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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, May 25, 2002

Wa'ahila Ridge park needs water fountains

Someone has ripped off the knobs from water fountains in Wa'ahila Ridge State Park atop St. Louis Heights. And though hundreds of hikers and picnickers flock to the park each weekend, the state isn't likely to get them working anytime soon.

Apparently, those old stone, pyramid-shaped drinking fountains don't meet the standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act. So the parks division sees no reason to reconnect them.

And as it stands, parks officials don't intend to install new water fountains unless they get federal ADA or state repair and maintenance money.

With vandals threatening to undo their work, who can blame them? Then again, if we applied that logic to various services, nothing would ever be fixed.

Besides, the state spent $168,000 to replace the park's water system last year after a bacteria contamination scare. A steel water tank and new lines were installed last December, but the water, which you can get at from the restrooms, still has not been tested to see if it is safe for drinking.

For starters, the water needs to be tested. And if the water fountains are not replaced, then at least the parks division should install a faucet, out in the open, where people can fill their water bottles and wash their dishes.

We'd hate to see vandalism and handicap access used as an excuse to cut off water at this popular and stunningly beautiful state park.