Over the past years, trust in public water has lowered, and many individuals have turned to bottled water. This lack of trust has also resulted in many cities, simply giving up on installing free fountains or bubblers.
The problem with that is that if you are out-and-about the city and feel thirsty, you don’t have many options. You could buy a bottle of water, but keep in mind:
- you’d be paying a premium for a basic commodity (probably more than gas per gallon)
- you’d most probably have to buy a single-use plastic bottle (probably filled microplastics, as recent studies, have shown)
- you’d be participating in the growing plastic pollution problem which is hitting America and the world
The best option, for your wallet, health, and the planet, is to simply use a reusable bottle. Reusable bottles come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. But where to refill them?
Unless you live in a very remote area, chances are you are in the vicinity of a bar or a restaurant. They should have access to clean, municipal water running from their tap. There is no law in the U.S, requiring them to serve free tap, but you should not feel ashamed to ask for it.
Note: In the U.S tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while bottled water – a packaged good – is regulated by the FDA. The latter has looser standards in terms of how often bottled water needs to be tested and they do not require companies to share their test results with consumers. To know the exact composition of your water, favor tap water, and ask your local water utility for their reports. You can also enter your postcode on the EWG website, which has even stricter guidelines than EPA.
Regardless of whether you found a charitable soul to let you refill your bottle, we’re doing our best to show you where you can get access to clean municipal water, without having to feel shame.
At TAPP, we have recently upgraded our filter-tracking app to include a map of refill stations, fountains and bubbler – and this with worldwide coverage! Of course, not all fountains are there yet, but a big enough number of them are. We’re using data from OSM, combined with open-data and our own data.
If you find a drinking water fountain, a bubbler or anywhere to refill your bottle that we don’t have, send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll add it right away. Also applies if we’re showing incorrect information.
For all those times you are at home (or traveling) you can also refill your bottle with TAPP Smart Water Filter. TAPP uses biodegradable refills, which can be disposed of with organic waste. What’s even better, is that it fits all standard faucet, is small and light, making it the ideal portable water filter when going away on vacation. TAPP uses carbon block technology to filter out bad taste, lead, microplastics and 80+ other contaminants.