City water bottle filling stations are now in use

“The idea for this project came directly from our staff who work in our community every day,” says Pat Bohan, Municipal Assets Manager for the City of Medicine Hat. “They noted the extremely hot temperatures last summer and their impact on the public’s ability to enjoy our outdoors without convenient access to potable water to stay cool and hydrated. No guidelines or budget was allocated to address this issue, but they took it upon themselves to come up with a reasonable solution and submit it for approval.

The city reports that the water can be a little warm or discolored when the tap is first turned on, especially on hot sunny days, as 13 liters of water sit above the ground in the vertical column of the fire hydrants. It is recommended to run the water for a short time before filling a bottle to ensure it is at a comfortable drinking temperature.

Each station is designed so that the water jet is protected to only allow free fall into a bottle, cup or bowl of water. People will not be able to drink directly from the spout, which will reduce the risk of contamination.

The pilot program will run over the summer and will be evaluated based on usage (based on meter readings at each site), community feedback, and cost/benefit analysis.

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