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An open hydrant on a New York street
ShutterstockAn open hydrant on a New York street

Splash Spots are upgrading fire hydrants all over NYC

It's a cooler way to cool down

Written by
Christina Izzo

Cranking open a fire hydrant to combat the swelter of summer in NYC is a rite of passage for every New York kid, but now those old johnny pumps are getting a modern—and more eco-friendly—makeover: meet Splash Spots

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A collaboration between the creative agency Zulu Alpha Kilo and the industrial design studio Group Project, "Splash Spots are a new take on the traditional caps the FDNY already uses," per the brand. Made using “machined metal for optimized durability and safety,” the upgraded sprinkler caps transform the heavy hydrant into a more dedicated stream, which aids in water conservation because it “features an on/off function and releases approximately 50% fewer gallons per minute than a traditional capped hydrant.”

Beyond that, they're fun AF: as well as being brightly colored, the Splash Spots feature a multidirectional design and "precisely calibrated array of valves and channels" to "create mesmerizing water effects." It's like a mini waterpark, right on your neighborhood sidewalk. 

There are currently four prototypes of the colorful Splash Spot caps: the Sunshine option, which sprays "rays of water in all directions"; the Blossom, a mister that allow you to "immerse yourself in a cloud of refreshing water droplets"; the Jump Rope, where you can "leap over a whirling rope of water"; and a twirling Pinwheel design, which "unleashes a stunning spray of three rotating streams."

Zulu Alpha Kilo partnered with Street Lab, a nonprofit that creates and promotes programs for NYC public spaces, to roll out the newfangled spray cap at local community events. The Splash Spots were first seen out in the wild, a.k.a. the streets of New York City, last month at 767 Hicks Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn, but you can next test them out for yourself at 2219 Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Central Harlem on Saturday, September 9. (Keep up with upcoming location rollouts at the Splash Spots website.) "Our dream is to see a Splash Spot in every firehouse across the five boroughs," said the brand. 

See one of the Splash Spots spray caps in action below:

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