A new set of signage near a fountain that serves as a gathering place for the families who live near Oxford Road and 69th Street is raising eyebrows from some Prairie Village residents.
Prairie Village Public Works last week installed two signs next to the fountain reading “WARNING NON TREATED FOUNTAIN NOT FOR PLAYING.”
Public Works director Bruce McNabb said the impetus for the signs was simple.
“We thought it was appropriate to let people know that this water is not treated like swimming pool water or the Franklin Park stream,” McNabb said via email “The fountain water just recirculates. There are no screens, filters or other treatments.”
But some neighbors say they had been under the impression that the fountain water had been treated in the past — and that even if it weren’t treated, the potential threat to kids’ health seemed relatively minor. Ashley Weaver, the recently elected City Councilor who served on the Prairie Village Homes Association, lives near the fountain, and has been in contact with Public Works about whether the signs were necessary.
“Their intentions were good, but I think it caught everyone off guard,” she said. “Frankly, I don’t think they’re necessary. And if they are going to put up signs like that, they should put them consistently throughout the city.”
McNabb said Monday that after listening to feedback from neighbors, the department was likely to remove at least one of the signs and may consider rewording the message. But, he said, some sort of information will be posted letting families know that the fountain isn’t intended for kids to play in.
“It’s not a specific threat, but there are a variety of things that could go wrong,” he said about children playing in the fountain.
McNabb said the city spent $60 to have the two original signs made.