UW News

June 1, 2015

Drumheller Fountain reopens a week early

UW Facilities Services

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Alicia Halberg/U. of Washington

Drumheller Fountain, one of the University of Washington’s campus icons, reopened Monday, one week ahead of schedule after having been closed by Facilities Services crews April 27 for its biannual cleaning and maintenance.

A facilities maintenance mason repairs grout along the fountain’s rim.

A facilities maintenance mason repairs grout along the fountain’s rim.Alicia Halberg/U. of Washington

“Drumheller Fountain is the centerpiece of our campus,” maintenance supervisor Dale Baxmann said. “We need to be good stewards of our campus landmarks; responsible planning and maintenance work is really important to our aging icons.”

Maintenance activities included patching and repairing the fountain’s liner, to prevent water leaks. Facilities’ masonry crews completed grout and stonework repairs along the fountain’s rim, and other crews and contractors evaluated corrosion on the pipes and fountain’s inner ring.

“When people throw things into the fountain, it sometimes damages the liner,” Baxmann said. “Especially big items like campus garbage bins or parking signs.”

During the closure, crews from Facilities Maintenance & Construction looked for ways to improve Drumheller maintenance for the future.

Maintenance pipes shows corrosion on the pipes in the fountain, which facilities crews addressed.

Maintenance pipes shows corrosion on the pipes in the fountain, which facilities crews addressed.Alicia Halberg/U. of Washington

“We try to be conscientious and aware of constraints and limitations, but we still have to take care of the fountain,” Baxmann said. “There is some corrosion on the metal pipes and the fountain ring that we need to keep an eye on; it’s an aging structure and we have to care for it. We’ll be coming up with a plan for more extensive repairs to the lighting, pipes and fountain ring in the next few years.”

“The water in the fountain gets pretty dirty after two years of trash, evaporation, and the friendly ducks and geese that flock to the fountain’s tame waters,” grounds manager Howard Nakase said. “The water isn’t so much, well, water anymore. It’s important we clean it out for the health of our campus.”