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Fountain Square’s namesake fountain will be out of commission all year while the city hires a contractor to repair it.

City officials say that when city staff turned on the fountain this spring they observed low water pressure and shut the fountain off out of an abundance of caution while investigating the issue.

A forensic engineering firm hired by the city concluded that the fountain contractor installed incorrectly sized water stops inside the fountain and did not follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for installation, causing the water loss.

The city is soliciting estimates to repair the fountain, and intends to hold the contractor for the project responsible for the cost of repairs.

The fountain project started in April 2017 and was scheduled to have been completed by the end of that year.

But the project experienced repeated delays that the city blamed on the contractor, Copenhaver Construction, with leak repairs conducted through much of 2018.

It finally went into regular operation in 2019.

City staff says that for now the plaza around the fountain remains open for seating, public gatherings and events.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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