Fountains at The Level out of action

The Level fountains in operation, picture licenced by Creative Commons by Paul-Gillett
The Level fountains in operation, picture licenced by Creative Commons by Paul-Gillett

Children hoping to splash in The Level fountains will find themselves disappointed this half term.

After downtime during the winter the restart is delayed until a new specialist pump is installed.

The situation has left Brighton parents frustrated as many say the same problems occur every year.

Claire Jones-Hughes raised the issue with Brighton and Hove City Council after The Level remained dry during the recent warm weather.

This time last year the area was filled with children enjoying the water in the sunshine.

The owner of Brighton Mums said: “It’s extremely disappointing that once again, the fountain won’t be running to the expected timetable.

“Whilst I accept the work needing to be carried out is specialist, I don’t understand why this wasn’t completed out of season and why the communication around this has been so poor.

“Most of the parents I spoke to did not know they would be out of action for so long.”

She is not the only parent who believes the fountains seem to be out of action at the start of every summer.

Charlotte Stockel, who lives in Hanover, said: “My kids love those fountains, and we really miss them this year, especially with the great weather we’ve been having.”

Hollingdean mum of two Jessie-Mae Coleman said: “We went to a kids party that was supposed to be water fun and they weren’t on.

“Very disappointed kids ’till the water pistols came out.”

Mother-of three Ruth Parfitt said: “Every year when they’re due to come back on a bit of it is always broken, or the water is polluted with pigeon poo, or some such excuse.

“You think they’d prepare for this eventuality seeing as it happens every year, but no. It’s ridiculous.”

Hanover mum Jo Margetts said: “This happens every year and always takes much longer to repair than they say it will.

“It is really annoying when you promise the children they can go in the fountains and trek down there with towels and swimming costumes to find them switched off and no idea of how long for.”

A spokesperson for council contractors Freedom Leisure said maintenance on the fountains ahead of summer opening was done well in advance to address the majority of issues but the pump caused the delay.

Last year the fountains opened on time.

She said: “We wish to sincerely apologise for the delay in the opening of the fountains at The Level.

“The old, pre-existing pump system is not only difficultly positioned below ground but is exceptionally specialist and rare, resulting in an extremely long lead time on a bespoke manufactured, brand new pump, which has been ordered.”

She went on to explain the pump sits in a water chamber underground and is one of a kind, unlike the pumps at the majority of swimming and paddling pools the company manages.