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MIW Brings (More) Water to Mooragh Park

Thursday, 13 June 2019 18:02:25 Europe/London

MIW Brings (More) Water to Mooragh Park

Mooragh Park in Ramsey is one of the open public gems of the Isle of Man. With a 12-acre boating lake, and concomitant activities, tennis courts, bowling green, BMX track, children’s playground and a crazy golf course, as well as plenty of places to walk and picnic, it is the perfect weekend or holiday destination. A registered Dark Skies Site, it has almost as much to recommend it at night as it does in the day. But until very recently, Mooragh Park had one thing missing: drinking facilities. Well, it didn’t tale MIW long to put that right!

Mooragh Park’s Bottle Fillers

Earlier this year, Mooragh Park’s managers gave MIW a call. They were looking for highly durable, low maintenance water dispensers to install in the park for public use. The needed units that would be easy to use, but able to withstand an exposed position, high usage and potential exposure to vandalism – a sad consideration for most public spaces these days. They wondered if MIW could help. Of course, we could! And we soon got to work.

All of the outdoor bottle fillers and drinking fountains that we work with at MIW have been rigorously tested to ensure durability (and public safely – that’s why we specialise in WRAS-approved equipment). They’re all either created from marine-grade stainless steel, or perfectly powder-coated to protect them against all of the elements, so rusting isn’t an issue. So, that was the first requirement easily dealt with.

As for the other boxes that needed to be ticked, the Elkay Endura drinking fountain covered all bases. With a simple (vandal proof) one button push operation it couldn’t be easier to use. And having very few/no external moving parts, it would take serious determination, a set of specialist security tools and a bit of technical know-how to inflict any damage to the unit. It’s just the job for any busy public spaces. And being plumbed directly into the mains water supply, there’s no chance of it running dry, even in the hottest of weather.

Working with the Mooragh Park management team, we were able to find the perfect site for the outdoor vandal resistant fountains and set about installation.

Bring a Bottle

The installation of the Mooragh Park bottle fillers was completed in June 2019. They’re free to use and everyone is welcome. So, the next time that you’re in Ramsey, don’t forget to bring a bottle and play your part in fight against waste plastic.

Comments | Posted in Outdoor Drinking Fountain By MIW Water Cooler Experts

MIW Gets Newport On-Stream in Time for National Refill Day and Becomes the Official Refill Drinking Fountain Supplier!

Refill.org has been a pioneer in the war on waste plastic. Leading the way in promoting change by encouraging a refill culture and helping communities to cut waste plastic by building a network of drinking water refill sites, Refill is the go-to website if you want to find free drinking water. The organisation’s ethos is something that MIW Water Cooler Experts has shared for some years now. We’re passionate about cutting back on single-use plastic. That’s way we donated 20 bottle filling stations to the #OneLess London Drinking Fountain Fund. And now, we’re very excited to announce that we have become the official Refill drinking fountain supplier.

Newport and MIW

Just a few weeks ago, we were contacted by Newport City Council to help with the provision and installation of two outdoor bottle filling stations. The council were looking for WRAS-approved (Water Regulation Advisory Scheme) dispensers to ensure the highest possible quality of water and equipment. But they also needed the bottle fillers to be vandal resistant and weather-proof – with a particular emphasis on freeze-resistance, so that there would be no disruption in availability throughout winter. Being fitted in public places the units also needed to be easy to use and maintain, and fast to work in order to cope with the potentially high demands of summer. The council needed MIW to recommend a suitable unit and arrange installation.

Well, the choice of unit was easy enough – the Halsey Taylor 4420BF1U ticked all of the boxes. But for installation, the time was ticking. Newport City Council had a deadline for us. The drinking fountains needed to be installed, working and available to the public by National Refill Day on 19th June, 2019. We had just 15 business days to get working.

And as it turns out, we had time to spare!

Speedy Does It

Installing outdoor drinking fountains and bottle fillers isn’t always easy. Largely because, dependent on location, a lot of groundwork can be needed. And it looked like that may be the case for Newport. But MIW was not to be defeated! If you need a water dispenser in a hurry but don’t already have the infrastructure in place (few locations do), then a Direct Bury Adapter  takes care of all of the hard work. This clever device is simply fixed to the ground, allowing the water dispenser to lock into place on top and all services to be fed through. It’s quick, easy and relatively low cost. Because of this – and, of course, the innate brilliance of the MIW team, which goes without saying – from first picking up the phone to the first bottle being filled with water, took just 15 days. And that even included customising the bottle fillers so that they were painted blue rather than the standard green.

