By Diamond Victoria
A filtered water fountain complete with a dog-friendly bowl was installed on the Brookhaven College jogging trail last month, giving joggers and their animal companions a chance to quench their thirst along the way.
Water fountains have been installed on the trail in the past, but Garry Hodges, Brookhaven associate director of facilities and maintenance, said this one (located on the southeast side of the jogging trail) is unique because it offers an easier way for joggers to keep their pooches hydrated.
Timothy Hearne, a Brookhaven plumber, led the fountain installation project after requests were made. “It just came up one day, and [Hearne] took it on as a personal project,” Hodges said.
Though there were a few men working on the new dual water fountain, Hodges said: “In my opinion, [Hearne] was the lead guy on this.”
Hearne has been a plumber at Brookhaven for about a year and a half. He said before he was at Brookhaven, he worked part time on a maintenance crew at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center.
During a typical workday at Brookhaven, Hearne said he ensures work orders are taken care of and inspects bathrooms and water fountains on campus.
“[Hearne] is the guy who does all the things behind the walls,” Hodges said. The trail used to have a regular water fountain, Hearne said, but the piping was installed incorrectly, causing the water to remain unfiltered.
Hodges said none of the former fountains had a secondary fountain for dogs and were installed to wrong pipes. They were so old, they eventually deteriorated, and the college tore them down before he arrived at Brookhaven.
As for the filtered, dual fountain he installed on the jogging trail, Hearne said it took roughly two months from start to finish. “I’m sure a lot of people walking on the trail don’t know the fountain has filtered water,” Hodges said. “[The project] needed to be done.”
Hodges said he sought to secure funding for the fountain once he felt they had enough requests for one. “[Hearne] also needed to decide which fountain would be best for the location,” he said.
The entire project cost about $3,200, Hearne said. He added it was simple once the actual fountain arrived. “The hardest part was the digging,” he said. “The main part was the dog dish,” Hodges said. “That is what everyone was asking for.”
Ruben Rosas, a student, said he thinks the fountain is helpful. “I have been on the trail so many times,” he said. “[The fountain] just gives me extra energy.” Charles Daniels, a former student, said he walks his dogs, Ozzie and Ace, for about an hour on the trail almost every day.
Daniels said he used to fill paper cups with water for his dogs prior to their walks on the trail before the latest fountain was installed. Daniels said he tried to use the fountain that was on the trail previously, but it never worked correctly.
With the addition of the properly filtered fountain, Daniels said he thinks Brookhaven is building a great sense of community. “My dogs and I love it,” he said. If the dual water fountains are popular enough among those using the jogging trail, Hearne and Hodges said they plan to propose the funding of more on the trail.