People ignore ‘No Wading’ at Keller Fountain

Wading in Keller Fountain has been banned since 2008

Waders at Keller Fountain in downtown Portland, July 7, 2016 (KOIN)
Waders at Keller Fountain in downtown Portland, July 7, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Keller Fountain means a lot to longtime Portland residents like Stuart Bailey.

“This is kind of a part of the fabric of the city and I waded in it,” he told KOIN 6 News.

He’s not alone. KOIN 6 News captured a group of school children playing in Keller fountain Wednesday afternoon. But according to city and state regulation they shouldn’t be.

Families packed downtown Portland cooling off spots on June 4 as record-high temperatures hit the area. (KOIN)
Families packed downtown Portland cooling off spots on June 4, 2015 as record-high temperatures hit the area. (KOIN)

Wading in Keller Fountain has been banned since 2008 — even though some say they think it’s an overreach.

“From a safety issue I can’t imagine this is any worse than a lot of city pools so, you know, smells like chlorine to me,” Bailey said.

Portland Parks and Rec spokesperson Mark Ross said the ban comes from a state ruling. Keller Fountain’s filtration systems and steep drop-offs qualify the fountain as decorative.

But even though the ban is in place it can be really difficult to enforce.

“You would have to have someone here all the time because people come and go at their leisure,” Ross said.

He added he understands why people want to wade in fountains in the summer. Ross pointed out there are other wading options, including Salmon Street Springs or Director Park — both just a few blocks away.

Kids and families cooled off in Portland's many fountains and splash parks on June 4 as record-high temperatures hit Portland. (KOIN)
Kids and families cooled off in Portland’s many fountains and splash parks on June 4 as record-high temperatures hit Portland. (KOIN)

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