Washington, D.C. – Water utilities are typically out of sight and out of mind, at least until customers experience a service disruption. But that changes during National Drinking Water Week (May 3 – 9, 2015), an occasion for utilities to be seen and to celebrate the importance and quality of drinking water services in the metro region.
Each day, our utilities deliver clean, healthy drinking water to millions of homes and business, ensure fire protection, safeguard public health, protect our drinking water source, and operate enough water pipe to stretch more than halfway around the Earth.
“Drinking Water Week is one of many ways in which the National Capital Region Water Utilities demonstrate our commitment to provide clean water, quality service, and promote environmental stewardship,” said Dean Dickey, General Manager at the Prince William County Service Authority.
During Drinking Water Week, a series of events will raise awareness about the value of water and promote the TapIt Metro D.C. partnership, a network of businesses in DC, Maryland, and Virginia that offer free tap water to anyone with a reusable container, making public water more convenient and accessible, while helping customers save money and the planet. Download the free smartphone apps and find water on the go by visiting www.freetapwater.org.
The TapIt Campaign is part of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ (COG) Community Engagement Campaign, a partnership between COG regional water supply and wastewater members to engage the citizens of the region in wise water use and source water protection. Members include the Town of Leesburg, Town of Purcellville, Arlington County, DC Water, Fairfax County, Fairfax Water, Frederick County, Loudoun Water, Prince William County Service Authority, City of Rockville, the Upper Occoquan Service Authority, and the WSSC.
“The value of water goes beyond dollars,” said Jerry N. Johnson, General Manger/CEO, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). “Clean, healthy drinking water and the ability to process waste are our primary protectors of the public's health. They are building blocks for economic development and indeed every aspect of our lifestyle. Clean water matters.”
“It is critical for water service providers to be visible, reliable, and responsive to customers,” said DC Water General Manager and CEO, George S. Hawkins. “Drinking Water Week allows us to remind our customers that we put their health and safety first every day.”
The week will end with a collaboration between utilities and Smithsonian Gardens to promote drinking water at the 2015 Smithsonian Garden Festival. The event will feature a free water bar serving up ice-cold water in reuseable bottles, water trivia games, giveaways, and DC Water’s mascot, Wendy the Waterdrop. The 2015 National Drinking Water Week activities are listed below. Customers should contact the appropriate water utility for additional event details:
DC Water: 202-787-2200 (Mon. – Fri., 8:00 am to 4:30 pm)
Loudoun Water: 571-291-7700 (Mon. – Fri., 8:00 am to 5:00 pm)
Virginia American: 1-800-452-6863 (Mon. – Fri., 7 am to 7 pm)
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC): 301-206-8233 (Mon. – Fri., 8:30 am to 5:00 pm)
Regional Drinking Water Week Events
Virginia American Water at the Dale City Recreation Center
Mon. – Fri., 9 am – 4 pm, 14300 Minnieville Rd, Woodbridge, VA
Giveaways, informational materials and activities for kids, including a 3-D water infrastructure display where kids can dress up like utility workers and take pictures while “working underground.”
Loudoun Water Aquiary
Mon. – Fri., 8 am – 5 pm (outdoor trail open dawn till dusk), 44865 Loudoun Water Way, Ashburn, VA
This hands-on exhibit teaches visitors about drinking water treatment and delivery; source water protection; water conservation and water reclamation. To schedule a guided tour, call 571-291-7880.
DC Water Night at Nationals Baseball Park
Monday, May 4, 6 pm - 8:30 pm (Game starts at 7:05 pm)
Stop by and get a reusable water bottle or take a picture with DC Water's mascot, Wendy the Waterdrop. Discounted tickets are available with promo code DCWATER.
DC Water at MedStar’s Family Fun Day
Tuesday, May 5, 2 pm – 5:30 pm, Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (14th Street NW and Park Road NW)
Stop by to enjoy giveaways, children’s activities, and DC Water’s mascot, Wendy the Waterdrop.
DC Water at the White House FreshFarm Market
Thursday, May 7, 11 am – 2 pm, 810 Vermont Ave. NW (between H St. NW and I St. NW)
See if you can tell the difference between bottled and tap water at DC Water’s blind taste test.
WSSC Children’s Water Festival at Brighton Dam
Wednesday, May 6 and Thursday, May 7, 11 am – 4 pm, 2 Brighton Dam Road, Brookeville, MD
Regional utilities at Smithsonian Garden Fest:
May 8, 10 am – 3 pm, Enid A. Haupt Garden on Independence Ave, SW Washington, DC
Participating utilities include DC Water, Fairfax Water, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Prince William County Service Authority, and City of Rockville.
About Drinking Water Week
For more than 35 years, the American Water Works Association and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week. It is a unique opportunity for water professionals and the public to recognize the value of water and the systems that sustain public water services.