National Drinking Water Week "There When You Need It”.
[Grants Pass, OR] – Last Wednesday the Mayor of Grants Pass formally declared May 1-7, 2022, Drinking Water Week. The week celebrates the outstanding water professionals who deliver safe drinking water to 11,954 Grants Pass customers every time they turn on the tap. The week, observed across the nation by utilities, private companies, and government agencies, also highlights the importance of the infrastructure that delivers reliable drinking water service and the value of water to each of us in our everyday lives.
The City of Grants Pass was among the first in the state to develop a drinking water system, with water service dating back to 1888. While over 140 years of service is impressive, Public Works Director Jason Canady explains that archeologists have found signs of water engineering projects, developed by ancient civilizations, dating back to 7,000 B.C., and records of water treatment methods in Sanskrit writings and inscriptions in ancient Egyptian tombs. “Grants Pass’s treatment methods, especially with the enhancements we will get with the water treatment plant replacement project, are exponentially better, but a lot of communities are not as fortunate. In many parts of the world people still need to use the ancient methods of boiling and filtering water through gravel and sand,” he said.
Water Treatment Superintendent Adam Smith highlighted the importance of quality water to the City’s economy saying, “The quality of our coffee shops and craft breweries starts with the water, and the availability ofa safe and dependable supply of water, both now and in the future, is a key factor when a business decides to locate in our community.”
Smith added, “We are also excited about the local employment opportunities that are coming with the construction of the replacement water treatment plant. This type of infrastructure investment is a proven economic multiplier. In other words, the dollars spent are multiplied and returned to the economy through worker pay checks, business purchases, and increased business at restaurants.”
Celebration of the week also allows city officials to note how the timing for new infrastructure investment could not be better. According to Canady, “the City had already carefully planned for this investment and now, with the federal emphasis on providing funding for new water infrastructure, we will be able to access additional funding sources and really leverage every City dollar.”
By formally recognizing this national celebration, the Grants Pass City Council renews its commitment to build on its well over a century of success in delivering outstanding water service that protects public health and serves the local economy.
Planned celebration events include a youth poster contest and plant tours. Tours of the Water Treatment Plant on May 3 and the Water Restoration Plant on May 2. Sign up by calling 541.450.6110.
The City is sponsoring a poster contest for local students, winners will receive prizes. The winning entries will be featured on social media and in promotional activities. Contest details and rules are on the City website at: https://www.grantspassoregon.gov/1408/Poster-contest---Drinking-Water-Week to learn more about ongoing water infrastructure investments and improvements, and where the City’s drinking water comes from.