No, this posting will have nothing to do with the testing of runoff water coming from the site. We did come across some articles a while after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, but most of those problems, as far as we know, have gotten resolved.

Rendering of 9/11 Memorial WaterfallsSquared Design Lab

Getting to the point of this posting, though, the first testing of waterfalls built at the Ground Zero site has taken place and from the article said, all went well. Granted they didn’t test for water quality — and we hope they WILL test for water quality and have systems in place to PROTECT water quality in the fountains — but they did test for noise levels, splash and foam generation.

No one likes a foamy fountain. No one. It looks… Unsafe.

Read the article about Waterfall Testing at Ground Zero and find out for yourself how well the initial testing went — or you can get the gist of things from the brief quote to follow.

There has been a rainbow this week at ground zero.

In fact, there have been many rainbows — faint and evanescent — as the wind shaped the beaded curtains of water falling into the north pool of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum; the pool that marks the spot where 1 World Trade Center once stood.


Almost a decade after the architect Michael Arad imagined memorializing the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, with two voids in the Hudson River — a vision transformed over time into two enormous sunken pools in a tree-filled plaza — water has begun to fall into the first pool. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is building the memorial, started the test on Tuesday.

What was most striking on first impression was that the water did not fall in sheets or foamy torrents. This is no Niagara. Rather, because its flow is separated at the top by comblike weirs, the water falls in a striated pattern, each drop sparkling distinctly as it falls 30 feet into the pool.

“The way the wind plays with the water, it makes it feel living,” said Joseph C. Daniels, the president and chief executive of the memorial and museum, as he looked over the expanse. ( source )

It shocked us a bit that we did not see much in that article about water quality testing — probably because they figure no one cares about water quality testing.

Not true! Some of us DO care a great deal about water testing and in the case of fountains, well, we believe we have good reason to care: Serious life-threatening diseases can transmit through the water running through a fountain.

There is a need for good water quality in contemporary fountains, regardless of their avowed intended use. Regardless of the fact that some fountains are designed and built not as bathing fountains, but are rather used simply as architectural decor, people will often drink from, bathe or wash their hands in any fountain. Additionally, fountain spray can contain legionella bacteria and has been linked to legionnaires’ disease outbreaks. Therefore, minimum water quality standards are necessary, regardless of intended use. Guidelines have been developed for control of legionella in ornamental fountains.

In July 1997, an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis was connected to an ornamental fountain at the Minnesota Zoo, which did not have proper filtration and water treatment. Children played in fountains and swallowed water, and spurted the water out of their mouths to mimic the way nozzles in the fountain spurted the water. ( source )

So the next time you think it a good idea to dip your face in a fountain to cool off, think about this article because if the builder of the fountain didn’t incorporate a filtration system and/or disinfecting regimen into the fountain’s design and implementation, well, you might find yourself getting a face full of unpleasant contaminants that ya’ really don’t want!

Trojan UVMAX Pro10 Ultraviolet System

Filter system to remove harmful bacteria?

If testing for bacteria yields positive results in your drinking water, then per haps you may want to consider investing in an ultraviolet disinfection system which produces ultraviolet light that eliminates waterborne pathogens by penetrating cell walls of bacteria and viruses, altering the DNA of the organism, and thus rendering the cells unable to reproduce.

The Trojan UVMAX Pro10 Ultraviolet System and other larger models manufactured by Trojan UV work very well as add-ons to other water purification systems (i.e. reverse osmosis systems). Many of the models have undergone rigorous testing by independent laboratories and certified to NSF/ANSI STANDARD 055 — Ultraviolet Microbiological Water Treatment Systems.