Are Public Fountains Too Dirty to Play In?

Filtration Systems Don't Guarantee Water Safe Enough to Swim In

But filtration systems do not always make for safe swimming holes. Speaking of Syracuse's Clinton Square fountain, Driscoll said, "It's just not chlorinated enough. When people go into the fountain, that creates immense pressure on the filtration system, and it's just not strong enough to effectively clean the water."

On a recent late afternoon, four college students, cooling off after a day of apartment hunting, stopped by the square.

"We're hot, man," David Nieves, who recently moved to Syracuse to begin his first year at Onondaga Community College, said. "Our car doesn't even have A.C. So we're gonna hit up the mall after this just to get out of the heat."

'Everybody Out of the Water!'

Although his friends joined the handful of people already wading in the fountain, Nieves didn't think a dip in the water was worth the break from the heat.

"I was like, 'Yo, that's dirty,'" he said. "I wouldn't get in there."

But it wasn't long before Nieves' buddies rejoined him on dry land.

"Everybody out of the water!" a booming voice announced from an approaching city police car.

The Police Department has recently issued warning of ticketing and fines. "We're getting law enforcement out there," Detective Sgt. Tom Connellan of the Syracuse Police Department, said. "We understand it's hot, but that's what public pools are for."

"Violators 16 years and older will be ticketed and fined if they're found in the fountain," added Driscoll.

The price for swimming?

$500.

So Syracuse residents may want to reconsider. A trip to the community pool or local lake may be worth the trip.

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