Unseasonably Frigid Temperatures Cause Drinking Fountains to Burst in Boston

Unseasonably freezing temperatures over the weekend caused water fountains to burst in Boston, resulting in a steady stream of water in parks and playgrounds, as well as complaints to the city.

There were numerous posts and photos about the leaking drinking fountains on the City of Boston 311 site.

"The drinking fountain has been leaking for days. Terrible waste of gallons of water, and slippery on the sidewalk and footpath when the temperature drops," a person reported on a fountain in Roxbury.

"Water fountain still flowing and freezing into the street for more than 24 hours at the Doherty Park. Workers came- looked-left," a person reported on a fountain in Charlestown.

"Esplanade PlaySpace water fountain flowing continuously. Not sure if this is a planned situation," a person reported on a fountain on the Esplanade.

The cause for the broken fountains was the unseasonably cold temperature on Friday night and Saturday morning when it was 23 degrees, while the normal temperature for that date is 39 degrees. The freezing temperatures made the water in the fountains expand and burst.

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department had already started the shutting off the fountains, but were caught off guard by the cold snap.

"The Parks Department began shutting off water fountains and court lights (basketball and tennis) for the season this past week with daylight savings time," a spokesperson said. "Several water drinking fountains froze with the frigid temperatures this week. There was minimal damage and the remainder of the drinking fountains water was shut off by this (Monday) afternoon."

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