From a mountain spring

The water runs clean and clear at Tub Springs State Wayside, about 20 miles outside of Ashland on Route 66.

Its source is a mountain spring, and the water flows constantly, free for the taking, and many make it a point to get their drinking water from the spring.

"I've been getting water here for the past 30 years," said Gene Fuchs of Klamath Falls, formerly of Ashland, as he stopped for a drink on his way to work. "It's the best. I get water from here every week and use it for drinking and cooking."

Fuchs swears by the purity of the spring, and once knew a man who took care of the wells. He said it is tested regularly, using techniques, which include fluorescent lights.

"They've never found any impurities in it and no chlorine," Fuchs said. "It's a win-win situation. I only use the very best."

The source is a mountain spring that flows through the underground aquifer, and according to Ashland resident Ron Roth, "That's just where Mother Nature decided to give it up."

Friends of Green Springs President John Ward gave some insight into the history of the springs.

"Since the mid-30's, it provided water for local horses," Ward said, "and the water comes out all the time."

The Oregon State Parks website said the name of the park comes from the tubs installed in the 1930's, which have been restored and are still in use. The well is on the Applegate Trail, and provided early settlers with fresh water. The website asks that you stop and try to sense what it was like 150 years ago.

Ward said the spring is one of many water sources in the area and swears the water is safe to drink.

"It's in a state park, and they have to ensure public safety by testing it," Ward said. "Many people go up there to get water for domestic use."

Ward explained the water comes from uphill and flows through the volcanic strata aquifer. After that, it continues to flow under route 66, on its way to Keene Creek.

Ashland resident Sean O'Grady gets water from the spring whenever possible, and has been drinking it for the past 30 years, though not as often as he would like. O'Grady touts the health benefits of the water.

"It's pure, clean mountain spring water, and it is full of minerals and nutrients," O'Grady said. "I haven't seen the scientific data, but I'm sure it strengthens our immune system. Hey, whenever you can get fresh spring water, it's a good thing."

City of Ashland Water Conservation Analyst, Robbin Pearce, who gets water from the spring whenever possible, said using water from the spring is a definite option during the current voluntary water curtailment. Pearce then offered the best description of tub spring water possible.

"It's yummy," she said.

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