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How is the water controlled at the 5th Avenue Fountain at Kenan Plaza?

The City of Wilmington is as water conservation savvy as its residents.

If you look closely at the medians between 4th and 5th streets downtown, the Kenan Plaza Fountain pumps are in a hidden tank, which release the stored recycled water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, according to the City of Wilmington’s director of public services Richard King. The only time the water won’t flow is once a month for maintenance and during the winter months depending on the weather conditions, when the pumps are manually shut off.

King said that the only time non-recycled water is used for the fountain is when the water level is down, which is not a common occurrence. There is a sensor, which shuts off the fountain during heavy winds, but not for rain.

The Kenan Memorial Fountain, located at the center of Fifth Avenue and Market Street, was given to the City of Wilmington by William Rand Kenan Jr. in 1921 as a memorial to his parents. The fountain had a pool at street level until 1953 when the State Highway Commission suggested the fountain be moved. Rather than moving the fountain from its unique location, the City Council voted to reduce the size of the fountain, install spotlights and widen the street to two lanes.

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One Response to “ How is the water controlled at the 5th Avenue Fountain at Kenan Plaza?”

  1. On July 12, 2009 at 9:02 am Jennifer wrote:

    Interesting! I could swear that I remember something about the city manager during the 1970s, John A. Jones, shutting off the fountains for almost two years during difficult economic times. He felt that even the mist that is lost is wasteful.



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