Vail water on tap at Sunday Farmers’ Market

District staff give drinking water to market patrons, encourage attendees to bring a refillable bottle.

Shoppers at the Vail Farmers’ Market have a refreshing stop to make each week for tasty, cold drinking water from Eagle River Water & Sanitation District. This is the fourth year of the hydration station at the weekly market and art show, which runs Sundays through Oct. 4.

In an effort to promote the area’s high quality drinking water, district staff members fill bottles and cups with water that comes directly from the district’s Vail public water system. Market goers appreciate the district providing the service for the weekly event, often commenting on convenient access to tap water, as well as its great taste.

Many shoppers stop by each week to quench their thirst and ask questions about their public water utility. Water station employees value the opportunity to inform community members about a variety of water topics, including water supply and treatment, river health and water quality issues, and irrigation efficiency.

Personal interaction with residents and guests allows district staff to hear a variety of concerns. “It’s fun speaking with people about our drinking water,” said water manager Brian Tracy. “Everyone loves the water at the market and it’s great to build their confidence in tap water.”

The water station supports sustainability initiatives associated with events in the town of Vail. The cost and waste linked to bottled water is well documented in comparison to drinking tap water that comes from local water sources and is produced using advanced filtration and disinfection processes at Eagle River Water & Sanitation District facilities.

District staff dispense about 120-160 gallons of tap water at the weekly market. During the 2014 market season, water station staff dispensed more than 1,600 gallons to attendees at the seventeen Sunday markets. Water station staff estimate that less than one in six market attendees have a refillable bottle with them so most water is handed out in compostable cups – over 19,000 of which were used in 2014. While the cups are compostable in accordance with market rules, district staff strongly encourage people to bring a refillable bottle to reduce the total amount of waste produced each week.

For more information, contact district public affairs at 970-477-5457.