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Could Charlestown Use More Public Water Taps?

Public bubblers, fountains and filling stations could decrease plastic bottle use and improve health—but where should they go?

"Water, water everywhere, so let's all have a drink," District 6 Boston City Councilor Matt O'Malley said, citing the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, during Wednesday's City Council meeting.

O’Malley wants to bring more water bubblers, water fountains and water filling stations to Boston neighborhoods. He pointed to San Francisco which in 2010 installed "tap stations” allowing residents to fill reusable water containers "in a clean and sanitary way." At the stations, people could reuse their own containers rather than purchase single-use bottled water.

"Every runner, walker, parent knows park routes, and knows where the iconic bubblers are," O'Malley said.

He said he runs at Jamaica Pond because he knows the water fountain at the boat house is open eight months a year.

O'Malley said it's a shame that people worry so much about germs when it comes to public water taps, saying that Boston has some of the healthiest and safest water in the country. He added that water bottling companies actually bottle and sell Boston tap water.

District 2 Councilor Bill Linehan liked the idea, saying he has run many a mile through the years in Boston, and spots to get drinking water are rare.

According to environmental watchdog organizations Environmental Working Group and Corporate Accountability International, Boston’s tap water is some of the cleanest, safest water in the nation. 

But Masssachusetts residents are using a lot of water and plastic:

  • Massachusetts residents drink more than 300 million gallons in a year.
  • Massachusetts is sixth in the U.S. in overall water consumption. 
  • Less than 20 percent of those bottles are recycled, with the rest ending in landfills or as litter. 
  • The Pacific Institute reported bottled water is up to 2,000 times more energy intensive to produce than the region’s tap water.

Would you like to see more water bubblers, water fountains or water bottle filling stations in Charlestown? Where at? Share your thoughts below.

Debbie Evans November 30, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Yes! We really need at LEAST one down at the high school. With the number of kids playing sports down there in the afternoon, evening and on the weekend, it is crazy that there is no water fountain!
Owen November 30, 2012 at 11:47 PM
The thought of using a water fountain where countless strangers, all with their own heebee-jeebees and germs, has always grossed me out. I'd rather see money go toward larger infrustructure projects. Either way, I never use water fountains.

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