Cold snap breaks Boston bubblers

Spraying fountain in Charlestown park

Quite the spray in Doherty Park in Charlestown

Looks like not all the water fountains in Boston got turned off before the first freeze, based on reports filed with the city 311 system over the past couple of days.

The fountain at Doherty Park in Charlestown alone has gotten numerous complaints, given how much water it's now gushing out, much of it running down the street.


Msgr. Reynolds Playground:

Msgr. Reynolds Playground in the South End



Free tagging: 


When You Are Too Busy Holding Signs In The Days Before...

Somebody in the smart brains department forgot to tell the Parks Department that while you are waving at everyone in front of Jackson-Mann or the Murph that you do not get a few days off after the election.

Maybe you could have waited a few after the cold snap to chill out after "working" last weekend.

Nice job guys, at least the junkies on the Common can ice skate a little early this year.

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Explain the DCR fail

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In political terms.

I didn’t see anyone out campaigning for Baker this week. Just saying.

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Zombie Summer Shambles to the Grave

Although it isn't like this wasn't predicted for most of a week - I was in Atlanta for much of the week and I somehow knew it was coming and managed to remove my herb plants to their winter pots and pick off the considerable bounty of tomatoes and peppers before it hit.

In Boston it was the fountains. In Medford, a couple of streets of houses are without water because they are connected to a temporary main with hoses and the hoses froze and burst. One would think this possibility would be factored in to a water main replacement project in November, no?

Sounds like the DPWs need to be introduced to the NWS.

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Can I be sympathetic?

I saw the forecast and remembered to bring warm clothes to work for the ride home on Thursday. Didn't remember to disconnect and drain the hose for the deck garden. Thankfully, the only damage appears to be in the drip lines which are replaced most years anyway.

They screwed up but in legends of DPW screw-ups this won't even be a footnote.

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DPW or Parks Department?

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And in at least two cases (Castle Island and Esplanade), DCR (maybe three, don't know about the Park Drive one).

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Same old, same old

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Let's run the time machine back a little.

This is why water fountains were decommissioned in the city decades ago; lack of maintenance and by default lack of staff to perform maintenance.

City parks and ball fields always had water fountains but as time passed they became vandalized, broken otherwise, frozen, etc, etc. So as they failed, one by one they were decommissioned and taken out of service and many removed completely.

Now, run the time machine forward and a new generation, new staff at city hall, and people with no clue as to what history tells us (and for that matter... they don't care), install new water fountains and people are happy.

Suddenly, they are not being maintained.

Scroll back to the top at this point. Rinse and repeat.

As the city juggles its budget to afford certain things it's the small hidden things that get cut that no one notices, until of course it is too late and then people bitch that the city is not doing something right. Well, this is one of those cases, sad to say.

When I started to see all this hub-bub about water fountains in parks and kid play spaces I rolled my eyes and said 'Here we go again.' And true to form, history is repeating itself.

All you can do is report these to 311. That said, all they will do is cut the water since winter is effectively here with temps below freezing. They will not be repaired until next spring. Of course, by then there will be no record of it and everyone will complain about the broken fountains or non-working fountains because they need to be repaired.

I should have made book on this. I'd have been rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

Jaded? no... I just know how the system works. Hopefully a new generation can learn from this and fix the system.

Save this post.

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So instead of assuming it's going to cost a small amount to keep public fountains running we should just ditch them entirely?

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Water fountains follow the same public works logic as trash cans and public restrooms: if we take them out, everyone will magically stop getting thirsty, having garbage to toss, or needing to empty their bladder. It's proven government science.

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