallow basin for retaining a shallow pool of water above the water bladder.

19. The water conservation pool of claim 15, wherein the water wall is approximately 24 inches high and air stabilizing chambers are approximately 36 inches high.

20. The water conservation pool of claim 15, wherein the bounce surface has a themed printed graphic.

Description:

DISCUSSION OF RELATED ART

In the summertime, children like to play in water such as pools. For those smaller children such as toddlers and infants, the small inflatable pool in the backyard is one of those traditional means for cooling off. If the pool is filled with a garden hose, the water is usually cool enough to help kids cool off. Also, the small inflatable pool allows parents to watch the children without worrying about the increased risk of drowning from a traditional inground swimming pool. Many children under three years old are still unable to swim and those that do often just want to splash around for an hour or two before their afternoon nap. One of the main benefits of the small inflatable pool is the relatively low cost. Also, children are less likely to suffer head injuries on concrete surfaces if they are sitting in an inflated pool that is on the backyard lawn. The above-mentioned benefits of the traditional small inflatable pool has made it extremely popular in the United States and around the world.

While the children are in the garden playing in the pool, the house can be empty and does not need air conditioning, which saves a tremendous amount of energy. Sometimes, with rolling blackouts and power outages due to excessive air-conditioning usage, adults can also sit in the kiddie pool to cool off. Therefore, the ubiquitous small inflatable pool commonly set up in the backyard has a variety of utilitarian benefits.

Unfortunately, the inflatable pool requires a substantial amount of water, which evaporates after use, or is dumped on the lawn. After children play in the pool, the water is typically emptied out and lost. The water cannot be kept in the pool for an extended amount of time since mosquitoes would multiply in it and it would generally become somewhat yucky over time especially if kids peed in the pool. Therefore, while the traditional inflatable pool has the benefit of saving a tremendous amount of air conditioning energy, it has the drawback of consuming water.

Other inflatable structures that to not use water are also enjoyable, such as inflatable jump houses, however these inflatable jump houses do not provide cooling for children. Therefore, it is a present object of the invention to provide a kiddie pool that is novel and conserves water.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the invention, a lower water chamber is constructed and held in a bladder which underlies the floor of the pool. The lower water chamber constitutes the base of the pool and is initially hollow and empty before being filled with water. The water chamber has a fill opening and a drain opening. The fill opening has a valve for receiving a standard garden hose. The drain opening preferably also has a rigid connection for receiving a standard garden hose. After the water bladder is filled, the user closes the fill opening and the drain to make a closed water bladder. The water bladder is preferably made of a plastic, polyolefin, or elastomeric type of material which is watertight and strong enough to hold the weight of children.

Above the water chamber is a bouncing surface. The children walking on the water bladder, also called the water chamber may bounce and create waves on the bouncing surface. The bouncing surface is preferably circular for providing a circular play area for children. The bouncing surface is bounded by a water wall. The water wall can be filled with water or air, or a mixture of the two for the purpose of retaining an open water area. The open water area above the water chamber is filled with a few inches of water for the children to splash around in.

As the children splash in the open water area, they can cool off and also simultaneously enjoy the sensation of the bouncing water chamber. The open water area may also receive other elements such as sand, or plastic balls which enhance the fun factor and entertainment value of the open water area. After usage, the open water area can be drained out by an open area water drain without draining the lower water bladder.

The water wall can be made as a flowing air embodiment having nylon air porous fabric inflated by a fan. The water wall may further surround the sidewalls of the water bladder so that only the top portion of the water bladder is exposed as the bouncing surface. The water wall may further have stabilizing chambers to provide additional footing and support for the water walls. When the water wall is a blown embodiment, the water wall also extends downward to support the sidewalls of the water bladder. When the water wall is a blown embodiment, discontinuation of fan power drops the walls so that the water in the open water area drains out automatically.

By combining the water bladder with the open water area, the present invention provides a fun and novel splashing experience without using much water. The invention aims to have a different type of outdoor summertime experience for children and toddlers. While the pool of water in the open water area is shallow, parental supervision remains absolutely vital for child safety.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a cross-section view of a second embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a cross-section view of a third embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-section view of a fourth embodiment of the present invention.

None of the figures are drawn to scale. The following call out list of elements is presented below for ease of cross-reference in identifying elements in the drawings:

    • 65 intermediate wall
    • 70 water open area
    • 72 water wall
    • 74 water bladder walls
    • 77 bounce surface
    • 79 fluid stabilizing chamber
    • 86 water outlet
    • 89 water inlet
    • 88 water bladder
    • 90 air blower
    • 95 air blower tube
    • 99 logo imprinting area on sidewall

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The first figure shows the present invention with a water bladder 88 providing a circular or oval bounce surface 77 with a number of air stabilizing chambers in connection with a water wall 72.

The air blower tube 95 is attached to a fan air blower 90. The fan air blower 90 is typically found in inflating play structures, and is electrically powered by household current. The air from air blower tube 95 enters the water wall 72, and supports the sidewalls 99 of the water wall 72 A logo can be imprinted on the water wall 72. The air from the water wall 72 also leaks through, or passes through by apertures, or large hole mesh into stabilizing chambers 79. The stabilizing chambers 79 are shaped as footings or supports that help hold the structure in place. The water wall 72 is filled with a fluid such as air or water as an inflation pressure such that it remains substantially rigid during use. The water wall 72 supports the water bladder around a periphery of the water bladder. The top of the water wall 72 preferably further includes a flat buffer area 67 which is a transition area between the water and the lawn. The flat buffer area 67 can also be padded on top by plastic foam if necessary. The flat buffer area annularly surrounds the bounce surface.

