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Revamped Pier 84 Fountain Still Dry During Heat Wave

By Mathew Katz | June 26, 2013 9:09am
  The fountain has been closed for nearly two years.
Pier 84 Fountain Still Closed
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HELL'S KITCHEN — After two years and half a million dollars of repairs, a Hell's Kitchen play fountain for kids still isn't working.

The fountain at Pier 84 — which opened in 2006, only to close in 2011 due to a health scare — was supposed to reopen by mid-June, which would have been just in time for this week's blistering heat.

But according to a Hudson River Park spokeswoman, the fountain is still undergoing work to address the state Department of Health's concerns.

The city spent $488,000 to install special UV filters in the fountain, which are designed to help kill Cryptosporidium, a harmful bacteria that can cause diarrhea, cramps and vomiting. 

"People are actively working there and we are fast approaching a finish date," the spokeswoman, Delaney Kempner, wrote in an email. 

When it was still open, the fountain, in the shadow of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and on Hudson River Park's largest pier at West 44th Street, was a hit with local kids.

With the mercury set to hit 90 degrees on Wednesday, some sweaty locals were mad that the popular fountain had been closed for so long.

"I had no idea that was even a fountain," said Peter Erwitz, 30, pointing at the dry spot of pavement where water would normally shoot out.

"It's so boiling out, I'd love just to get my feet wet or something. We need it — lots of people don't have pools or air conditioning."

The fountain originally opened less than a year before the state imposed new regulations in 2007 that required spray-parks to have UV filters, which kill Cryptosporidium.

The park voluntarily shut down the fountain after the Health Department informed park officials of the violation. 

Kempner could not specify what state Health Department concerns were keeping the newly revamped fountain closed. A spokesman for the department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.