GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204
The iconic four-bowl drinking fountains, located throughout Portland, are known as the Benson Bubblers. Many know that these drinking fountains help keep the city hydrated, yet few know how these amazing fountains are put together.
The bubbler exteriors are made of four main parts including the base (acts as the stand), the cap (which encloses the base), the arms (which come out of the base in order to create four areas for the bowls), and the bowls (where the water comes out).
As simple as that sounds there are many parts within the bubbler that allows it to run the way that it does. Valves, controllers, pipes, and tubes are only some of the pieces needed to provide the bubblers with running water. An irrigation valve is used to connect the water meter to a tube that runs up the bubbler.The tube is protected by a pipe and is drawn up to a square chamber with four openings known as a manifold, which sends the water into four different directions.
Almost all of the Benson Bubblers are set on a timer and run from 6 A.M. to 11 P.M. There are a very limited number that are left on continuously, and those that do run all hours are typically placed in areas where the water can help benefit the less fortunate (areas with a high homeless population, for example). For those bubblers that are on a controlled time system, a transmitter is hooked up to the meter in order to set the hours during which the bubbler will run. Once the timer is set the transmitters are removed and used to control the remaining bubblers.
- Abby Wynne