Why is Maple Ridge’s Peace park fountain water blue?

District says it's to send the message that water not for drinking or for playing in

  • Aug. 1, 2012 10:00 a.m.
Rick Halas just wants the water in Maple Ridge’s little fountains to run normally so everyone can enjoy them.

Rick Halas just wants the water in Maple Ridge’s little fountains to run normally so everyone can enjoy them.

On those few warm days in B.C. summers, Rick Halas likes to enjoy Memorial Peace Park and the two little fountains that bubble along 224th Street in downtown Maple Ridge.

So why is the water running anti-freeze blue?

Is the coloration meant to scare children away from indulging in the illicit dipping-of-toes on a sweltering day, Halas asks.

Is the colour to deter the odd hobo or resident from rinsing his hands?

Halas says he’s never seen such a technique used in other cities.

“In the tiny squares and great plazas of France and Italy where tourists and locals pause to refresh, has anyone ever seen blue, repellent water?” In Spain’s Alhambra Palace, visited by millions of tourists, there is no blue water, he adds.

Halas contacted the District of Maple Ridge and was told by parks and recreation general manager Kelly Swift that there have been “a number of instances where people use them as a water-play feature and even for drinking water.”

Swift explained to Halas that the chlorine cannot be maintained at a level that would allow public use.

So to get the message out that people should stay out of the water, blue dye was added in addition to signs warning people to stay out of the fountains.

That seems to have worked, Swift said.

Coloured water isn’t as appealing as clear water, but it’s been “effective in resolving unsafe use of the fountains which allows us to retain these features in the park.”

Halas, though, is aghast. He just wants the water in Maple Ridge’s little fountains to run normally so everyone can enjoy them.

While travelling throughout Europe and the U.S., he’s seen dozens of small towns with fountains “and beautiful, clear running water,” in which people occasionally dip their feet.

“What I was trying to illustrate is, throughout the world we have municipalities who don’t get bent out of shape over people dipping their toes in water.

“If somebody puts their feet into it, so what?”

He says the coloured water just discourages people from enjoying the fountain and the loss of public value from the feature overrides the safety benefits.

“I just feel so cheated as a citizen.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of Maple Ridge man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Langley, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge still driving more, taking transit less

A sign to students outside Pitt Meadows secondary. The school is not currently listed by Fraser Health as having COVID-19 exposures. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Four more Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows schools exposed to COVID-19

Cases at three public schools and Maple Ridge Christian

Born and raised in Maple Ridge, Ernie Daykin is still astonished at this community’s beauty. He recently captured this image of the snow covered peaks of the Golden Ears in the background, and cherry blossoms in the foreground. (Special to The News)
SHARE: View of Golden Ears from many different perspectives

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Spray paint was discovered at Hot Rocks. (Special to The News)
Popular Maple Ridge summer destination vandalized

Rocks discovered with spray paint along South Alouette

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 so far

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

$4,800 in stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to businesses inside of the mall

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
‘Prolific offender’ charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Kao Macaulay, 23, is accused of breaking into home on March 30

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Most Read