Today Board of Supervisors President David Chiu introduced the nation’s first legislation to improve the public’s access to clean, free drinking water through the addition of Drink Tap stations in all new and renovated construction.
This ordinance requires that water bottle-filling units (known as Drink Tap stations) be installed in addition to conventional drinking fountains (also known as bubblers). Drink Tap stations can be installed individually or paired with a drinking fountain in a combination unit. Drink Tap stations promote the use of reusable bottles, thus reducing water waste from plastic bottle manufacturing and plastic waste from landfills. Tap water is a healthy and inexpensive beverage alternative that is available to every San Franciscan.
“Every 27 hours Americans consume enough bottled water to circle the entire equator with plastic bottles stacked end to end. Bringing Drink Tap stations to more buildings in San Francisco means more access for San Franciscans to healthy, pristine Hetch Hetchy Tap Water and a reduction in plastic bottle waste,” said Supervisor David Chiu. “This innovative approach will help enhance the health of our City while reducing plastic waste.”
The “Drink Tap Ordinance” is founded on the City’s longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability by educating residents about the environmental, economic, and health benefits of drinking tap water, as well as through the prohibition of bottled water purchases by the San Francisco City and County Government, as instructed by Executive Directive 07-07.
This ordinance also supports the City’s longstanding Soda Free Summer initiative, which encourages San Francisco children and adults to rethink their drink choices and choose healthier beverages, such as water, over sugary sodas and other sweetened drinks.
“At less than a penny a gallon, Hetch Hetchy Tap Water is amongst the most economical and healthiest drinks available. We’re lucky to have some of the best tasting tap water,” said Ed Harrington, General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. “Drink Tap stations make it easy to fill a reusable bottle and take this great water wherever you go.”
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