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New water bottle filling station a hit at outdoor events

If you’ve attended any of the special summer events in West Linn, from the Street Dance to the Old Time Fair, chances are you noticed a tall blue water bottle filling station somewhere on the grounds.

You might have even used it, if your lips were parched in the blistering mid-afternoon sun and bottled water was too expensive. That’s what the city hopes, anyway, after debuting the filling station earlier this summer.

The idea came from City Council President Mike Jones, who said he was inspired by a similar setup in Hillsboro. He brought the idea to fellow city councilors this spring, and they agreed that it was something West Linn should offer its constituents.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The water bottle filling station has been popular at events like the Old Time Fair and the West Linn Street Dance.

“We have three council members who are on the South Fork Water Board,” Jones said. “It’s one of the best water systems in the state, and it’s important that folks in West Linn know that. The best way to get them to know that is to have a visual demonstration that they can get really good, pure water — as good or better than bottled — right from their faucet.”

The portable station was made by the parks and recreation department using recycled materials from the public works yard, and it is fed by the city’s water system. In the near future, it will be available at every Music in the Park and Movies in the Park event, the upcoming centennial celebration Aug. 15 through 17 and the Willamette Falls Heritage Festival on Oct. 5 and 6.

Jones has been traveling around the country for business and thus has yet to use the station. He said he’ll try it the first chance he gets, though, and in the meantime is looking to how it might be beneficial further down the line.

“A big part of it is to show we have clean water,” Jones said. “And to emphasize the fact that we do have to do pipe replacement in certain parts of the city to make sure the water is as clean as it is when it comes out of the plant.”

West Linn’s drinking water comes from the lower Clackamas River and is treated by the South Fork Water Board in Oregon City. The city’s primary water storage facility, the Bolton Reservoir, was built in 1913.