The Water Fountain with a Parking Lot


hand and jug titleThis part of 164th Street in Lynnwood is pretty sedate. It’s a tree-filled break between strip malls and an easy place to stare idly out of the open window as you drive by (assuming you’re usually the passenger, as I am).

But to one side, there’s a small gravel parking lot and – weirder – a line of people clutching all manner of water jugs, patiently waiting next to a small shelter. This is usually the case until pretty late at night, regardless of the weather.

well wholeDepending on which resource you go by, the 164th Street Artesian Well is either at 2399 164th Street or 2331 164th Street.

filling a jugLocals love it because it’s soft, natural, and untreated. What is an artesian well, o guide? This is an artesian well.

on deckI couldn’t taste a difference, but I’m known to be a bit of a philistine in these matters. My friend says her dog adores it and that he guzzles it fast whenever he gets a bowl of it. Trust the dog.

The well access was moved just over a decade ago, making it more accessible for all lovers of fancy water and eschewers of tap water. Before then, it was hidden in the woods, a secret for hardcore Lynnwooders.

Now you just need patience. And the strange willingness to wait for well water when we have almost-free, clean, and generally great water just pouring out of the fixtures.*

*No, I do not own a Brita filter, and I privately consider them a bit silly. But I also don’t have the most sensitive sense of taste, I’ll grant. Generally I consider this a great stroke of luck.