Reach for the tap and raise your glasses, Hampton Roads residents! For more than 35 years, the American Water Works Association has celebrated Drinking Water Week, a unique opportunity for water professionals and the communities they serve to join together to recognize the vital role water plays in our lives. This year, Drinking Water Week is May 5-11, and askHRgreen.org is celebrating by inviting citizens to take back the tap with TapIt, a region-wide water bottle refilling network of participating cafés and restaurants that provide free access to drinking water on the go.
“You can fill a reusable drinking bottle more than 1,000 times for the dollar you spend on one bottle of water from the store,” said Julia B. Hillegass, public information and community affairs administrator for the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, which oversees askHRgreen.org. ”Utilizing the TapIt program will save you money, while keeping plastic bottles out of our landfills.”
More than 100 Hampton Roads eateries have already signed up as partners in the TapIt program. Go to askHRgreen.org/tapit to find a participating location. Then, take your bottle into the restaurant to fill it up with clean tap water for free. No questions asked! TapIt’s online locator shows you the closest places to fill your bottle based on your current location.
Restaurant owners or managers who wish to partner with TapIt can do so by visiting TapItWater.com/become-a-partner and completing a short form. There is no cost to join the TapIt network. As a partner, businesses are added to the TapIt website and mobile mapping applications so users can easily locate them.
askHRgreen.org leaders are excited about the program and encourage the public to fill up—and drink up.
“Hampton Roads residents have access to safe, clean, tap water whenever we need it,” said Hillegass. “There are many people in the world that live without that luxury, yet it’s something we often take for granted. We’re celebrating by encouraging all residents to be good stewards of the environment by decreasing reliance on bottled alternatives.”
For more information on TapIt, smart water use and all things green in Hampton Roads, visit www.askHRgreen.org.