Top of main content

Paralympian re-opens Thames Water drinking fountains

Thursday 22nd July 2021 11:14

Paralympian David Weir at a Thames Water fountain in London

Paralympian David Weir is calling on people to join the fight against plastic pollution by making the most of the newly reopened network of Thames Water drinking fountains across London.

The six-time gold medallist and eight-time winner of the London Marathon, who will soon be back racing for Paralympics GB at the Paralympic Games in August, has spoken about the importance of staying hydrated this summer while stemming the flow of plastic pollution that sees thousands of bottles a year finding their way into the Thames.

David said: “As a proud Londoner I’m really glad to see the network of free drinking water fountains coming to life once again. These fountains will help people out and about enjoying the city this summer stay hydrated without relying on single-use plastic bottles, which can blight our outdoor spaces and pollute the Thames. Just don’t forget your reusable bottle.”

Up to one billion plastic bottles are used in London each year, with the average London adult buying more than three plastic water bottles every week - a startling 175 bottles every year per person. Water bottles represent almost half of all the drink bottles found in the Thames, making it the single most common type of drink bottle.

Londoners can make the most of the network of simple-to-use water fountains reopening across the capital. The fountains, supplied by MIW Water Experts, are funded by Thames Water and the Mayor of London and installed and maintained by Thames Water.

The fountains are completely accessible and safe. Advice from the NHS and the World Health Organisation is that coronavirus is not a waterborne virus and the risk of catching it from a public drinking fountain is very low.

Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO, said: “London has some of the best quality tap water in the world and we hope to see lots of people grabbing a reusable bottle, stopping by one of our fountains and enjoying it. Helping customers, communities and the environment to thrive is in Thames Water’s DNA and I’m delighted that we’re able to provide fresh, high quality drinking water to Londoners and those visiting. It’s wonderful to see the drinking fountains back up and running.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said: “Through my work with Thames Water we’ve installed 54 fountains across London and we’re restarting the programme which will deliver over 100 in total. In addition to the fountains, there are now over 4,000 shops, cafes and restaurants offering free refills across the city through Refill London.”

Marcus Rink, chief inspector of the Drinking Water Inspectorate, said: “I am really pleased to support the reopening of London’s drinking water fountains. Everyone can benefit from good clean and wholesome drinking water direct from the tap when out and about. With some of the highest assured quality drinking water freely available, all that is needed is a bottle to be refilled to stay healthy and hydrated.”