The water bladder 88 preferably has a substantially circular footprint approximately 8 feet in diameter and is preferably around 16 or 18 inches in height. The pool of water can be around 12″ to 2″ of water for the children to play in. PVC is the preferred material for the water bladder 88.

The height of the stabilizing chambers is preferably about 36 inches. The height of the water wall is preferably about 24 inches. The top width of the water wall which is the flat buffer area 67 is preferably about 16 inches and the bottom width is preferably about 24 inches. The dimensions mentioned above are thought to be the best mode. Even if the dimensions are changed over 50%, the invention is still operable. For example, the stabilizing chambers can be over 5 feet tall and still be fun and operable. The top of the bounce surface can be printed with a themed graphic such as the surface of a moon, or beach sand. The graphic can be printed by corona printing, screen printing or any other means commonly known in the industry.

The material of the stabilizing chambers 79, and the water wall 72 is preferably nylon, with a uniform air leakage, so that air can exit uniformly from the airblown frame. The area where the nylon fabric supports the water bladder and the water open area 70, is preferably coated with a waterproof surface, or a laminated strip of plastic to keep the water from leaking through the air porous nylon fabric.

The first embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1 is shown as a cross-section in FIG. 2 which shows the air stabilizing chambers 79 supporting the water wall 72 which in turn supports the water bladder 88. The water bladder 88 and the water wall 72 contain the water in the water open area 70. The water in the water open area 70 is exposed to the environment, whereas the water in the water bladder 88 is sealed. The bounce surface 77 is preferably loose enough so that waves form while children walk over the bounce surface 77. The bounce surface is not pulled taught as in a trampoline, but rather the opposite so that it absorbs leg energy of a child instead of amplifying leg energy. This provides an experience substantially opposite to that of a trampoline, in that the water bladder 88 inhibits jumping. The bounce surface 77 absorbs children's bounces. The outlet 86 preferably has a screw cap or other valve for retaining water within the water bladder 88 during use, but allowing release of water if the apparatus needs to be moved to a different location. Similarly, inlet 89 is preferably designed to have a screw cap or other type of valve for retaining water within the water bladder 88 during use. The inlet 89 preferably receives a garden hose for rapid fill. When the water wall 72 is deflated of air, the water in the water open area 70 drains.

FIG. 3 shows a second embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 3, water bladder walls 74 have replaced the role of the water wall 72. The water wall 72 is now supporting the water bladder walls. The water bladder walls 74 may or may not have fluid communication with the water bladder 88. The bounce surface 77 is relatively horizontal. The water bladder walls 74 are filled with water and water may or may not flow between the water bladder 88 and the water bladder walls 74. When made as a separate element, the water bladder walls 74 are partitioned from the water bladder 88 by an intermediate wall 65. When made so that there is water flow, the intermediate wall 65 has apertures allowing water flow. Also, when made so that there is water flow, the intermediate wall 65 may be omitted. When the water wall 72 is deflated of air, the water bladder walls 74 can be pressed by hand to drop and empty out the water in the water open area 70. In this case, the water wall 72 can be filled with water or air.

FIG. 4 shows a third embodiment of the present invention with an open water area 70 that is concave and somewhat parabolic in shape with sloped walls that retain the water. Again, a bounce surface is disposed and defined on the top surface of the water bladder 88. The water bladder in FIG. 4 has a substantially circular footprint. The bounce surface 77 being gently sloped collects water and children in the middle to avoid people and water falling out. Therefore, the water open area 70 is defined as a base that has a sloping bottom surface in the third embodiment. The supporting water wall 72 is disclosed as an annular fitting around the water bladder 88. The water wall 72 is preferably filled with a fluid such as air, and is preferably closed sealed air as opposed to airblown. The water wall 72 can also be filled with a fluid such as water.

FIG. 5 shows a fourth embodiment of the present invention with an open water area 70 that shows a convex bounce surface. The pool of water is therefore deeper at the sides than in the middle. For small toddlers that may become trapped in the middle, the convex bounce surface pushes them to the outside and allows easier job retrieval in case children fall down or start struggling uncontrollably in the water. In the fourth embodiment, the water walls 72 are optional. The water bladder walls 74 may be the sole support for the water retained in the open water area. Water walls 72 are preferred since they keep the water from draining out when the kids crawl into the open water area. Children should be allowed to deform the soft water bladder walls 74, since soft surfaces prevent injury, however water walls 72 would save more water by keeping water from leaking out the sides during entry and exit. The water walls 72 are not drawn to scale. In the fourth embodiment, when the water is not filled very high, an island forms in the middle that is dry. Children may retreat to the island, dry themselves out, then come back into the water to splash around. Again, the figure is not drawn to scale.

Additionally, water, sand or hollow plastic balls can be added to the open water area for additional fun factor. With sand, children can watch the sand scatter and make different wave patterns.

Although the invention has been disclosed in detail with reference only to the preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various other embodiments can be provided without departing from the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is defined only by the claims set forth below.