Filling up your bottle from the kitchen sink is easy. But how about when you’re out in the world and need a drink? With water fountains disappearing and restaurants reluctant to fill bottles without a purchase, it’s sometimes frustrating to find drinking water for free.
Enter a couple of web sites that can help.
TapIt was begun in New York City and is spreading across the U.S., now with locations in the Bay Area. Partner eating establishments commit to providing water to us in our reusable bottles at no charge.
If you have an iPhone, you can download the TapIt app. If you have a SmartPhone, you can simply browse to tapitwater.com and you’ll be directed right to the search page. I tried it on my Moto Q9c. It works.
If you don’t have one of these fancy Internet-capable phones, check the web site before leaving the house to find out where the TapIt partners are in your destination. And don’t forget your bottle.
While there are now 75 participating restaurants in San Francisco, only a few have joined on out here in the East Bay at this point, and only 2 in Oakland: Jumpin’ Java Coffee House and Nomad Cafe, both on Shattuck Ave. But TapIt is hoping to add many more partners and provides a sign-up page for interested businesses.
So what about those disappearing water fountains? There are still some around, and even some that still work! Let’s use them and let each other know where they are. That is the theory behind the Beyond the Bottle web site, which relies on users to add drinking fountains in their communities to the database. Right now, there are only 31 locations listed on the site. That’s why Beyond the Bottle needs all of us to add new sources of free fountain water as we find them.
Of course, there’s also the option of simply going into any restaurant and asking for water. The worst that can happen is that they can refuse. But the more of us that carry our own bottles and ask for water, the more this service (hopefully) will become the norm.
What has been your experience finding free water while out in the world?