Water Utility to Hold Open House May 8 To Celebrate National Drinking Water Week

April 29, 2010

The public is invited to the Madison Water Utility's open house on Saturday, May 8, at the utility's administration building, 119 East Olin Avenue. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on that day, utility representatives will be giving tours and highlighting the ways that they pump, test, disinfect, and distribute this precious natural resource to every resident of the city.

The open house is part of a yearly national celebration sponsored by the American Water Works Association May 2-8 to raise awareness about the value of tap water and what only tap water delivers-public health protection, quality of life, fire protection, and support for our economy. "Drinking Water Week is an opportunity for us to recognize how important a safe and reliable water supply is to our daily lives," said Tom Heikkinen, Madison Water Utility general manager. "We have some of the highest quality water in the world, but we often take it for granted, so we want to let people know that tap water is really something to celebrate."

With the theme of "Only Tap Water Delivers," the utility will be joined at the open house by other City agencies and organizations offering displays and exhibits related to water. These include Public Health-Madison and Dane County, the Madison Parks Department, City Engineering, the Madison Fire Department, and the Madison Streets and Recycling as well as EnAct environmental group, Madison elementary schools (poster contest), the Madison Association of Plumbing Contractors, and H.J. Pertzborn Plumbing. Along with exhibits and displays, there will be children's activities and handouts. Free parking is available behind the Olin Avenue building as well as next door at the Streets Department transfer station.

"A safe, reliable water supply is critical to the success of our community," said Heikkinen. "We rely on our water infrastructure every day, yet we seldom stop to think about the value of tap water and how critical it is to our health and quality of life. It attracts industry and investment and provides for the health and welfare of citizens in ways ranging from disease prevention to fire suppression."

Tap Water by the Numbers

223,000People served by Madison Water Utility
30 million gallonsAverage daily demand for Madison tap water
68Average number of gallons every Madison resident uses in one day
13 centsCost per person for a day's supply of Madison tap water
$1.30-Average cost of 12 ounces of commercially bottled water
840Miles of water mains in Madison
8,000Fire hydrants in Madison
2,810Water quality tests conducted in 2009*
1.1 billion-People worldwide who do not have access to safe drinking water **

*bacteriological samples
**Source: World Health Organization

Contact:
  • Gail Gawenda, Public Information Officer, 266-9129