The Fountain has been shut down for the past week as a consulting engineer wraps up an evaluation of all the physical aspects of the Fountain and its operations in preparing a report for the Town Council.
The work is concluding, and the Fountain should return to normal operation by the end of the week.
According to Community Services Director Rachael Goodwin, who oversees Parks and Recreation as part of her job, with the Fountain approaching 50 years old, staff and the council decided it was time for a major assessment of all aspects of the amenity.
“One of the biggest questions is the condition of the lake liner,” Goodwin said.
She said the 10-day shutdown of the fountain was part of an evaporation test to evaluate whether there is any loss of water from the lake that is unaccounted for and would indicate leakage through the liner.
The timing of the work is based on the normal pause in irrigation in preparation for overseeding the park with winter grass.
If the numbers come back showing a normal evaporation loss, things will return to normal, according to Goodwin. If there is an indication of significant loss of water from the lake, there will be a need for further evaluation to determine next steps.
Black and Veatch is the consulting engineering firm conducting the assessment. Goodwin said they are scheduled to report to the council in October.
Preliminarily, the evaluation has run smoothly. Divers have completed an evaluation of the fountain structure, pumping systems and evaluated the electrical systems.
Goodwin said divers had found only about four to 12 inches of sediment in the lake bottom, which she views as relatively good news.
“This evaluation is providing a lot of benchmarks,” Goodwin said. “We can find out where we are right now and what are the next steps for the future so we can plan and budget.”