Quenching thirst during exercise in Oklahoma City parks got a little easier starting Sunday, the date when drinking fountains are turned on each year.
The mid-April date is chosen to avoid cold snaps in late spring. Freezing weather puts the drinking fountains at risk for problems stemming from frozen and thawing pipes, city parks spokeswoman Jennifer McClintock said.
“With Oklahoma's weather, we never know when we're going to get a late cold snap,” she said.
The parks department maintains a number of free standing drinking fountains in 157 parks. There also several fountains that are attached to various structures.
The demand for individual drinking fountains may be down because of the increase in individual use of water bottles, she said.
McClintock said the public rarely contacts the parks staff with requests for additional drinking fountains or problems with those that exist.
Several people exercising Tuesday evening at Lake Hefner confirmed that they prefer to bring bottled water to the park when they exercise — either because it's more reliable than the fountains or because they buy and keep it at home anyway.
Lindsay Juarez said she runs three times a week at the paths around Lake Hefner.
“I just always have it with me, so I'll usually carry it to the park,” she said.