80% of Seattle park drinking fountains don’t work, heatwave ahead

Jun 24, 2021, 9:46 AM
Seattle drinking fountains...
(KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

Record-breaking, triple-digit temperatures are in the forecast but only 20% of Seattle city park drinking fountains are in working order, according to Seattle Parks and Recreation.

It’s a rarity for Seattle — record-breaking, triple-digit temperatures forecast three days in a row.

The impending heatwave has prompted cities to open cooling centers, and counties to provide resources and safety tips to beat the heat.

The number one piece of advice? Hydration.

Public drinking fountains can be found scattered throughout Seattle parks. However, right now, finding one that has water may be a tall order.

According to Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR), a whopping 80% of city park drinking fountains don’t work.

Seattle area primed for ‘unprecedented record breaking heat’ this weekend

A spokesperson with SPR told KIRO-7 most of the fountains have been off since the 2019 winter season.

In 2020, SPR was in the process of turning them back on for spring and summertime use when pandemic-related safety measures prompted them to keep the fountains off indefinitely (and turn off the ones they had already turned back on).

Fast forward to this month, June of 2021, SPR said they had begun turning the fountains back on following guidance from Seattle King County Public Health.

“Staff are seeing that since drinking fountains have been off for quite some time, they are needing more work (replacing parts or fixing damage) to get turned back on,” the spokesperson said.

According to SPR, the goal is to have all the functioning fountains turned on by mid-July. So far, just 20% of the fountains have been turned back on.

“We wish we could do this more quickly, but this is the busiest season for our plumbing teams as they prepare to get (and keep) pools, spray parks, and wading pools running,” the spokesperson continued.

If you are looking for a functioning fountain, the downtown area is a good place to start.

According to SPR, the department prioritized the downtown fountains because they have fewer brick-and-mortar bathroom locations in the area (which also provide running water for water bottle refills).

David Cuerpo, a spokesperson with the Seattle Fire Department, echoed the importance of hydration but said there are other things people can do to protect themselves like staying in the shade, or utilizing public cool-off spaces.

A list of libraries, wading pools, spray parks, lifeguarded beaches and outdoor pools can be found here.

Written by KIRO 7 TV reporter Elle Thomas

Local News

early primary, kim wyman...
Nick Bowman

Report: Washington Sec. of State Wyman could be leaving role for new job with Biden administration

Sources tell CNN that Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman could be leaving her role for a new job with the Department of Homeland Security.
20 hours ago
vaccine, booster doses...
MyNorthwest Staff

Booster doses of COVID vaccines available in Washington for eligible individuals

Booster doses of all three COVID-19 vaccine types are now available for certain individuals in Washington, and can be safely mixed and matched.
20 hours ago
salmon hatchery...
Dalton Day

Potential ‘irreparable damage’ to Puget Sound orcas over alleged illegal salmon hatchery expansion

Conservationists allege that Fish and Wildlife has expanded salmon hatcheries without lawful compliance under SEPA, thereby damaging native salmon and orca whales.
20 hours ago
seattle relief fund...
Kathryn Altena

Mayor launches Seattle Relief Fund to help families impacted by COVID

Seattle city leaders announced the launch of a new relief fund Monday to help struggling families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
20 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

State recovers $495,000 in stolen unemployment benefits with ‘innovative’ legal strategy

For the first time, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has used asset forfeiture to repossess $495,000 in fraudulent unemployment claims.
20 hours ago
Washington Daylight Saving Time...
Nick Bowman

Washington looks for ‘alternative’ paths to end years-long wait for permanent Daylight Saving Time

With the state setting their clocks back again on Nov. 7, Sen. Murray says her office is ramping up work to end the twice-yearly time changes.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
80% of Seattle park drinking fountains don’t work, heatwave ahead