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Refurbished fountain offers dry view

OCEANSIDE — Tile, plaster and electrical work to the Civic Center fountain, costing about $385,000, is complete. The only thing missing is water.

The city fountain will remain waterless until drought measures are lifted. In the meantime visitors can enjoy an unobstructed view of the dry, renovated fountain.

“When drought restrictions are lifted we’ll add water, and it will be ready to use,” David Toschak, city senior civil engineer, said.

California Waters Development Inc. began work on the 27-year-old fountain in December 2014. At that time, drought mandates were not in effect.

Toschak said work was already underway when the city got word of pending state water restrictions.

“There were holes in ground,” Toschak said. “It was more economical to finish the work, and not do the work twice.”

While work was being finished up in March, the city briefly considered filling the fountain with reclaimed potable water. This would set the city up to replenish the fountain with reclaimed water on a monthly basis.

By April a decision was made to keep the fountain dry in order to follow state mandates, and set a city example for water customers.

Toschak said cosmetic and functional repairs are well done, and have returned the fountain to an appealing focal point.

“It’s back, and functioning,” Toschak said. “The work and craftsmanship is very good. It’s successful except for the water.”

For now fountain ducts and drains are sealed, and maintenance is minimized to sweeping and debris cleanup until the water is turned on.

Oceanside cut back its water use by 27 percent since enacting conservation efforts in 1990. The city is now working to reduce citywide water use by an additional 20 percent.

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