Public water bottle fill stations ready for use

Medicine Hat – Last week, crews installed and took samples from the first four water bottle fill stations designed to deliver clean drinking water in public spaces. The City of Medicine Hat is pleased to announce that they are now in service and available for public use at the following four locations:

  • Towne Square on the corner of First Street SE and Sixth Avenue SE
  • Second Street SE between South Railway Street SE and Sixth Avenue SE
  • McCutcheon Trail at McCutcheon Drive NW and Basset Crescent NW
  • South Ridge Trail at Stratton Way SE

These first four units are part of a pilot project that will be evaluated this summer with ten fire hydrant water stations at various locations in Medicine Hat. They will be monitored and evaluated until the end of June before placing the final six units out for the rest of the summer.

“The idea for this project came directly from our staff working in our community every day,” says Pat Bohan, Director of City Assets. “They noted the extremely hot temperatures last summer and how it impacted the public’s ability to enjoy our outdoors without convenient access to clean drinking water to keep cool and hydrated. There was no directive or budget allocated to solve this problem, but they took it upon themselves to find a reasonable solution and bring it forward for approval.”

The water in the fire hydrants is the same treated, potable drinking water distributed to businesses and households, and will undergo rigorous testing to ensure it continues to be safe to drink.

Thirteen litres of water sits above ground within the vertical column of the fire hydrants, so water may be a bit warm or discoloured when the tap is first opened especially on hot, sunny days. The City recommends running the water for a short time before filling a bottle to ensure it is an enjoyable temperature to drink.

Each water bottle fill station is designed so that the stream of water is protected to only allow freefall into a water bottle, cup or bowl. Patrons will not be able to drink directly from the spout, reducing the risk of contamination.

The pilot program will run through the summer of 2022 and will be evaluated on usage (based on meter readings at each site), community feedback, and cost/benefit analysis.

To submit feedback, patrons can visit Shape Your City.

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