Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Cool, clear, fresh and FREE water

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Pity the poor city dweller: Getting a decent drink of good tasting water usually boils down to buying bottled water, or maybe chucking some money in a vending machine for a gallon of “purified” tap water. If you’re in Western Washington, the story can be different. Remember the old “Olympia Beer” commercials of yesteryear, featuring the always invisible but certainly mischievous “artesians”?

Olympia Beer was brewed in Tumwater, Washington, and claimed its fame in its company slogan, found on every bottle and can of the golden liquid, “It’s the Water.” And indeed it was, as Olympia Beer and all other brews produced in the Tumwater facility were based on water drawn from artesian wells. Well, drawn may be a misleading word, because artesian wells are those in which the water freely flows upward from the ground, not requiring pumping due to the dynamics of the geology surrounding an artesian aquifer.

At any rate, at one time a visit to the Olympia Brewery would provide you a good hour’s worth of interesting history and viewing, and in the end, a visit to the tap room where you could sample the various brews from the plant. But several years ago the plant shut its doors.

The beer may have stopped flowing from Tumwater, but the artesian water still gushes. In downtown Olympia, a freely flowing artesian well gushes forth crystal clear, cold, fresh and tasty water for all who’d come by and fill their jugs.

If you’re in the area and in need of good water, you’ll find the well in a parking lot bordering the south side of 4th Avenue, between Adams and Jefferson streets.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.


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3 years ago

The city park in the town of Mt. Shasta, CA, also has free artesian water.

Larry H Lee
3 years ago

Try Artesia, NM! Hard to believe artesian water flows freely in New Mexico.

3 years ago
Reply to  Larry H Lee

I did search and could not find one in N.M.? Maybe a link please?
Wiki says “aquifer became significantly depleted in the 1920s”.

3 years ago

I have lived many years in Latvia. People there fill their jugs at the many springs around the country and swear it’s the best. Considering the city water there isn’t so good, that’s probably true. Several of the springs are considered Holy Water springs and are regularly blessed and drunk for health. Interesting custom.

Gene Bjerke
3 years ago

My cousin has an artesian well on his property that has the best tasting water anywhere. Hope we can get back to Wisconsin soon.

Peter Donahue
3 years ago

I am lucky to live in up state NY on a farm and have a spring that gives us great water!!!!

3 years ago

52 years ago my DW and I stopped in Tumwater for the Olympia tour and a nap. (After the free Beer) On our way to BC from Calif. on a Trailering vacation . I was waiting for my USAF Pilot Training class date. Knowing my ultimate destination was Vietnam we decided to cram In as much fun as we could. Great memories of Tumwater , I remember when we heard it was shut down. Sad news. Good to know the magic water still flows and is accessible.

Mark B
3 years ago

This projection states that by 2050 there will be more tons of microplastics in the ocean than fish.

Plastic bottles of water are most often are filled with city water (sometimes with slightly extra filtering).

If your city water is failing the tests, then the city has to address it. If you are nervous, then buy yourself a simple filtering system to remove dangerous germs, toxins and higher levels of minerals. No, it doesn’t have to be whole house filtering. Just filter the water in your kitchen used for drinking and rinsing food.

These days, you need to have well water sampled for safety. We have managed to pollute well water (even deep reservoirs).

3 years ago
Reply to  Mark B

Most people I know have re-usable bottles for getting water at the springs. They aren’t polluting, but are in fact using the bottles many times over.

3 years ago

Talking about the taste of water brings me to back in the day. We had a 389′ well in granite. When I would talk about the cool sweet tasting water, people would look at me like I was crazy. Water is tasteless. Fast forward 40 years. Another thing this story brought to mind is not Oly beer, but Rainer beer. They had the best commercials. My favorite is the motorcycle Raaaaiiinnnnnerrrrrr beer.

RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  mdstudey

Yep, mdstudey. I can hear the gears shifting. 😆 —Diane at RVtravel.com

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