Oregon Travel Experience works to conserve water
The weather has been magnificent this spring. Great cascades of rain, followed by summer-like temperatures have wafted from the California-Oregon border all the way across Central Oregon and the Blue Mountains. But unseasonable gorgeous sunshine comes with a hefty price. Wildfire season will start earlier this year and residential water use is already being managed in Southern Oregon communities.
Highway safety rest areas are notoriously heavy water users. Millions of travelers rely on rest areas to be reliable sources of clean potable water for their refillable water bottles, pet watering stations, diaper changing facilities, and hand-washing and clean restroom accommodations. Typically, over 160 billion (yes, that is billion with a capital “B”) gallons of water are used per year to keep toilets operating on an even keel.
OTE is committed to saving water for more important uses than flushing ordinary urinals within rest areas. Over the last two years, plans were made to switch to water-free appliances within the men’s restrooms at several rest areas under OTE supervision.
Rest Area Specialist Jon Tucker sent in several images of work he just completed at Stanfield Rest Area on I-84. When Tucker began to dismantle the old appliances and floor underneath, vintage tiles damaged during their removal were not easily replaced. Tucker needed to get a little creative in the final project and installed new tile as accents to the vintage 1960s era ceramic.
Public reaction to the conservation efforts is welcome. So far, several “independent” user reviews have been positive and no issues with the new appliances have been noted. OTE welcomes your feedback on other ways we might contribute further to water conservation within Oregon rest areas.