Thames Water has unveiled its new purpose built ‘pop up’ style tap water bottle refill stations at BBC Countryfile Live, held at Blenheim Palace.
Visitors to the show were able to stay hydrated in the hot weather by filling their own bottles with tap water from the refill stations situated around the palace grounds. The initiative is part of Thames Water’s commitment to make free tap water more accessible to people on the move, while helping to reduce single use plastic waste with its #taptasticnotplastic campaign.
An event like Countryfile Live will typically see more than 10,000 plastic bottles bought and then thrown away, just some of the 16 million plastic bottles which end up in landfill or polluting waterways in the UK every day. The production of bottled water is around 500 times more carbon intensive than tap water, and Thames Water also has more stringent quality tests – around half a million a year – than bottled brands.
The refill stations are part of a new breed of super sturdy hygienic fountains supplied by British firm MIW Water Cooler Experts, which earlier this year helped establish the London Drinking Fountain Fund as part of the #OneLess movement. MIW was also behind the drinking fountains installed in Borough Market, London Zoo, Wimbledon Tennis Club and Heathrow Airport.
Becky Johnson of Thames Water said, ‘Our new fountains were really popular, with visitors topping up with our world class tap water over 50,000 times. Together, we’re all making a huge difference in reducing pointless plastic waste and helping protect our planet.’
Mike Winter, managing director of MIW Water Cooler Experts, said: ‘Thames Water supplies our capital with some of the best quality water in the world – and now it is easier than ever for people to access free, great tasting, chilled water – rather than buying a single use plastic bottle which is thown away. These latest models of outdoor refill stations are specially designed to be durable, fast and accessible to those with physical disabilities, making them ideal for high traffic public areas.’
Completely portable, the MIW Marathon refill stations weigh just 48 kgs, and yet clever design makes them perfectly stable, able to withstand heavy use in busy areas. It can be placed practically anywhere that there is access to an above ground water spigot, be that an office space, a shopping centre or a street party. Supplied complete with a flexible 1/2 inch or 15 mm BSP Industry standard connection, it is more or less ‘plug and play’. It requires no power, and all drainage is discretely taken care of at the rear of the unit, with a drip tray feeding two 10 litre containers securely stored out of public view.