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Chicago Park District to shut off 200 outdoor drinking fountains

Chicago Park District to shut off 200 outdoor drinking fountains

The Chicago Park District deactivated about 18% of indoor and outdoor drinking fountains in 2016 after an initial round of water testing. The Chicago Park District and the Department of Water Management have since commenced an annual, seasonal flushing of stagnant water held in pipes below the city’s drinking fountains. Fountains that contain a lead content greater than 5 parts per billion, the maximum allowed in bottled water by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will remain shut off. In addition, in areas deemed to be ”low-traffic” the fountains will also remain shut off. This will include 200, or 16%, of the city’s outdoor fountains leaving Chicago with only about 1,000 safe outdoor fountains. Of the remaining fountains, many will function with continuous flow. The constantly moving water may be fresher and contain lower lead levels. According to the Chicago Park District’s spokesperson, Jessica Maxey-Faulkner, if you encounter one of these fountains it means the water has been tested and deemed safe.