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Fountain returns to McGuire Lake

The new fountain is similar in height to the old one, but with a little wider pattern.
Lori Wheeler admires the new fountain at McGuire Lake.
Pleasing vista: After being out of commission for more than a year

It was just a teaser.

The McGuire Lake Fountain, out of commission since last summer, rose to life last Wednesday afternoon – but only for a brief stint.

The popular fountain gushed upwards from about 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., said Brad Ackerman with the city’s parks and recreation department.

“We ran a test cycle. One of the transformers will have to be replaced -– it heated up…,” he said Thursday. “It’s an indication we have to address that one before it goes into full operation.”

He said the installation crew was dealing with the original power supply so had to make sure the transformer could handle the load.

“It appears we have to upgrade it a little.”

Ackerman said replacement wouldn’t be difficult – and he was right. By Thursday, the part was already en route to Salmon Arm from the Lower Mainland. Once it was installed Friday, it was “just a matter of putting the switch over to ‘on’.”

Meanwhile, the fountain platform was secured, and with it a substantial amount of cable for the lights and motor.

The new fountain is similar in height to the old one, but with a little wider pattern. The lights are different, though. The old ones, which were all white, had just two settings – on or off. The new ones can be set to a couple of different sequences.

“You might have 12 lights on all at once, then down to six or eight,” Ackerman said, adding the new fountain has options such as different lenses and four or five different colour changes.

And maintenance on the new fountain is expected to be easier.

The old fountain stopped working last summer and could not be revived.

Only one of the suppliers contacted was able to provide the specifications required and they were in the form of the Otterbine Barebo Giant Fountain, which features a spray height of 50 feet and a diameter of 42 feet.

The city budgeted $40,000 for the new fountain, a cost that might have risen with the new transformer, Ackerman said.

Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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