There is an old pipe in Lithia Park that gushes water into the creek. Gushes, but in a variable manner — half, then full blast, then half force again. Its location is about halfway to the head of the park. I have not been able to find anyone who can tell me of its purpose or where, for that matter, it originates.

— Lane, via email

 

We're guessing you're referring to the pipe at the Enders Memorial Shelter gazebo in Lithia Park that vents lithia water, which is laced with the mineral lithium.

Mineral water is piped from a spring near Emigrant Creek outside Ashland to water fountains on the downtown Plaza and at the park gazebo. The pipe at the gazebo spouts lithia water into Ashland Creek to relieve pressure from the constantly running mineral water, according to Ashland Parks and Recreation Department officials.

The water is not harmful to the creek or to fish, city officials said.

A turnabout near the Enders Memorial Shelter was once the formal entrance to Lithia Park. The Enders shelter, built in 1916, is the last remaining gazebo out of three gazebos that once surrounded the turnabout.

The historic shelter, as well as its fountains and water pipes, was carefully restored in 2013. Like Lithia Park itself, the shelter is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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