Slurps up! Frost-resistant drinking fountains arrive in Brooklyn’s Backyard

Slurps up! Frost-resistant drinking fountains arrive in Brooklyn’s Backyard
Prospect Park Alliance / Paul Martinka

Brooklyn’s Backyard is now an all-year water park!

Prospect Park joggers can leave their water bottles at home during winter runs now that meadow stewards installed the first of several freeze-resistant drinking fountains in the green space.

Workers with the Prospect Park Alliance — which maintains the lawn in conjunction with the city — on Nov. 22 set up the first sipping spot outside Vanderbilt Playground along the roughly three-mile, West Drive running loop that passes the play space, and plan to install more frost-repelling fountains near the park’s Garfield Place entrance and Ball Fields 6 and 7 in the coming days.

Alliance leaders previously shut all meadow fountains down during the winter months to prevent pipes from bursting, according to a rep for the group, who said the freeze-resistant models are connected to waterlines buried deep enough that they won’t ice over, and sport both drinking and bottle-filling spouts.

The new fountains are further protected from freezing over by a mechanism that drains water after each use, requiring users to hold down the faucet button for a second of two before any ice-cold H20 bubbles up, said the Alliance’s Senior Landscape Architect Justine Heilner.

The delay in dispensing water, however, left some of the inaugural fountain’s first customers confused when they went to take sips from it during the Prospect Park Track Club’s annual Turkey Trot run on Thanksgiving Day, according to the neighborhood’s councilman, who said signs alerting park-goers to the wait will be installed soon.

“It takes long enough that people start to wonder where the water is,” said Brad Lander.

Still, Lander praised the debut of Prospect Park’s all-year water fountains, which he said couldn’t come soon enough after locals in his district in 2016 allocated $175,000 to fund via the pol’s 2016 participatory-budgeting process.

“It’s something I’ve been hearing about for a long time,” Lander said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.