London to get new water fountains

November 5, 2009 at 1:39 pm

This month will see the installation of new water fountains in a number of locations across London. Thames Water, the biggest privatised water company in the UK, is the company behind the installations.

The installations are going to be on a trial basis at first, with the Hydrachills, as they are called, to be located at the bus station in Hammersmith and at Tower Bridge Museum. Between them these two areas see around 400,000 people pass through them each year, and so they will provide a good indication of how popular they could be. This follows on from the recent drinking fountain installed in Hyde Park which was the first in 30 years.

There will be a 20p charge to use the fountains, and this will be enough to fill up a 500 ml bottle with chilled water. All the proceeds from the trial will be donated to WasteWatch, which helps to encourage change in the way we use natural resources.

If successful, the trial could be extended to sites all across London, including railway stations, underground stations and bus stations, ready for the 2012 Olympics.

The move is being seen as a serious challenge to the £1.5 billion-a-year bottled water industry. Hildon has already hit back by launching a new marketing campaign promoting its superiority over tap water.

Bottled water has come in for much criticism because of its use of plastic and the fuel needed to transport it when compared to tap water. There is also a huge difference in price: litre for litre, tap water is a thousand times cheaper than bottled water.

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