Public urged to fill up from water fountains to cut down on single-use waste

A network of hi-tech public water taps has helped Scotland save the equivalent of five million plastic bottles.

Scottish Water recently installed its landmark 100 th Top Up Tap in the shadow of the Kelpies in Falkirk, a huge achievement since launching the initiative in 2018.

The aim was to put the distinctive blue Top Up Taps in key locations all over the country – and they now stretch from Arran to Arbroath and from Shetland to Stranraer, including Aden Country Park, Cruden Bay’s Harbour Street and the Surf Lifesavers Club in Fraserburgh.

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The Top Up Taps are in convenient locations across our towns and cities, including parks, promenades, busy shopping streets, railway stations, tourist spots – and even outside the Scottish Parliament.

Councillors and staff from Aden Country Park join Scottish Water staff to launch the Top-Up Tap.Councillors and staff from Aden Country Park join Scottish Water staff to launch the Top-Up Tap.
Councillors and staff from Aden Country Park join Scottish Water staff to launch the Top-Up Tap.

Impressively, the Top Up Taps initiative has inspired a 19% increase in people carrying a refillable bottle. The great news is that even more Top Up Taps are planned.

It’s little wonder the public are loving fresh, clear water straight from the tap, since 88% of Scots agree that the nation’s water is world class. That is vitally important, since staying well-hydrated isessential to health and wellbeing.

Kes Juskowiak, Scottish Water’s General Manager of Customer Water Services, said: “It’s brilliant that so many locals and visitors alike are using our Top Up Taps in such numbers.

“But nothing would make us happier than seeing them used even more! There couldn’t be many better reasons for carrying a refillable water bottle and topping up regularly – it’s good for your health, good for your pocket and good for the planet.”

The scientific and medical evidence is clear and overwhelming – drinking plenty of water is good for our minds and bodies. Scottish Water wants everyone to have easy access to a drop of the clear stuff whenever they need it.

Brain cells need a delicate balance of water and electrolytes to function. So, when we’re dehydrated our ability to think clearly is affected. In fact, scientists say that even a 1-2% decline in hydration can adversely affect a person’s concentration, ability to learn, critical thinking, memory, motivation and mood.

It’s a similar picture when it comes to physical performance – whether you take gentle exercise or train like an elite athlete, your body needs water to regulate your temperature and keep blood flowing to your muscles.

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However, there are a host of other reasons for topping up from the tap, not least that it can help save the costs of buying bottled water and prevent single-use plastic from ending up in landfill, littering our streets or in our oceans.

All of which means the country’s fantastic value drinking water is not only good for your pocket – it’s also good for the planet.

Behind the scenes an army of Scottish Water staff work hard every day to keep water flowing to our taps – 1.51 billion litres of clear, fresh drinking water every day, to be precise!

Scottish Water has created a dedicated website featuring a clever, interactive map where customers can find the Top Up Taps closest to them, or where to fill up their water bottles during day trips across the country. Just visit