WA­TER THAT’S WORTH TAP­PING INTO

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - DISTRICT NEWS -

Wa­ter is the stuff of life and, in Scot­land, we are blessed with a nat­u­ral re­source that makes us the envy of the world.

Now Scots are be­ing en­cour­aged to Top up from the Tap.

For the sake of your health, your pocket and the planet, it’s far bet­ter to re­fill re­us­able wa­ter bot­tles than fork out for plas­tic bot­tles of wa­ter.

On av­er­age, a litre bot­tle of wa­ter costs about 65p, so top­ping up daily from the tap could save £1.30 a day – that’s nearly £500 a year.

So re­solve to make a dif­fer­ence in 2019 by car­ry­ing a re­fill­able bot­tle and top­ping up from the tap wher­ever you are.

To make this eas­ier, Scot­tish Wa­ter is in­stalling a net­work of hi-tech pub­lic wa­ter re­fill points for peo­ple to top up their own bot­tles.

The first Top up Tap was in­tro­duced in Ed­in­burgh, fol­lowed by Glas­gow and Ayr, but Scot­tish Wa­ter is work­ing with ev­ery lo­cal au­thor­ity to iden­tify suit­able lo­ca­tions across Scot­land.

Plans are on track to have 10 Top up Taps in­stalled by the end of March and, dur­ing the next two years, 30 towns and cities will get one of the units.

But in the mean­time, many lo­cal busi­nesses are also pledg­ing to help the pub­lic keep their wa­ter bot­tles filled-up.

Re­search shows 86 per cent of peo­ple in Scot­land agree there should be more lo­ca­tions that of­fer easy ac­cess to wa­ter, yet cur­rently less than a third would be happy to go in to a cafe and ask for their bot­tle to be filled – some­thing the cam­paign aims to change. Why not ask your lo­cal cafés, shops and busi­nesses to sup­port the Your Wa­ter Your Life cam­paign by of­fer­ing to fill wa­ter bot­tles from their tap? It’s easy to sign up on the ’Get in­volved’ sec­tion of the web­site.

Scot­tish wa­ter is tested ev­ery day and meets the strictest stan­dards found any­where in the world.

Around 95 per cent of the wa­ter from Scot­tish taps comes from rain that trav­els down from moun­tain­ous ar­eas and per­co­lates through the ground into our reser­voirs. It is fa­mously de­scribed as‘soft’and pleas­ant tast­ing, as it doesn’t con­tain as much of the cal­cium and limescale that can be found in other ar­eas of the UK.

Elise Cart­mell, chief sci­en­tist at Scot­tish Wa­ter, says a team of ex­perts test the wa­ter qual­ity ev­ery sin­gle day of the year, col­lect­ing around 250,000 sam­ples an­nu­ally.

Wa­ter sam­ples from across Scot­land are, on av­er­age, qual­ity tested ev­ery two min­utes to en­sure the qual­ity of Scot­land’s tap wa­ter re­mains high.

“We are test­ing it to make sure the wa­ter that comes out the taps is whole­some and great-tast­ing. In terms of wa­ter qual­ity stan­dards, Scot­tish wa­ter is one of the best in the world,” says Elise.

Brian Lironi, di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate af­fairs with Scot­tish Wa­ter, said: “It’s great to see busi­nesses help­ing en­cour­age more peo­ple in Scot­land to top up from the tap, by proac­tively of­fer­ing wa­ter top ups in their premises.

“We’re in­vest­ing in cre­at­ing a net­work of Top up Taps across the coun­try to make re­fill­ing on the go eas­ier.

“And work­ing with busi­nesses to wi­den ac­cess to drinking wa­ter will un­doubt­edly help drive a change in cul­ture where top­ping up be­comes com­mon­place.”

ON TAP Mo Clark from restau­rant and bar group Kained, which is back­ing Scot­tish Wa­ter’s Your Wa­ter Your Life cam­paign to en­cour­age peo­ple to top up from the tap

Chief sci­en­tist Elise Cart­mell

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