Yarra Valley Water’s ‘Choose Tap’ program engages the community on drinking water fountains as an important element of a healthy lifestyle and as a much cheaper and environmentally friendly alternative to expensive bottled water and other plastic-packaged drinks.
Melbourne is reputed to have some of the best drinking water in the world, yet each year Australians spend more than $500 million on purchasing bottled water.
However, it’s the plastic waste that ends up in landfills, waterways, and oceans that causes the most harm. The average length of time it takes for a single-use plastic bottle to break down is 450 years.
Following a customer survey, Yarra Valley Water found that people were frustrated by a lack of accessibility to tap water when they were out and about, which is why many purchased bottled water. The findings showed that the public would happily have a drinking fountain if it was more readily available in public spaces.
Armed with this information, Yarra Valley Water looked at ways to meet customer demand by providing easy accessibility to the good quality drinking water fountain and water refilling station when they’re out and about. This launched the ‘Choose Tap’ initiative, a program all about choice – the choice to easily use and access free, good quality drinking water and the choice to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Yarra Valley Water set about researching a number of products that would fill the brief to conveniently supply quality fresh drinking water to the public while promoting the smart choice message – and chose the Aquafil drinking fountain and water bottle filling station range.
Program Manager, Kelly Berghella, believed that our Aquafil range met the brief of the project through our product features such as filtered and non-filtered water, water meters, dog water bowl, and wheelchair-accessible (AS1428 1 Australian standards) designs.
“We chose Aquafil because of the quality of the unit. It will be able to endure the harsh public outdoor environment and with-stand the test of time,” she said.
“Having a large area on which to display branding, messages and artwork was an added bonus.”
Yarra Valley Water has since worked with local councils to install 50 Aquafil units to supply the public with drinking water across its service area.
They can be found at recreational spaces such as ovals and walking trails, shopping precincts, hospitals, universities, and TAFES, providing the community with a free, convenient, and environmentally friendly way to stay healthy and hydrated.
Yarra Ranges Council was the first council to partner with Yarra Valley Water to install a water refilling station in its municipality at Lilydale Lake. Visitors to the unit at Lilydale Lake have consumed over 65,00 64,450 liters of tap water over the past two years.
The Choose Tap program also sees Yarra Valley Water partner with local sporting clubs, fun runs, and festivals to promote its message, with the Aquafil Portable Bottle Refill Stations branded as Portable Water Refill Stations.
Schools have also joined the cause with a fundraising initiative to sell Choose Tap reusable water bottles – a much healthier and long-lasting alternative to chocolate bar fundraisers.
With over 50 Aquafil Water Refill Stations now installed, Yarra Valley Water is leading the way in helping to promote a healthy lifestyle and create a better environment for tomorrow.
Correct at time of publication 16th September 2021.