Dry Hudson River Park Play Fountain to Re-Open This Summer

By Mathew Katz on May 13, 2013 12:26pm 

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 The fountain at Pier 84 needed a new filter to get rid of a potential parasite outbreak.
The fountain at Pier 84 is set to re-open by Memorial Day
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HELL'S KITCHEN — After staying dry for nearly two years, water at a popular play fountain in the shadow of the Intepid Sea, Air & Space museum is set to start flowing again by mid-June, officials said.

The fountain at Pier 84 was shut down by the state Department of Health in 2011 after it determined its water recyclers didn't have a proper UV filter, posing a risk of contamination by Cryptosporidium, a parasite that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and cramps.

With local parents complaining that their kids were roasting in the summer heat, the city ponied up the cash — a whopping $488,000 — to retrofit the fountain.

"The system now automatically shuts down if there's bacteria," said John Doswell, a board member at Friends of Hudson River Park, at a recent Community Board 4 meeting.

Doswell added that the retrofit work is done, but the electrical system at the pier was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Repair crews were hoping to have it fixed within the next two weeks.

The state established new regulations in 2007 requiring spray parks to have filters for Cryptosporidium after an outbreak at Seneca Lake State Park.

The Pier 84 sprinkler, which opened in 2006, was voluntarily shut down after the Department of Health determined there was a risk of an outbreak there, though the parasite was never detected at the site.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story said the fountain would re-open by Memorial Day. It should actually reopen by mid-June.

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