FIFE Council will be asked to identify sites for ‘Top up Taps’, a new initiative that champions and encourages more of us to drink tap water.

As well as the health benefits and the convenience of filling up your refillable bottle while on the move, it’s set to save money and reduce the amount of plastic waste too.

Scottish Water has announced plans to roll out tap water refill points in every local authority area over the next two years.

Under the initiative, councils are being consulted to identify the best locations with the aim of having the first 10 taps installed by the end of March 2019.

Edinburgh is the first location, with a ‘Top up Tap’ to be positioned outside the Scottish Parliament. Other sites being considered for the initial roll-out include Dunfermline, Glasgow, Ayr, Dumfries, Fort William, Milngavie, Oban, Inverness and Aberdeen.

The units will be fitted with technology that will enable them to track water usage digitally at each top up point, transmitting the data via cloud technology to specialists managing Scotland’s water networks.

The resulting data will be used to calculate cost and plastic savings, along with the volume of water being consumed.

The move follows the launch earlier this year of the Your Water, Your Life campaign in which the utility called for customers to drink tap water at home, at work and on the move as a way of reducing waste, saving money and staying hydrated.

Douglas Millican, Scottish Water chief executive, said: “Our research shows that people feel very positively towards the quality of Scotland’s tap water – now these state-of-the-art taps can provide access to enable water drinkers to enjoy it while on the go by carrying and using refillable bottles.”

Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “By encouraging people to top up from the tap using refillable bottles, we will help cut down on our use of plastics and promote the benefits of hydration building on Scottish Water’s Your Water, Your Life campaign. I now look forward to refilling my bottle at the Top up Tap outside the parliament in the coming months.”

The campaign aims to make tap the first choice for water drinkers wherever they are, and encourages businesses to make it readily available for staff and customers.

Licensed premises are legally bound to serve tap water on request, yet research shows Scots are uncomfortable asking, something this campaign hopes to change.

On average a litre bottle of water costs about 65p, so topping up daily from the tap, could save £1.30 a day, nearly £500 a year.

Customer research carried out for Scottish Water revealed tap is the water of choice for almost two thirds of people in Scotland (65 per cent), and currently over a third (36 per cent) carry reusable bottles always or often when they are out and about.

But less than a third (30 per cent) said they’d be happy to go into a café and ask for their bottle to be filled.

Water samples are tested every two minutes, on average, to maintain quality and ensure customers enjoy their supply of Scottish drinking water.

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