Can I have some water please?

wish it was open

So while Tom was fouling fountains with his toe-jam feet, I was out training for triathlon foolishness and found a serious lack of drinkable water. In my run loop from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol via the White House, I couldn’t find a single water fountain that worked. When I complained to the National Park Service rangers at the WWII memorial, they directed me to the fountains next to their info-shack, saying I had to hold the button for 3-5 seconds to get the pump to work.

In doing so, that fountain worked, but none of the others did, even when pushed for 10 seconds. I forgot to check the always-on fountain in front of the Capitol Building, I ran up the Capitol steps instead of in front of it, but when I went by two weeks ago, it too was not working. They closed off the little Capitol Hill Summer House a while ago too. Who knows when or if that will reopen.

Now this I think is a serious lapse by the National Park Service. Free & accessible water fountains, available to the general public, is an expectation that we should have on the National Mall. Not just for thirsty runners, but for all visitors. In the same way that the museums and memorials are free, supported by American taxpayer money, so should water fountains.

Is this a greater conspiracy by Coke & Pepsi, the overpriced Smithsonian food vendors, or the random hawkers just off the Mall, or just another sign of how the NPS is being bled dry to fund other governmental wars priorities?

4 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on June 27th, 2005 @ 12:59 pm

    Casting aspersions upon my cleanliness, Wayan? Feh!

    My feet are clean of the toejam, thanks much!

  2. Josh (unregistered) on June 27th, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

    I am in total agreement. I recently gave a full moument tour to a visiting friend and I was stunned by the lack of functioning water fountains. Also, by late evening, most of the vendors had vanished and we were left to suffer in our dehydrated state.

  3. Derek (unregistered) on June 27th, 2005 @ 3:30 pm

    Maybe they don’t want to kill off all the tourists with water contaminated with lead. They are a valuable source of income, after all!

  4. Paulo (unregistered) on July 13th, 2005 @ 10:47 am

    I stopped drinking from the water fountains on the Mall after seeing more than one dog drinking from the one near the WW2 Memorial, while the dog’s owner pressed the button and made encouraging noises.

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