Sydney Water is asking all Sydneysiders to have a drink on them

Media release

28 May

Sydney Water has embarked on an ambitious program to quench the thirst of Sydneysiders while at the same time helping the environment and family budgets.

In conjunction with 20 local councils across the Greater Sydney area, Sydney Water has installed 130 permanent water stations that will allow users to get a free drink from a bubbler or to fill a reusable water bottle. 

The water stations have the messaging ‘Make tap water your drink’ and ‘Better for the environment’ which have been translated into 11 different languages for councils with specific multicultural residents - Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Vietnamese, Dhari, Hindi, Khmer, Assyrian, Napoli, Japanese and Filipino.

'Having easy access to Sydney tap water will provide residents with a healthy alternative to sugary drinks', said Jennifer Whittle, Brand and External Communications Change Manager at Sydney Water.

‘The new water stations are easy to use and offer options to drink directly from the station, or to fill a reusable water bottle. Many of the units also provide a dog bowl so that dogs can get a drink too.

‘We are delighted to be partnering with councils across Sydney to provide their residents and our customers with high quality drinking water in convenient locations.

‘Councils have embraced the installation of water stations as it has supported their well-being programs, encouraging their residents to engage with more outdoor activities. There is an added benefit in reducing the amount of waste being created, which councils would ordinarily be required to take to landfill or to recycle.

‘We have some of the best drinking water in the world and it’s already filtered by Sydney Water.

‘The availability of the water stations will help the family budgets of local residents by providing free water, rather than them purchasing bottled water.

‘Using the water stations in preference to purchasing bottled water will also assist the environment. Sydney Water removes over one million plastic bottles from our waterways each year across our area of operation.

‘Each of the water stations has a meter so we are able to calculate the amount of water consumed at each unit’, said Ms Whittle.

The stats

Based on actual consumption figures to date, Sydney Water has estimated that three million litres of Sydney tap water will be drunk from the water stations over a 12-month period.

By drinking water from these units rather than purchasing bottled water, around five million 600 ml plastic bottles will no longer be required to be purchased or manufactured.

This will save Sydneysiders around $10 million each year in not buying bottled water.

Not manufacturing this number of plastic bottles will save around 7.5 million litres of water and 750,000 litres of oil being used in the manufacturing process.

3.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity will also be saved which would power 610 average Sydney houses for a year.

This reduction in power requirements reduces greenhouse gas emissions by around 2,500 tonnes which is the equivalent of keeping 550 cars off the road each year.

These plastic water bottles will no longer be entering the waste stream or littering our waterways after they are consumed. Five million plastic bottles would fill around 14,500 standard garbage wheelie bins, which if placed side-by-side would cover a distance of around 7 km.

Ms Whittle added, ‘the program has been a win for the environment, a win for all of us, and a win for family budgets.  Keep a look out in your community for more water stations popping up and remember to carry a reusable bottle when you are out and about'.