What’s with the water fountains? Edmonton caps fountains over water quality concerns

On a hot summer day, public fountains provide a perfect way for parched Edmontonians to rehydrate and recharge while they’re on the go.

But it turns out, the city has capped off 20 of Edmonton’s 78 water fountains this summer.

According to the city, the reason for fountains going dry is concern about the safety of the water.

A photo of a closed public water fountain in Edmonton’s Victoria Park on July 27, 2016.

Global News

In an email to Global News, a City of Edmonton spokesperson said the water quality concerns came about as a result of “infrequent use of the fountains” that results in stagnant water. They also said the stagnant water makes it difficult to maintain “an acceptable level of chlorine in the water.”

Officials said fountains near Victoria Park, Rundle Park and Hawrelak Park are most vulnerable to the stagnant water issue.

Another city official told Global News the problem is compounded by ongoing construction in Edmonton’s River Valley. There is concern about pipes that fill the fountains sitting stagnant as well as rust in the infrastructure.

According to the city, the issue is being addressed by installing new fountains, aiming to put water sources closer to fountains, or putting fountains in public buildings near problem fountains.

A public water fountain is drained in Hawrelak Park so it can be filled with clean water in time for the Heritage Festival. July 27, 2016.

Global News

On Wednesday, the city was draining serveral water fountains in Hawrelak Park so they could be filled with clean water in time for the Heritage Festival this weekend.

The city said some fountains may have to remain out of service indefinitely.

A public water fountain in Hawrelak Park is shown.

Global News

-With files from Kent Morrison & Ted Bauer, Global News

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