(KTSF by Jessie Liang)
San Francisco, CA – The City of San Francisco has launched a tap water pilot project at five public schools. Students at John Yehall Chin elementary school will use reusable containers to fill tap water at the new “combo taps” (a traditional drinking fountain with a bottle filling function) in their cafeteria site. Ed Harrington, General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) explains, “They can put this bottle underneath the filling station, push the button, and get some good clean Hetch Hetchy water. They can drink as much as they want.”
Many San Francisco public schools lack access to tap water. This new SFPUC-funded project will work to install combo taps in public school cafeterias while educating students about San Francisco’s high quality Hetch Hetchy tap water. The initiative also encourages students to drink water rather than soda and sports drinks. Heidi Anderson, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Unified School District, says, “More water is not only good for your body, but it’s good for your mind. It helps you to do the work that you need to do in school.”
Further, president of the Board of Supervisors, David Chiu, explains that the tap water project will save money while improving student health and teaching students to reduce waste and avoid single-use plastic bottles. He says, ” In California, every year there are over a billion plastic bottles that are thrown out. These bottles take thousand of years to biodegrade and are harmful to our environment.”
In addition to John Yehall Chin Elementary, Tenderloin Elementary, Jose Ortega Elementary, Sutro Elementary and Wallenberg High are among the pilot schools. The project will be expanded to 21 additional schools in the next few years.
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