The fountain in West Dundee's Grafelman Park will flow again. Village officials do not know when, but they hope it will be before Heritage Fest in September.
A broken underground plastic pipe damaged by the last winter's severe cold is keeping the water flowing into the two bowls and around the bronze family standing at the fountain's center.
"We thought we had the leak located, and we were just waiting for 72 hours of dry weather to fix it," said West Dundee Village Manager Joseph Cavallaro. "We turned on the pump, but no water came out, so it's either under the fountain or the pump house."
Last winter's repeated polar vortex sent temperatures plunging below zero and frost below the normal underground frost line.
The fountain it idled is the focal point of the Route 72 park. It was installed more than 20 years ago when village leaders renovated the park. This is the first summer the fountain has been dry for so long.
"It's a shame because it is such an attraction," Cavallaro said. "When it goes on, it's a sign that summer has arrived in West Dundee."
When it is turned off in the fall, it is a sign that the cold winds of winter are on their way to Northern Illinois.
Also, it has been a big attraction for the hopeful who throw coins in it and make wishes. Not a lot of money is collected, but whatever is donated to local charities.
This year, summer came without the fountain-splashing bystanders who liked to take photographs and dip their hands.
West Dundee Village board members have hired Associated Technical Services, a Villa Park firm, for $2,000 to pinpoint the leak and seal it. Its work should begin this week.
Meanwhile, pranksters will be forced to keep their laundry detergent to themselves. In past summers, they have routinely dumped soap in the fountain, which creates suds. To eliminate the suds, public works employees add fabric softener.
"On the upside, we're saving a bunch of water softener this year," Cavallaro said.