Water fountain at Alice Campbell Alumni Center turned orange

Water Station: Turning a Fountain Orange

Orange you glad to be back on campus?


How do you turn a 28,000 gallon fountain orange? By adding red! (At least a little bit.)

During Homecoming Week, the water station turned the brilliant, tall water fountain at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center to a glowing orange.

The fountain features two primary pumps; one pumping about 1,000 gallons per minute through the shorter spray features, with a larger pump at 1,800 gallons per minute for the larger shoots.

And turns out, coloring the fountain requires multiple efforts. This is the fifth year faced with the task, and the water station has figured out different methods of coloring most effectively.

Food coloring is “9 parts orange, 1 part red,” according to foreperson Matt Dalton. That’s “electric orange” and “red red” as named by the food coloring company.

This week, Dalton said the water station colored the fountain on Sunday, Wednesday, and, pictured here, on Friday.

“It’s more vibrant,” said Dalton of the added red. “It stays longer and looks better.”

The water station already chlorinates the fountain to prevent algae and other bits that could dirty mechanisms or aesthetic elements. (Before it’s drained to the sewer for the winter, the water is de-chlorinated.)

The thick, gloopy color dye mixes with hot water to thin it out. That mixture pumps into the fountain.