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  • by Karma Loveday

Thames unveils first of 100 on-the-street water fountains for London

Thames Water has unveiled the first two of 100 drinking water refill points to be rolled out across London, in partnership with the Mayor’s office.

The two fountains in Ealing will be joined by others including in Camden, Greenwich and Southwark over the next few weeks. Locations of the fountains will be displayed on Google Maps and there will be promotional posters on bus stops and other advertising sites near every fountain from mid- August until the end of September.

Each fountain will undergo regular safety and quality inspection by Thames Water engineers.

Steve Spencer, chief operating officer at Thames Water said: “London’s tap water is world class and we’re celebrating this by building a network of water fountains so it’s even more accessible to people on the move.”

•The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government ducked a question in Parliament last week on its plans to facilitate public water refill points proactively.

Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, Paul Farrelly, asked the communities secretary. James Brokenshire whether his department plans to support local authorities to install drinking water fountains across the UK to reduce the number of single-use plastics being consumed.

Responding, parliamentary undersecretary, Jake Berry, said the government is committed to “supporting water companies, high street retailers, coffee shops and transport hubs to offer new refill points for people to top-up water bottles for free in every major city and town in England” but did not mention local authority action.

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