More smart drinking stations support SA's ban on single -use plastics

THE GOOD FIGHT: A new suite of public water fountains emerge in regional South Australia and help fight against single-plastic use. Photo: Shutterstock
THE GOOD FIGHT: A new suite of public water fountains emerge in regional South Australia and help fight against single-plastic use. Photo: Shutterstock

The next roll out of public water fountain stations will soon appear in regional South Australia in a bid to support the state ban on single-use plastics, such as straws and cutlery, which begins March 1.

The state government-led initiative has already seen 50 of SA Water's intelligent drinking fountains provide the public free access to safe, clean water, with another 15 stations earmarked for metropolitan and regional SA.

Collectively, 80 new fountains will be made accessible to the public over the four years.

To date, the smart fountains already operate in country SA, including at Port Lincoln, Port Augusta, the Barossa Reservoir Reserve, Port Pirie and Murray Bridge.

Yet SA Water encourage feedback from communities where they would like drinking fountains installed by contacting Facebook page @sawatercorp.

Importantly, the intelligent stations provide a low-lying arm bubbler on the side to ensure they are accessible for children and wheelchair users, and many have in-ground, foot-operated dog bowls.

Furthermore, the smart technology enables the station's water use to be remotely monitored.

Environment and Water Minister David Speirs says the wave of new fountains will help the community embrace a sustainable substitute for bottled water.

By making simple changes to our daily habits like carrying a reusable bottle, we can eliminate the need for unnecessary single-use plastic and drastically reduce their impact on our environment.

Environment and Water Minister David Speirs

"By making simple changes to our daily habits like carrying a reusable bottle, we can eliminate the need for unnecessary single-use plastic and drastically reduce their impact on our environment," he said.

With an estimated 370 million single-use water bottles making their way to landfill each year in Australia, Mr Speirs said the fountains are vital to community assets such as parks and ovals, and help inspire sustainable behaviours.

"I encourage everyone to track down their closest drinking fountain through SA Water's BYOB mobile phone app, which uses an interactive map to display more than 1000 drinking water fountains operating across South Australia," he said.

"It's as easy as remembering to bring your own reusable bottle when you leave the house for exercise or a day out with the family, and filling-up is free."

For now SA Water works with metropolitan and regional councils to install the suite of new foundations at locations over the next few months.