Fountain Hills, Once the World’s Tallest Fountain

Fountain Hills refer to a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. It is the neighboring town of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and Scottsdale. It also refers to a fountain located in the heart of the town. Of course, with a name like Fountain Hills, it naturally follows that a remarkable fountain can be found in the place.

Robert P. McCulloch, the same person who reconstructed the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, designed and built the fountain. This fountain stands in the center of Fountain Park Lake, a 28-acre lake in the middle of a 32-acre Fountain Park.

The lake with which the fountain is located, as well as the fountain itself, were designed and built to act as an effluent storage and evaporation system. For that purpose, the 100,623,600 gallons of water contained in the lake are all wastewater that is chemically treated and recycled. The storage capacity is usually at its peak in winter months. During this period, the fountain often operates for longer intervals than 15 minutes and at earlier hours each morning.

The fountain was first activated on December 15, 1970. On the years after its introduction, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized it as the highest fountain in the world with its water reaching a height of 560 feet under ideal condition. However, the fountain was not able to hold on to its title. With the introduction of King Fahd’s Fountain in Jeddah, the Gateway Geyser and the Karachie Port Trust Fountain, Fountain Hills went down as the fourth tallest fountain. King Fahd’s Fountain currently ranks first with its water splashing to a height of 1,023.62 feet. The Gateway Geyser stands next in line at 630 feet while the Port Fountain gets the third position with water reaching a height of 620 feet in its full force.

Despite its descent in world ranking, the fountain still attracts visitors from all over the world just like it did before. About 7000 gallons of water is delivered per minute through the fountain’s 18-inch nozzle. Of course, this is achieved with the use of three 600-horsepower turbine pumps. However, the 560 feet height of water soared into the air is not pushed everyday. Using two of the three pumps only, the daily water height only reaches 300 feet.

Because the fountain rises so high into the air, its beauty is easily seen from different standpoints all over the town. The only force that hinders it from operating is the occurrence of high winds. During high winds, the fountain’s operation is stopped in order to avoid splashing water to nearby residences. Oftentimes, visitors are advised to stroll around the Park and the Avenue of the Fountains first for at least an hour before checking back again the stream of water rising into the sky for about 15 minutes every hour.

In addition to the height of the stream of water, people are also attracted to the fountain to witness the water’s change from crystal clear to green. This takes place during St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 at noontime.