Yes, you’re quite right, we did surpass ourselves!

Refill.org and MIW

Thus far, Refill has collated the details of more than 20,000 free drinking water sites across the UK. The organisation supplies support and advice for companies looking to reduce their plastic footprint. And information to members of the public who wish to top up rather than chuck out. They are one of the most influential voices in the move to cut waste plastic. And now MIW is one of Refill’s official suppliers.

And we couldn’t be happier.

Comments | Posted in MIW News Outdoor Drinking Fountain By Mike Winter

Open to Everyone: Kingston’s Market Place Bottle Filling Station

Thursday, 11 April 2019 18:35:35 Europe/London

Open to Everyone: Kingston’s Market Place Bottle Filling Station

 

Unless you happen to use or have used a wheelchair, it’s probably never crossed your mind how awkward so many things can New Wras Approved MIW Bottle Refill Stations Equality Act 2010be if you have mobility problems. Going to the loo in public conveniences can be a major production. Even navigating shops and restaurants is often far harder than it should be. Then there are the things that seem like they should be easy – like using a public drinking fountain – but turn out not to be easy at all. Fortunately, visitors to Kingston won’t have that problem to worry about. The new bottle filling station that MIW installed in Kingston’s Market Place is fully compliant with the Equality Act (2010), making it open to everyone.

What Do You Look for in a Bottle Filling Station?

When any organisation begins researching the best bottle filling station for their needs, they usually have a few set criteria in mind. They then speak to us and we help them to pin down a few more. Among the most commonly requested features are:

What’s often overlooked, however, is accessibility for all.

Wheelchair Accessible UK Drinking Fountain MIWThe whole idea of public bottle fillers and drinking fountains is to provide a service to the public. And that includes everyone: young; old; male; female; gender fluid; able bodied; and those with disabilities. According to the NHS, there are currently 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK. That’s a huge number of people to be ignoring. That’s why we’re so proud to be able to offer accessible, Equality Act (2010) compliant drinking units from Halsey Taylor.

The Halsey Taylor 4420BF1U Bottle Filling Station

When Kingston’s Parish Councillors contacted MIW for the Market Place bottle filler, they were looking for something that could be used by as many members of the public as possible. It had to meet all of the above criteria. It also had to be quick to use and durable; this isn’t something they want to be replacing every year. The Halsey Taylor 4420BF1U was the obvious option.

Based in the US, Halsey Taylor take pains to ensure that their products are ADA-compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act). When they started exporting to the UK (MIW is their prime UK distributor), they wanted to make sure that their products lived up to British standards too. That’s what makes the Market Place bottle filler such a perfect fit for Kingston – and for every other responsible, inclusive organisation.

Scotland Continues to Top Up from the Tap

Saturday, 30 March 2019 07:30:00 Europe/London

Scotland Continues to Top Up from the Tap

Scotland is officially one of the wettest places in Europe. Glasgow is fourth on the European city rainfall list. So, when you think of selling water to Scotland, you’d be forgiven for making analogies relating to Eskimos and ice. You might be surprised to learn then, that Scottish Water has recently invested in doing just that! Only, they’re not selling water as such, more the concept and the culture of it…

Working with MIW Water Cooler Experts, Scottish Water has started the installation of 35 new water refill stations across Scotland. In providing free drinking water in selected high-footfall locations across the country, the organisation is promoting a refill culture that everyone can get behind.

Top Up from the Tap in Scotland

From the end of the West Highland Way in Fort William, to the front of Edinburgh’s Parliament Building, where the first installation took place in 2018, Halsey Taylor water refill stations have been appearing. They are weather-proof, vandal-resistant and easy to use. And they’ve been designed for low-maintenance longevity, with in-built strainers for water quality and silver-ion antimicrobial coating for hygiene. Each one has also been customised to display Scottish Water’s messaging, and to track the unit’s usage. The idea is that if enough people use them, reducing the number of single-use 500ml water bottles purchased and discarded in the areas around these refill points, more businesses and organisations will be encouraged to get on board. And the more free drinking water points become available, the more people will use them.

