New hydration stations help residents beat the heat

Fill up your water bottle to prevent heat illness this summer

July 28, 2022

Press the button and fill your water bottle at one of three City hydration stations this summer.
Press the button and fill your water bottle at one of three City hydration stations this summer.

It can be tough to stay hydrated when summer temperatures skyrocket. To help beat the extreme heat, we have installed three hydration stations to give access to clean drinking water.

Part of a pilot project, the stations feature a bottle-filling spout that can be accessed 24-hours a day with the push of a button. They can be found at Central Park (near 406 Edmonton Street), Selkirk Avenue at Powers Street (near 469 Selkirk Avenue at the Bell Tower), and at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre (near 185 Young Street).

“Sustained exposure to heat can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death, so providing access to clean drinking water is a key part of our heat response planning,” said Lisa Gilmour, the City’s Emergency Management Coordinator. “

Gilmour said the hydration station locations were selected based on need and past experience.

“We know some of our residents, particularly our unsheltered population, may have more difficulty accessing clean water,” said Gilmour. “The hydration stations address some of that critical need, while also recognizing that anyone can find themselves overheated and out of water on a hot day.”

During previous summers, we installed portable water tank trailers in key areas. Since the hydration stations are connected to fire hydrants, they eliminate the need for refilling. In the event of an emergency, crews can quickly access the water supply by shutting off the hydrant’s water value, connecting their hoses, and reopening the valve.

Hydration stations are connected to fire hydrants to provide a continuous supply of clean drinking water.
Hydration stations are connected to fire hydrants to provide a continuous supply of clean drinking water.

The hydration stations are available throughout the summer and will be removed prior to freeze up.

This initiative was done in collaboration with our Office of Emergency Management, Water and Waste and Community Services departments, as well as community partners. We will be evaluating this pilot project and may expand it in future years.

While everyone is susceptible to the dangers of heat, Gilmour said children, older adults, and people with medical conditions are particularly vulnerable, as well as anyone exerting themselves in hot weather.

In addition to drinking plenty of water, you can combat heat stress by staying in the shade, wearing a hat and loose-fitting clothing, limiting alcohol consumption, and planning activities at cooler times of the day. It’s also a good idea to check on older loved ones or those with medical conditions. You should never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles or direct sunlight.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call 9-1-1.

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