Thursday 18th July 2019 12:00
A partnership between Thames Water and the Mayor of London to install 100 drinking water fountains across the capital means thirsty Londoners and visitors will be able to refill their own re-usable bottles with free top-quality tap water while reducing plastic waste.
The first two tap water fountains are already up and running near the Hanwell Clock Tower and Melbourne Avenue in Ealing in the biggest single-use plastic reduction initiative of any UK city, with more being fitted throughout this summer.
Over the coming weeks water fountains will be unveiled in a number of areas including Camden, Greenwich and Southwark. Each fountain has been topped with a distinctive blue water droplet so will be easy to spot for anyone wanting to fill up.
Steve Spencer, chief operating officer at Thames Water said: “London’s tap water is world class and we’re celebrating this by building a network of water fountains so it’s even more accessible to people on the move.”
In an independent taste test carried out earlier this year, many consumers were unable to tell the difference between Thames Water’s tap water and bottled water, with the latter on average being 500 times more expensive.
Steve added: “Tap water is incredible value for money and just as good as bottled water but without the plastic packaging so we want people to enjoy it by using the fountains. Together we can all drive down plastic waste from single-use water bottles, helping to care for our rivers and oceans, now and for generations to come.”
Plastic bottles make up 10 per cent of all litter found in the River Thames and can take between 500 and 1,000 years to break down*. It is estimated the average Londoner buys more than three plastic water bottles every week,** equating to 175 a year, with less than half being recycled.***
Locations of the fountains will be displayed on Google maps and there will be promotional posters on bus stops and other advertising sites near every fountain from mid- August until the end of September.
Each fountain will undergo regular safety and quality inspection by Thames Water engineers. The company runs over half a million quality tests a year on its water to ensure it meets the highest drinking water standards.
London tap water is ‘hard’, with naturally occurring ingredients like magnesium and calcium – these minerals are great for the health of Londoners.
Five litres of tap water costs just a penny and it performs top in taste tests.
Producing and transporting one litre of bottled water creates 500 per cent more CO2 than tap water. (Source: Thames Water)
*Plastic bottles make up 10 per cent of all litter found in the River Thames. (Source: Thames21)
**The average Londoner buys more than three plastic water bottles every week, which is 175 bottles a year – and over 40 per cent aren’t recycled. (Source: RecycleNow).
***Plastic bottles can take between 500 and 1,000 years to break down. (Source: Slate)