But why should this matter?

Every Little Thing Makes a Small Difference

This is the strapline of Scottish Water’s environmental policy. And it’s a good one, because everyone really can make a difference when it comes to the environment. Particularly the environmental disaster that is waste plastic. And all of these little differences can meld together to create an enormous impact.

Each Scottish household generates more than a tonne of waste every year. Much of it isn’t recycled – even though it could be. If we all start using refillable drinks bottles and topping up from the tap rather than purchasing plastic bottles on the go, it could make a world of difference. Not just in cutting the amount of waste that goes into the environment – which is the key focus just now, and rightly so. But also, in cutting the emissions that are released in plastic’s production. Oh, not to mention cutting the amount of cash coming out of each person’s pocket. It’s a win-win-win situation.

So far, MIW has worked on 10 installations for Scottish Water. We’ve worked closely with our global partner Elkay, who manufacture the Halsey Taylor bottle fillers, ensuring that the project is delivered on budget and on time. And it’s been great to see the enthusiasm with which each bottle filling station has been welcomed by the locals. Now, we can’t wait to get started on the remaining 25 locations that will take us to the highlands and islands, as well as the beautiful mainland. So, get ready to drink your fill Scotland; MIW and Scottish Water are on the way!

Kingston Joins the Refill Revolution with a New Market Place Bottle Filling Station

It’s always nice when we find a client who is as passionate about what we do as we are. And that was the case with Kingston council. On 21st March 2019 we installed a Halsey Taylor bottle filling station in Kingston Town Market Place. And it all came about thanks to years of campaigning by one of the parish councillors; Jon Tolley.

Kingston joins refill revolutionThe majority of MIW’s recent commissions have been inspired by the growing concern over waste plastic. As public engagement has grown, so too has Government and corporate commitment. Organisations up and down the country have been contacting us to find the best public drinking solutions for their particular locations. We’ve worked on single installations for green-minded businesses, and projects that have seen us installing many dozens of drinking fountains and bottle fillers for public institutions. Each of them have been driven to contribute to the global plastic clean-up through the provision of alternatives to single-use drinks bottles.

That was partly the motive of Cllr Tolley too, but he also had other reasons in mind.

“Water fountains not only help reduce unnecessary plastic waste, but also provide clean and readily available drinking water for rough sleepers, cyclists, families, my favourite springer spaniel, and anyone else,” he explained. “After years of campaigning, I’m happy the first of several public water fountains is finally in place.”

And the thing is, he’s not the only one.

Since the Kingston bottle filling station was officially opened to the public on March 22nd 2019 it’s received a lot of interest. Social media engagement is high, but not as high as physical use. Because, as Cllr Tolley said, everyone needs access to water.

It’s not just those of us who need a pep while commuting or shopping who benefit from bottle fillers. They might be saving us pennies, but they could be saving someone else’s life. Because life is hard enough for the homeless without a struggle for water – the one thing that none of us can survive without. And yet most of us somehow forget about this when we see someone sleeping on the street.

As a purported nation of animal lovers, we also need to ensure that facilities are available for our pets when we’re out and about. Especially in the summer months. Then there are the cyclists, joggers and runners. The kids we all want to draw away from fizzy drinks… And the adults too, for that matter, if we’re looking for ways to tackle the ‘obesity crisis’.

There are so many reasons to encourage the drinking of water and to provide access to it as a free service. And that’s even before we get to the global waste plastic problem and the devastation it’s causing to our environment.

At Kingston they’re already taking steps to make sure that everyone can access fresh, clean drinking water whenever they need to. The new Halsey Taylor bottle filling station has been selected for its durability and accessibility. A silver-ion antimicrobial coating ensures that it remains hygienic. An inline strainer makes sure that the water is always at its best. And it is both weather-proof and vandal-resistant so that it can keep on delivering the goods years after year in rain, wind, sleet, snow and sunshine.

With plans afoot to install further drinking fountains throughout the borough, the Kingston Market Place bottle filler is blazing a trail. For the environment. And for the community. Every single member of the community. And at MIW, we’re enormously happy to be a part of that.

