Pubs and licensed clubs in England and Wales have been required by law to provide free tap water to customers since April last year, but these aren’t the only places where thirsty travellers can turn up for a free drink.
Not-for-profit organisation Tapwater.org tracks free tap water ‘refilling’ stations across England and Scotland, and its new free iPhone app now makes it easier find pubs, shops, cafes and water fountains where water bottles can be topped up for nothing.
Tap water from the mains supply gets a bit of a bad rap from some quarters and while traces of potentially harmful pollutants are detected from time to time, the UK domestic water supply is widely considered to be among the best in the world.
More to the point, bottled water doesn’t always offer a ‘purer’ drink and its effect on the environment is significant. A 2001 WWF report reckoned that 1.5 million tons of plastic are used to bottle 89 billion litres of water each year and refilling plastic bottles can lead the leach of harmful chemicals.
So, if you’d much rather get a free tap water refill when out and about than pay over the odds for something in a plastic bottle, the Tapwater.org web site shows a map of refill locations — as does the new iPhone app.