Keeping our Rings Fountain running

1, Jun, 2017 Gavin Damore

Two months after a temporary security fence was installed around the Rings Fountain, the Rose Kennedy Greenway Maintenance staff is getting close to completing repairs and cleaning of the fountain in preparation of starting it for the 2017 fountain season. This fountain is approaching its 10th year in operation and many of the components are nearing the end of their lifespan.


It has been four years since our initial overhaul of the fountain basin equipment. In addition to the cleaning of the basin, we targeted making repairs to the 60 shooters, 150+ lights, waterproof membrane and tightening any of the 1200 connections in the pneumatic system that may be leaking. In addition, we removed crumbling mortar found at the basin perimeter, patched the resulting void with new mortar and extended the waterproof membrane to seal the new mortar and prevent future damage.

To access all the mechanical components in the basin we first had to remove over 400 granite pavers and 120 concrete blocks weighing a total of about 140,000 lbs. Upon opening the basin, we vacuumed out the remaining water as well as sand, silt, and debris that had accumulated over the past four years. We replaced or rebuilt any shooters that were defective, replaced or repaired lights that were defective. We also performed the above-mentioned mortar and waterproofing work.

In addition, we brought in a subcontractor to install an epoxy lining inside the water pipes that feed the fog system as there was a leak that prevented the system from functioning. Initial tests after this repair were positive with the fog system restored.

Presently, we are allowing the waterproofing to fully cure prior to filling the basin and perform final testing of the repaired equipment. After this, we will reinstall all the concrete blocks and granite pavers. We are also making repairs to the equipment in the subterranean vault where the water treatment system, PLC controller, and 50 hp compressor reside.

We are hopeful to have the fountain and fog system running for the season during the first full week in June.