The Revolutionary Reason to Recommit to Tap Water

Bottle Filling Stations Sweep the Nation, Providing a Simple Solution to Bottled Water Waste

Sep 27, 2011, 06:00 ET from Elkay

OAK BROOK, Ill., Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Making headlines across the country, the battle over bottled water has once again been ignited. According to a recent article in USA Today, "an average American consumed 28.3 gallons of bottled water last year;" and while recycling plastics has become easier and more efficient over time, the environmental impact is still staggering. In an effort to alleviate and eventually eliminate the waste that results from manufacturing and disposing of plastic water bottles, bottled water bans have sparked within communities, student bodies and municipalities, encouraging people to recommit to tap water and once again look to the public water cooler for a cool, refreshing drink.


Emerging as a solution for serving up clean, cold tap water, rapid water bottle filling stations have become fixtures on hundreds of college and university campuses, within major terminals at some of the nation's busiest airports as well as on corporate campuses and countless other high-traffic public venues. Retrofitted to work with an existing water cooler or installed as a new unit, thirsty people are encouraged to refill their own bottle with free, filtered tap water instead of purchasing a single serving plastic bottle – ultimately reducing the number of bottles that end up in landfills.

Leading the charge, Elkay® introduced the EZH2O™ rapid bottle filling station in February 2010.  Since then, the company has seen a continuous increase in demand as word spreads about this innovative solution to an increasingly concerning issue.  The EZH2O, which is a finalist in the Chicago Innovation Awards, offers many advanced features that set it apart from other units, including the built-in presence of its Green Ticker™.  This visual counting mechanism tracks the number of 16-ounce water bottles saved from landfills, reinforcing the sustainability efforts made by each person who uses it. Some universities have reported as many as two millions bottles saved, and Chicago's O'Hare Airport, which began featuring the units in terminal two and is currently adding units to every terminal in the airport, is already closing in on a half-million bottles deterred from landfills since the inception of the first units late last year.

"In recent years, concern for the environment and our impact upon it has transpired into a whole new level of eco-awareness. In addition, the focus on our health and well-being is never far from our thoughts when it comes to safe drinking water," states Rod Magnuson, director of product marketing for commercial plumbing at Elkay. "The EZH2O rapid bottle filling station not only helps us alleviate our reliance on bottled water for the environment's sake, but having better access to free, clean and crisp water can ensure we are hydrating our bodies more regularly and without spending an exorbitant amount of money on bottled water," continues Magnuson.

H2O on the Agenda for the White House

To quench their thirst during the school day, American students often face limited options -- sugared beverages or sodas, rushed sips of water from the fountain in between classes and single-serving plastic bottled water. Expanding access to drinking water in schools, particularly during meal times, is one of the major items on the agenda under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  Spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama, this Act, developed to help authorize child nutrition programs and increase access to healthy food for low-income children through school lunch programs, includes $4.5 billion in new funding over the next 10 years.

Already present in an ever-increasing number of schools throughout the country, the EZH2O bottle filling station continues to offer an innovative solution for a quick, clean, green and inexpensive source of water in educational settings.  Students attending classes in these eco-conscious facilities can quickly fill up their reusable water bottles in between classes for all day refreshment since the unit provides a rapid fill of cold, filtered water at a rate of 1.1 – 1.5 gpm, which is three times faster than a standard drinking fountain. In fact, the EZH2O can fill a 16-ounce sports bottle in as little as 6.5 seconds.

The EZH2O unit also contains a built-in sensor that dispenses water into the end-user's container without requiring them to touch the water cooler or hold the container while it is being filled, ensuring sanitary operation. A safeguard is also built into the model to automatically shut off the stream of filtered water after 20 seconds, making this smart water cooler an intelligent choice.

For more than 90 years, Elkay has been an innovative manufacturer of stainless steel sinks and faucets for residential and commercial use. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, Elkay expanded its commercial offerings more than 38 years ago to include efficient water coolers and drinking fountains.

For more information on the EZH2O, visit, key word EZH2O or visit the EZH2O Million Bottle March on Facebook. For media inquiries regarding Elkay Commercial products, contact Gaelen Bell at (312) 946-6089 or