Fort among first for ‘top-up taps’
‘It’s yet another sign we’re all thinking more about our beautiful but fragile environment’
Thirsty walkers will soon be able to top up refillable water bottles as soon as they cross the finishing line of the West Highland Way in Fort William's Gordon Square.
New high-tech ‘top-up-taps’ are part of a scheme the Scottish Government hopes will encourage more people to use refillable bottles.
Fort William, along with Inverness, will be among the first to get the new taps installed in the spring with the rest introduced over the course of the next two years.
Each tap will be plumbed into the public water supply and fitted with technology which will enable them to digitally track water use, transmitting the data via cloud technology to specialists managing Scotland’s water networks.
Data loggers inside provide information which can be translated into cost, plastic savings and the volume of water used.
Commenting at the launch of the initiative, Scottish Water chief executive Douglas Millican said the creation of a network of ‘top-up taps’ across the country is part of the organisation’s ‘Your Water, Your Life’ campaign, which aims to encourage more people to drink tap water.
‘Our research shows people feel very positively towards the quality of Scotland’s tap water. Now these taps will allow water drinkers to enjoy it while on the go by using refillable bottles,’ he said.
The scheme was welcomed by Lochaber Environmental Group which said it was delighted to see the installation of a new drinking tap in the High Street.
‘This news is a positive development for the town and will mean far less use of plastic bottles which are a problem in production and disposal,’ said a spokesperson.
‘Reducing the transportation associated with bottled water as it is trucked huge distances will result in much-needed carbon savings as we try to tackle the challenges of climate change.
‘It’s yet another sign we’re all thinking more about our beautiful but fragile environment which is greatly encouraging.’
The national drive to encourage people to stay hydrated and healthy by drinking water from the tap in refillable bottles was set out in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2018-2019. In summer 2018, Scottish Water launched Your Water, Your Life – a campaign to show how topping up from the tap can benefit health and well-being, save money and help reduce waste and impact on the environment.
Douglas Millican, chief executive of Scottish Water, and Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land, try out one of the new top-up taps.