Portable Water Stations

Filtered water StationManly Council is the first council in Australia to provide free filtered water to the public.

Manly Council has installed filtered water bubblers throughout high pedestrian traffic areas such as Manly Corso and the beachfront. These bubblers reduce the number of plastic water bottles bought, reduce littering, and reduce waste.

Background

Manufacture, transportation and refrigeration of bottled water has considerable environmental impacts. Many bottles end up in landfill or as litter rather than being reused or recycled. The aim of this initiative is to reduce the number of plastic bottles being purchased and disposed of in the Manly LGA. The bubblers provide Manly visitors with free filtered water as an alternative to purchasing bottled water. By refilling water bottles, it is expected the number of plastic bottles purchased is reduced.

This in turn reduces the amount of waste and litter generated in Manly.

The story so far

In 2008 six filtered water bubblers were installed as a pilot. The structures consisted of separate bubbler and filter, and cost $9,300 each to purchase and install. To reduce this cost, Manly Council set about redesigning the bubblers to create an all-in-one design that cost $5,300 each.

By the end of 2010, twelve bubblers of the new design had been installed, making 18 bubblers in total.

The bubblers play an important role in waste and sustainability education, with all the bubblers displaying the message “Combat Climate Change. Avoid Waste & Pollution. Reuse Resources. Reduce Carbon Emisions.”

The bubblers are wheelchair accessible, vandal resistant and easy to keep clean.

The high-tech water filters remove contaminants such as cryptosporidium, giardia, chlorine and lead, and provide water as good or better than bottled water.

Outcomes

By taking initiative and creatively addressing the problems associated with bottled water consumption, Manly Council clearly demonstrates how local government can directly achieve significant positive outcomes across the triple bottom line.

  • There are 18 water bubblers operational at locations throughout the LGA.
  • The bubblers use an average of 5,500 litres of water per month each. This equates to 1,188 kilolitres per year, almost enough to fill 2 million 600mL bottles.
  • Potentially up to 80 tonnes of plastic bottles avoided, saving 153m3 of landfill space and reducing costs to Council for waste and litter management.
  • The bubblers provide an easy, healthy, free option for residents and visitors to reuse their water bottles rather than disposing of them after a single use.
  • Complementing this project is Council’s resolution to cease the purchase of single serve bottles of water within the organisation.
  • The bubblers contribute to a positive, generous image of Manly. Manly Council is the first council in Australia to provide free filtered water to the public.
  • LGSA Waste Avoidance Award, Joint Overall Winner 2009-10 and Winner Division B
  • Runner Up, Local Government in Sustainability Awards 2010 Achievement Award, 2010 Local Government Sustainability Award, DECCW Green Globe Awards Contact willing to talk to other council staff considering similar initiative Name:

For further information

Contact Emma Lynch, Waste Minimisation Education Officer on (02) 9976 1652 or via email emma.lynch@manly.nsw.gov.au

Disclaimer

Any company, product or brand name referred to in this case study is for the purposes of context and illustration only. No endorsement of any company, product, brand or service should be implied.