Fountain soap; is it a prank or vandalism?

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The Sheldahl 25th anniversary fountain on Bridge Square gets a type of cleaning regularly when pranksters pour soap in it. I took these photos yesterday morning. Click to enlarge.

I hesitate to call it vandalism because it seems relatively harmless. But maybe it costs the city significant man-hours to clean it up and maybe it’s hard on the system. Anyone know?


  1. Ross Currier said:


    I believe that I was told a few years ago that it costs three or four thousand dollars to clean up from these sudsy stunts. So, it may be a prank but it’s not very funny.


    May 24, 2007
  2. Gilly Wigley said:

    when i saw it full of suds yesterday, someone had left a very nice Reef sandal that has the bottle opener on the bottom (not a cheap shoe to loose). but today, i thought they maybe drained it to clean the suds, but then noticesd the pump was still running…….?

    May 24, 2007
  3. Gilly Wigley said:

    and as much fun–and i mean its lots and lots of fun to play in after someone pours soap in it!–as it is, if it is harmful for the pump, and costly to clean. then people need to be aware that it is.

    May 24, 2007
  4. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    Ray Jacobson, the sculptor, would no doubt have something to say about all this. Has somebody called him?

    May 24, 2007
  5. Kurt Larson said:

    Does this not happen several times a summer? Also, is it like graffiti in the sense that the faster it is cleaned up the less likely it is to happen again? Also, are we encouraging it to happen again in hopes it makes it on the web like it did this time?
    Just my thoughts.

    May 24, 2007
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    I can’t imagine that it costs $3k to clean but it would be good to know the figure. Does the incident appear in the police report each time it happens like other vandalism?

    Kurt, yeah, good point about giving it publicity. I remember a few years back, Police Chief Smith asked me to not blog photos of graffiti.

    May 25, 2007
  7. kiffi summa said:

    Sorry about the extreme costs of clean-up (can’t believe that’s accurate) but can you imagine being a four year old and seeing the bubbles blossoming up in the fountain??? Oh, the joys of youth!

    May 25, 2007

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