(Photo: The Water Wagon stops by "Safety Town" on the West Side.)
By Malcolm Stern
Thirsty? Don’t want to buy a single-use plastic water bottle when at a community event? If you said yes to these questions, then visiting the Madison Water Utility Water Wagon is exactly what you need. Madison Water Utility hauls the Water Wagon to various events throughout the cit, giving out cold, fresh water for free to anyone who needs their thirst quenched. As the new Community Outreach Intern for Madison Water Utility, I have started working the Water Wagon at these events, and I think it is awesome.
Why is it awesome? The Water Wagon not only gives people delicious drinking water but also serves as a tool to bring people together. I have seen kids chug the water from the wagon, then pour it on each other on a blistering hot day. I have seen parents gather around the wagon, sipping on water while talking about safe water and sustainability. I have given dogs water, along with their owners (not out of the same cup, though!). When people want access to water from the Wagon, I make sure to give each person either a cup or water bottle. I then ask them to reuse the cup or bottle, because the Water Wagon is there for sustainability knowledge as well as hydration. After working multiple hot events, seeing the joy on people’s faces after they drink cold, fresh water (while also gaining knowledge) has made this all worthwhile.
Amazingly, the Water Wagon itself was built at Madison Water Utility a few years back by utility employees, which makes it that much more special. Starting as a mere sketch, the Water Wagon was designed to look unique, with water towers as tap handles and bright green and blue colors covering the exterior. The Wagon can be spotted from afar at any community event, and I am always happy to be standing next to this magnificent creation.
The Water Wagon is here to help the people of Madison, and it's also here so we at Madison Water Utility can answer your questions. Some people have questions about the taste of their tap water, others don't know where the City of Madison gets its water. Different questions arise all the time. We want to be here to help with these questions, and more.
For more information on the future whereabouts of the Water Wagon, just head here.
(Photo: Malcolm and the rest of MWU's Water Wagon crew!)