While many consider the pouring of substances into the Kingwood Town Center fountain to be a harmless prank, the consequences incurred by these actions pose a threat to public safety.
In early July, this prank resulted in the production of a massive amount of bubbles which proceeded to spill over onto the corner of W. Lake Houston Pkwy. and Kingwood Drive. Both the Houston Police Department and Houston Fire Department had to be dispatched to deal with traffic and clean up the mess. The bubbles were so numerous that visibility in the intersection was impeded. The police proceeded to redirect traffic as the fire department hosed down and removed the mass of bubbles that had accumulated. The substance that created the bubbles was labeled as an “unknown substance” by the fire department.
The pouring of unknown substance(s) into the fountain has fiscal repercussions as well. Ethel McCormick, manager of the Kings Crossing Commercial Association, said, “Each bubble incident costs the Kings Crossing Commercial Association over $700 … this cost does not take into account the cost of the replacement of the landscaping that is destroyed when the bubbles spill over and damage nearby plants and trees.”
McCormick also discussed the usual cost of maintaining the fountain as well as the intricate filter systems, noting, “The fountain cost over a quarter million dollars to build and monthly maintenance fees total several thousands of dollars … the filter system is very sensitive and costly to repair, especially when several different types of soap are used that are hard to remove and severely damages the integrity of the filters.”
She added, “Let us teach responsibility and respect for the beautiful features that our community holds. Many hours of hard work and dollars are spent each month to maintain the features of the fountain. Town Center has recovered from Hurricane Harvey and we are proud that it is back together. This process has taken 2 years; let us instead encourage constructive activities that can help the community.”
Some even think the bubbles are being added on purpose for cleannig but that is a rumor. The damages and costs associated with them aren’t being considered by whoever is doing this deed. The fountain was once again targeted Monday, Aug. 5, and again Friday, Aug. 9, although the overflow of bubbles was much less than in the July incident. If anyone has information regarding the suspects in these incidents, please call Crimestoppers at 713-222-8477. If anyone sees the fountain in the process of being vandalized, call the non-emergency dispatch number at 713-884-3131.