Cooling off in Prague: Sprinkler trucks, misting points, and fountains take the heat

The city has 21 sprinkler trucks on the streets, and the same number of new misting points have gone into operations since May. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 21.07.2022 16:13:00 (updated on 21.07.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

If you have been out on the street, you may have seen Prague’s sprinkler trucks in action. Due to the heat wave, all 21 trucks have been out since the middle of the week. The city has also installed misting points and a new fountain.

People are often tempted to try to cool off by standing near the mist as the trucks go by. Due to hygiene regulations, the vehicles use drinking water from the regular water supply, which they collect from several dozen designated hydrants. So the water should be safe, even is some gets in your mouth.

The vehicles go out whenever temperatures exceed 25 degrees Celsius for three days in a row and circulate from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. They will operate as long as the heatwave continues. "In the event of a change in weather and rain, sprinkling and fogging operations in the given location will be terminated," Technical Roadway Administration (TSK) spokeswoman Barbora Lišková said.

The sprinkling, while it seems simple, is actually a joint operation. TSK puts in the order for the work, but Pražské služby, which operates the city’s maintenance vehicles, is responsible for making it actually happen.

The trucks usually have to refill about four times a day as they make their rounds.

"In the fleet, we have vehicles that are able to take up to 10 cubic meters, but also smaller ones, which have a capacity of about six cubic meters," Pražské služby spokesman Radim Mana said.

The water trucks are not only put into operation on hot days. They also go into use when the air quality is poor, as the mist helps to trap microscopic pollution particles and remove them from the air.

You don’t have to chase after a truck, though, to cool off downtown. A new fountain that sprays water into the air was recently put into operation in Wenceslas Square as part of the renovation.


Spouting fountain at Wenceslas Square. Photo: Facebook / Zdeněk Hřib - primátor Prahy

The city has also been installing misting points around the city. These put out a fine spray of water to reduce temperature, increase humidity, and capture dust. The city has installed over 20 in the city center and also outlying areas since the beginning of May. You can even find some of them on a Google map by searching for the word "mlžítko."

"Since the beginning of May, we have installed 21 sprayers mainly in the central part of the metropolis, but also in Vítkov and Nové náměstí in Uhříněves," Tomáš Mrázek, press spokesman for Prague Waterworks and Sewerage (PVK), said.

More sprayers will soon appear in Prague 3, 5, 6, and 8. And districts can still ask for them, but they likely won't be installed this season if the request is new. "It's best [to ask] at the beginning of the year so that the specific location is checked in time and the fogger is installed in time before the hot summer days start," Mrázek said.

Due to the high temperatures, the firefighters at the Václav Havel Airport Prague were also cooling the paved areas this week. A video of the sprinkling of the taxiways was published on Twitter by Prague Airport board chairman Jiří Pos. "It's an exceptional preventive measure," airport spokeswoman Eva Krejčí told the Czech News Agency (ČTK).

Airports in the UK, which has also been hit by high temperatures. A runway at a military airbase melted on Monday and flights had to be rerouted. London Luton Airport also briefly suspended operations, announcing on Twitter that it had identified a "surface defect" on the runway.

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