Access to free drinking water
The tap water at all our regional and metropolitian campuses complies with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (NHMRC, 2011) and is safe to drink, freely and readily accessible.
Why is buying bottled water a problem?
- It costs you money. Bottled water costs more per litre than petrol. If you were to buy the recommended intake of 8 glasses of water per day this would cost you approximately $3650 a year. The same amount of tap water would cost you just $0.98 per year. So save the cash and tap it...it’s free!
- It uses lots of energy to manufacture, transport, refrigerate and dispose of bottled water.
- Bottled water creates large amounts of waste. Plastic bottles are among the 10 most common rubbish items picked up on Cleanup Australia Day. Australia recycles only 36% of PET plastic drink bottles. Around 373 million plastic water bottles end up as waste each year.
Use a reusable water bottle
Get yourself a reusable water bottle and refill it on campus at one of the many water bottle refill stations and bubblers. There is also a water refill point at the Shoalhaven Campus.
Remember that changing a habit is hard and remembering to bring your reusable water bottle is the first challenge.
Things to think about when choosing a reusable bottle:
- Does it contain Bisphenol A (BPA)? BPA has been found to leach into the water of bottles that are made from it. Most manufacturers now produce BPA-free plastic drink bottles.
- Avoid reusing your disposable PET bottle. Tests have shown that (PET) plastic used to make disposable plastic bottles can leach heavy metals into your water when left in the sun.
- Stainless steel drink bottles are made from food grade materials and do not leach any chemicals into the water. They are lightweight, have a long life span and can be recycled at the end of their life.
- Aluminium drink bottles are also lightweight; however they need to have a lining to ensure the aluminium doesn’t leach into the liquids.
- UOW requires that all students use a completely clear (uncoloured) water bottle with no labels for exams. It is best to choose a clear reusable drink bottle that meets the exam requirements and you can use it all the time.
Download the Access to free drinking water factsheet (pdf)