Sand is Rodgau lake’s gold. Fine, platin white gold. For decades, it has been dug up from here and sold around the world. That is how the lake first developed. And because lying around it, enjoying the summer is so easy, all of the metropolitan area Frankfurt flocks to the Rodgauer lido. Recently though, one of six swimming islands has pushed the sandy beach to second place. The pontoon is covered with sun-warm ‘Compact’ decks by Naturinform.
Bathing pontoon Rodgau
Compact, brown massive deck
Strandbad Rodgau, 63110 Rodgau, Hessen
If it weren’t for the typical German forest on the other side of the lake, you could actually believe you were at the Cote d’Azur. The water shines in exactly the same light greenish blue as you know it from bays in the Mediterranean. The German rock band Rodgau Monotones even sings about the ‘St. Tropez at the Lido’ in its song ‘St. Tropez am Baggersee’ from 1983. No wonder then that the lido is very well known and has up to 200,000 visitors in a season.
Island feeling with pontoons
For practised swimmers, the lido has an island feeling, as well as its Mediterranean atmosphere. A total of six pontoons invite swimmers to make their way from the shore. The most spectacular pontoon is around 50 metres away, and with a total of 300 square metres, as large as a garden – and is even home to a real tree.In the past, the artificial island’s metal construction was laid out with traditional wooden planks. Since last year there are now Naturinform decks. ‘We were looking for something more durable,’ says Thomas Dursun, responsible for the bath in Rodgau. ‘Every year before theseason started we needed to sand down and repaint the wood on the pontoons. Every seven to ten years we had to renew the planks completely. That is why we were desperately looking for a more robust material.’
Material acid test
The wooden surfaces are above water, but due to waves and rain – and of course the swimmers themselves – the surfaces are constantly wet. That is quite a demanding setting. Algae develop rapidly on untreated wood and the surface becomes slippery. Additionally, planks lose their shape, they tear and splinter. When swimmers are injured by splinters,it is the person who runs the site who is made responsible.‘ The newdecks are something completely different. After a winter and two swimming seasons they still look like new.’ The special thing about these decks: They are made of a wooden composite. The optical look of natural wood is melted together with an intelligent artificial material.Water residue and therefore weathering influences are blocked. No-oneneed worry about splinters with this surface, the surfaces are notslippery, even when wet, and the construction stays in shape, althoughit is in direct contact to the water and is dimensionally stable for thetree, too.
In line with nature
Although created artificially, the lake in Rodgau is today a recreational area for nature. Anyone who takes a closer look at the water’s surface can see giant carps swimming around. Because of this – and of course to protect swimmers – the material’s environmental compatibility was decisive. Cleaning agents, for example to remove algae, are forbidden on this site. So are wood protection agents. Naturinform’s decks need no environmentally harmful chemicals for maintenance, neither are fungicides nor pesticides used during production. Varnish is not necessary. The decks are coloured during production. The weathering resistant component is polyethylene, a non-toxic and environmentally compatible polymer. Naturinform also produces strictly ecologically:Only PEFC-certified wood from ecologically farmed woods, no tropical woods and no freshly cut trees are used, only chippings.
Youth project implements assembly
A practical and stable slotting system connects the decks to each other, as well as with the base profiles: Screws are unnecessary. So is experience with building: “Participants of our local youth project fitted the decks,” says Thomas Dursun. “That is young people who didn’t find an apprenticeship. They complete simple tasks, instructed by experts, to gain their first work experience.” To help them complete the swimming island, a joiner was by their side. Dursun: “He was nicely surprised at how simply and intelligently Naturinform’s system with its decks and fitting accessories works.”
Especially slip resistant
Dursun decided on ‚Compact‘. This deck type has a finely and a widely striated side. It has a length of up to 13 metres and is 26 millimetres thick. Thanks to the fact that it can be used with either surface on top itcan be used extremely versatilely. In a TÜV Rheinland test ‚Compact‘ achieved the highest level of slip resistance – R 12 according to DIN 51130, and Class C according to DIN 51097, and is therefore ideal for areas around pools and lidos.
The pontoons are in a warm brown. Once laid, the colour shades darken slightly in the first four months. Just as with wood a fine patina develops, especially silver and golden reflexes. This effect is due to the wooden fibres – and, not like pure wood – contained by the light-proof colour parts in the high-quality composite material. “Our guests reallylike the new surfaces,” says Dursun. „It was a good decision“’