By Medicine Hat News on June 10, 2022.
Fire hydrants will have a new use for Hatters in the coming days.
The City of Medicine Hat launched the preliminary testing phase on equipment designed to deliver clean drinking water through fire hydrant stations throughout town. The first four water bottle fill stations will be installed this week, however they are not available for public use during the testing phase.
Those four stations will be at Towne Square; Second Street SE between S. Railway and Sixth Avenue; McCutcheon Trail at McCutcheon Drive and Basset Crescent; and South Ridge Trail at Stratton Way.
During the testing phase, the system will be flushed and water samples will be sent for analysis. Results are expected early next week, at which point they could be made available for public use, given clear results.
“We have to make sure that everything is working as expected and that the public are finding a benefit,” Pat Bohan, director of city assets, says in a release from the City of Medicine Hat. “This gives time to evaluate the resources required to check and maintain the units properly, modify our plans if required, and deploy the remaining units safely in July.”
The water stations are designed strictly for filling containers such as bottles, cups and bowls.
Water from 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,” according to the release.
The pilot program runs through the end of the summer and will be evaluated based on usage, feedback and cost/benefit analysis.