Feeling the Love for Free Drinking Water in Redbridge’s Valentines Park

MIW’s work with the #OneLess Campaign, the London Drinking Fountain Fund and the London Mayor has to be some of the most satisfying of my career – and I’m proud of many of MIW’s achievements. The aim has been to reduce single-use plastic waste throughout London, through the provision of freely accessible drinking water. MIW’s part was the donation, installation and maintenance of 20 drinking fountains-cum-bottle fillers. After much groundwork, during the course of the last few months things have really started to pick up pace, with a number of bottle fillers finding new homes around the city. And the most recently placed was in Redbridge’s Heart of Valentines Park.

Those of you familiar with the area will know that Valentine’s Park has been in possession of a very fine drinking fountain since 1898. There’s just one tiny snag: it doesn’t work. It’s beautiful, but far from functional. Earlier this year, Redbridge Council announced plans to restore the fountain, along with others in Ilford and Wanstead parks, but then the #OneLess Drinking Fountain Fund came along. Now, instead of using hard-pressed council funds to return drinking water to Redbridge, we’ve installed a brand new Halsey Taylor Elkay 4405BF bottle filler with inbuilt drinking fountain.

Weather-proof, vandal-proof, hygienic, and designed to be accessible to all prospective users – including those in wheelchairs – the fountain has the potential to make a real difference to park life. Not only will it provide clean, fresh water on tap to all who need it, but it should hopefully also reduce litter throughout the park. And this is significant to the #OneLess campaign because of the presence of Cran Book in the park. With more and more waste plastic finding its way into our waterways and destroying our marine life – and the other creatures that feed on them – anything that prevents waste plastic from potentially entering our environment has to be a good thing.

The Leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, recently explained why the borough wanted to become involved in the London Drinking Fountain Fund project: “As part of being a greener borough and a better place to live, we are committed to bringing water fountains and bottle refill points into operation across our borough. Providing simple ways of refilling and accessing free water not only cuts down on plastic bottle usage but helps people stay healthy and hydrated. We are delighted to be partnering with the Mayor of London and #Oneless London Drinking Fountain Fund on this new drinking water facility, which I hope will be a popular addition to Valentines Park.”

So many parks throughout the UK are in a similar situation to the Heart of Valentines in Redbridge. They all had drinking fountains – until they fell out of fashion, and we all fell in love with plastic. Imagine how much nicer the world could be if we could return to a time when seeing single-use plastic bottles was a novelty. Wouldn’t it be lovely to stroll in your local park and not see bottles littering the benches and floating in the ponds? It’s not beyond the realms of possibility to get to that stage… And the starting place is for us all to just use #OneLess bottle every week, and see if we can build from there.

Mike Winter - Managing Director 

Top of the Class – The Most Popular Bottle Filler for Schools

Monday, 12 November 2018 07:00:00 Europe/London

Top of the Class – The Most Popular Bottle Filler for Schools

We work with a lot of schools at MIW Water Cooler Expert. Over the years, we’ve installed thousands of drinking water solutions. And if there’s one thing that we’ve learnt, it’s that schools, colleges and universities have very specific needs. And while there’s still room for the traditional stop and slurp drinking fountains, they don’t cater for every demographic. Teenage girls, for example, aren’t overly keen on having to wipe their chins are every drink! And yet, while bottle fillers are growing in popularity, not everyone carries a bottle on them, or wants to add to the weight of the textbooks and tech dragging at their shoulders with a sloshing drinks bottle in their bag.

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Liquidating Liverpool Street Station… With Two Water Refill Stations

Monday, 5 November 2018 07:00:00 Europe/London

Liquidating Liverpool Street Station… With Two Water Refill Stations

All this year, the MIW team has been working with the London Mayor’s Office and the #OneLess campaign to facilitate the London Refill Project (LRP). The aim is the installation of 50 water bottle refill stations in high footfall areas around the capital, in a drive to reduce the purchase of single-use plastic drinks bottles. MIW’s role is the donation and installation of the refill units. So far, it’s been a really exciting project to be involved with.

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Because There is no Planet B

Thursday, 4 October 2018 12:00:00 Europe/London

Because There is no Planet B

I’ve just discovered a new brand and I’m very excited about it. Why? Because not only do they make clothing and shoes from recycled materials, but they have recently released a line of shoes specifically crafted from plastic retrieved from the ocean. How good is that?

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