Beds, Herts & Bucks

Welwyn Hatfield Council buys water for Jubilee fountain

Coronation Fountain, Welwyn Garden City
Image caption The Coronation Fountain, Welwyn Garden City will cost £450 to fill

A Hertfordshire council is buying in water from a local landscaping company so that a town fountain can be switched on for Jubilee celebrations.

The Coronation Fountain, a landmark in Welwyn Garden City, had to be turned off due to the hosepipe ban.

However, the council is now paying £450 to fill it up again, so that the town looks its best for key 2012 events.

It will be working on the 4 and 5 June and when the Olympic torch relay passes through the borough on 8 July.

The fountain on Parkway in the town was built to celebrate the Queen's accession to the throne in 1952.

It is supplied by an underground tank, but had to be switched off after the water level dropped and could not be refilled.

The council is buying water from a landscaping firm which already supplies water from a natural lake source, to maintain the borough's open spaces.

It cannot be drunk so is permitted under the hosepipe ban regulations.

'Precious water'

Council chief executive, Michel Saminaden, said: "They have told us that there is an abundance of water in this lake so we are probably doing them a favour by taking it."

Mr Saminaden added that the council decided against asking the Veolia water company for a special dispensation.

"I thought that wasn't the right thing to do because we would be using precious water," he said.

"What we are doing now is using water that is surplus and we have been told categorically that there is no problem in using it. This is a better all round sustainable solution.

"I am extremely pleased that we have been able to find a solution which will enable everybody to see the fountain in all its glory on the occasion of these two great celebrations."

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