The fountain (185 x 60 feet) is covered by a thin scrim of water with programmable three-foot-high spouts that create a dancing water feature throughout. Sections of the fountain can be turned partially or completely off to allow for concerts or events. Rainwater is captured on site and stored in a cistern below the park to feed the fountain and to support the park's landscaping irrigation system.
The Center City District values the trust parents put in us to ensure the safety of water in our play fountains and follows industry-recommended best practices for proactive water-safety management at Sister Cities Park, Dilworth Park and John F. Collins Park.
CCD staff test the water features in our parks three times each day. Using a professional water-testing kit, recommended by water treatment experts Klenzoid Inc. of Conshohocken, CCD staff checks the cleanliness of the water as well as the presence of safe and appropriate levels of chlorine to prevent the growth of bacteria. If there are any imbalances or deficiencies in chlorine levels, CCD staff immediately addresses the situation on site.
Klenzoid is also under contract to visit each park twice a week, independently to take samples and send them to a certified laboratory to culture water samples to check for bacterial growth. Kits available in commercial stores can’t provide these laboratory tests that require several days of monitoring and evaluation. The results of these reports come directly back to CCD and if there are any problems, CCD staff takes immediate corrective action.
While we consistently work to maintain the highest levels of water safety in all of CCD-managed fountains and water features, each day hundreds of children of all ages, including toddlers in swim diapers, play in the Dilworth and Sister Cities fountains and in Sister Cities’ wading pool during the summer months.
Therefore, in addition to routine testing, CCD has assigned pond/fountain attendants to Sister Cities and Dilworth parks to ensure safe play in the water and who are directed to ask parents to promptly remove children from a fountain or water feature if they witness unsanitary situations or behaviors so the water feature can be briefly closed, cleaned and treated.
Please note that since the fountain water is chlorinated it may not be safe for pets.
In October, the fountain at Dilworth Park is turned off for the season to begin installation of the Rothman Institute Ice Rink. The fountain and subsurface reservoir and pumps are drained to prevent freezing and will remain dormant until spring.
Pulse, a specially commissioned work of public art created by internationally recognized artist Janet Echelman will be integrated into the programmable fountain at Dilworth Park and will trace the path of trains traveling on the three lines below the park in real time, coded to the colors associated with each transit line. Thin columns of dry mist will emanate from the fountain, evoking the steam that rose from the city's first water- pumping station that was located on this site as well as the steam from the trains at the Pennsylvania Railroad Station that was located across the street. Echelman's use of dry mist enables people to walk through the installation without getting wet. A description of the installation, including a simulation of this work of art, entitled Pulse, can be found by clicking here.