Better access to tap water? We’ll drink to that, says water watchdog

The Consumer Council for Water is raising a glass to a new scheme that should make it easier for millions of people to top-up with free tap water and ditch plastic bottles.

The water watchdog, which has campaigned for many years to improve public access to tap water, has welcomed today’s announcement that will see water companies from across the UK work together to create a national network of retailers, coffee shops, businesses and local authorities offering refill stations where people can top-up their water bottle for free.

Some water companies also plan to install new public drinking fountains and restore historical ones which have fallen into disuse.

It’s hoped the scheme will help to curb the 16 million plastic bottles that end up in landfill or blighting the environment and waterways every single day by encouraging consumers to quench their thirst with some of the safest tap water in the world.

Tony Smith, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “More than half of consumers have told us that accessing free tap water when they are out and about is too difficult so we are delighted that water companies are working together to remove these obstacles and make it easier for people to refill their bottles.”

People will able to locate their nearest Refill station by using a free app that they can download to their mobile phone.

The scheme is being rolled out over the next three years but CCWater says there is no reason why cafés, bars and restaurants need to wait another day to make tap water more freely available to consumers.

Mr Smith added: “We’d like to see all cafés and restaurants make it easier for customers to choose tap water. The environmental and health benefits far outweigh the small cost of making tap water more accessible to everyone.”

You can find out more about the scheme by visiting the Water UK website

Find out what consumers really think about our tap water by reading our previous study

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