ST. PETERSBURG — City workers Wednesday morning discovered that a water fountain in Lakewood Terrace Park had been inadvertently hooked up to a reclaimed water line put into place Monday for irrigation.
Officials don't believe anyone was harmed by the hookup, although they are reviewing how the mix-up occurred.
"Over the period of time this occurred, staff indicated they didn't see anyone using the park," said Mike Connors, the city's internal services administrator. "We have no evidence that anybody drank anything from the fountain."
The mistake was discovered during an inspection of the irrigation line early Wednesday morning, Connors said. A water services worker found that the new line was already activated, and that it was hooked to the fountain.
Officials immediately shut everything off and reported the incident to the Department of Environmental Protection, in accordance with regulatory requirements
"I would characterize this as a very, very infrequent event," Connors said.
Most parks in the city are already being irrigated with reclaimed water, Connors said.
But Lakewood Terrace Park, a plot of land about the size of two residential lots at 715 38th Ave. S, had been using drinking water for both its irrigation and the fountain.
When city workers put the new pipe for reclaimed water irrigation in on Monday afternoon, Connors said, the fountain was inadvertently hooked into the line as well.
In any case, Connors said, the new line wasn't supposed to be activated until a water service worker inspected it.
He said the city is reviewing its operating procedures to make sure something like this doesn't happen in the future.
The irrigation line and fountain are currently turned off, Connors said. It is unclear when they will be turned on again.