Sydney Water and Blue Mountains City Council have banded together in a pilot project to make tap water more available to the region’s community.
Eight new water bubbler and refill stations will be rolled out across various public spaces across the region, selected for their high community use. These include sports grounds, play areas and walking track entries.
“The water refill stations will help reduce the environmental impact of drinking bottled water by decreasing litter and the number of plastic bottles going to landfill,” Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill told the Blue Mountains Gazette
“Providing easy access to high quality tap water also gives adults and children a healthy alternative to sugary drinks.”
The Aquafil stations are designed with multi-functionality in mind. They serve as a bubbler and a bottle refill station, with a dog bowl at the base to keep resident pets well-hydrated too. They are also built and installed to ensure wheelchair accessibility.
Refill units are in use across various other locations throughout Sydney, particularly along the beachfronts of Manly. The brand itself was born after Manly Council requested design company Arrow Alpha retrofit taps to existing signage to provide fresh water to the public.
With consumer advocacy group Choice finding tap water is better regulated than bottled water
, the project aims to encourage a more positive public attitude towards tap water consumption.
Council will be responsible for the installation, maintenance and costs associated with the Blue Mountains water stations. Council will also monitor the units at each location, with a report planned for mid-2019 detailing the costs and benefits of the partnership as well as recommendations for future rollout options.
The new units can be found in the following locations: Summerhayes Park, Winmalee; Lapstone Oval; Knapsack Park, Glenbrook; Glenbrook Park; Pitt Park, Wentworth Falls; Maple Grove, Katoomba; Wentworth Falls Lake and Wilson Park, Wentworth Falls.