By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — The fountain at Fountain Square in downtown Evanston will be turned off for the rest of the season, as the city works to address the source of a major water loss.

Upon turning on the fountain in the spring, Evanston city staff found it had low water pressure and shut it off to investigate. A forensic engineering firm found that a fountain contractor installed waterstops of the wrong size in the fountain and did not follow the manufacturer’s installation recommendations – leading to the water loss, the city said.

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The city is now soliciting estimates to repair the fountain, and plans to hold the contractor that made the error responsible, the city said. The north plaza where the fountain is located remains open for seating, events, and public gatherings.

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The plaza at Fountain Square underwent a $6 million rehab that ended up falling far behind schedule. The project had been scheduled for completion in December 2017, but it was moved to May 2018 when contractors forgot to test the pipes before laying costly bricks and stone.

By September 2018, the project still was not done, and the city was charging $1,425 a calendar day for not completing the project.

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A dedication for the renovated zero-depth fountain finally went ahead in May 2019. Patch.com reported attorneys for the City of Evanston, contractor Copenhaver Construction, and mechanical subcontractor R.J. O’Neil agreed to a $135,000 settlement for lawsuits over delays.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff