On a beautiful sunny autumn day, refill ambassadors Hella and Félice went for an “open tap challenge” In the city center of Amsterdam: would venues open their tap for people, passengers of all kinds, just to have their water bottles filled? And so we approached cafe, boutique shop and supermarket staff.
Besides improving ourselves each time at enthusing merchants of their potential in reducing single use plastics, we got to know this lovely quarter better. What a high density of coffee shops!
Many people we spoke with supported Refill Ambassadors’ ideas, but they would need to check with their bosses if we could paste a “Refill” window sticker, or add their site to the “Refill” app to chart free water points. Some merchants did not hesitate to join the refillution – no big deal; tap water is for everyone!
We could say our challenge was a success by adding 5 new refill stations – free water points for everyone. People who cross a doorstep for a refill may just as well become customers!
WELCOME, NEW REFILL STATIONS:
Thank you for spreading our tasty water to the people. Do you own a bar, café, restaurant or shop and do you want to open your tap to the public? Become a refill station! Please contact us, so we can help you.
Around the world, there are thousands public drinking fountains. Refill your bottle during your citytrip, walk in the dunes or weekly workout.Free fresh water, no plastic needed! We love public fountains.But they can be hard to spot. It’s like searching for an ATM machine: when you really need them, you cannot find any. We know a solution: use the free water refill app Closca or mymizu.
WHERE DO I FIND PUBLIC FOUNTAINS?
Use your phone to locate an increasing number of public water fountains around the world! Water refill apps are free to use. We recommend you to use Closca and mymizu, as they cover the largest number of refill points, including many public fountains. We see many similarities between Closca and mymizu. Both apps work with user-feedback: you can suggest new refill stations (including public fountains) through the app.
Closca Water app started in June 2019, and lists >200.000 refill stations worldwide. The app works with a reward system, you collect points when refilling. Download Closca here.
mymizu was launched in September 2019. The app now displays almost 200.000 refill stations around the world. Download mymizu here.
WHO TAKES CARE OF PUBLIC DRINKING FOUNTAINS?
Who is responsible for the water fountains? How are they maintained? Who decides where to place new fountains? This really differs per country. We can only speak for the Netherlands. Here, drinking water is supplied by ten different public water system companies. These companies facilitate and maintain our public drinking fountains. For example Waternet provides the water fountains in the Amsterdam region, Evides in Rotterdam, etc. Sometimes this is done in collaboration with organisations like Join the Pipe.
PUBLIC DRINKING FOUNTAINS IN THE NETHERLANDS
Besides the apps Closca and mymizu, public fountains in the Netherlands are also mapped on the website Drinkwaterkaart.nl. The website (in Dutch) also displays free “pee-places” and “free-swimming-spots”.
Public water fountains in general are safe but they seem to suffer from an image problem. We think this is unfair. Just make sure to double check in areas where tap water is non-potable. To prevent bacteria/virusus from spreading, you can use some clothing when pressing the button.
What if there are no public fountains in your area? Try to refill your bottle in a bar, restaurant, shop. Don’t be shy, just ask!