Douglas Borough Council

Douglas Borough Council and MIW

Situated in the Irish Sea, midway between Great Britain and Ireland, the Isle of Man (Mann) has borne the brunt of much of the UK’s plastic waste problem. Building on from an island-wide clean up campaign, the Island’s capital, Douglas, embarked on a strategy to reduce the amount of waste plastic produced on Mann.  As part of that process, Douglas Borough Council contracted MIW Water Cooler Experts to implement a project to bring free public drinking water to the town.

The Brief

This project was to be completed in two stages. For the first part, MIW would be required to install three outdoor bottle fillers in pre-selected areas along Douglas’ Loch and Queen’s promenades (two stations are on Loch Promenade: one adjacent to the Bottleneck car park at the TT Café kiosk toilets, the other at the ‘boating pool’ toilets, while the third is at the Queen’s Promenade toilets). For this, the council needed MIW to:

  • Advise on product specification for the allotted sites and provide guidance on logistics as well as managing installation.
  • Ensure that the water dispensers supplied could withstand all weather conditions experienced in the very exposed locations selected by the council. The units would also need to be easy to use, low maintenance, vandal proof and wheelchair accessible.
  • Liaise with Douglas Borough Council’s Technical Division to ensure that the equipment complies with all water authority health and safety standards.
  • Arrange an installation timetable with the council’s Project Management Team.
  • Provide a full range of aftersales, including equipment maintenance, once the installations had taken place.
  • Work in partnership with the council on an ongoing basis to expand the Isle of Man’s refill network.

The Process

The primary challenge for this project was to find equipment capable of withstanding the sometimes-harsh weather conditions experienced in the exposed promenade locations selected by Douglas Borough Council. While MIW routinely stocks a wide range of outdoor bottle fillers, it was essential that any water dispensers supplied to Douglas should be accessible year-round. Taking into account all of the council’s other specifications, MIW recommended two bottle refill stations from the Halsey Taylor Endura II series – the 4405BF and 4400BF. The former being a wall-mounted unit, suitable for installations on buildings. The 4400BF being a freestanding unit, as required for locations where mounting on the wall might not be possible.

Made from powder-coated stainless steel, the Halsey Taylor Endura II bottle filler range is extremely durable. The units have been specifically designed for outdoor locations. They are very easy to use by all-comers, including wheelchair users. And they have been constructed to prevent vandalism. Importantly, as with all equipment supplied by MIW, these refill stations are also WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approved, guaranteeing compliance with all water authority and UK Government health and safety guidelines.

But while the Endura II bottle fillers are outdoor rated, Douglas’ promenades do present a fairly unique set of challenges for the equipment. So, to ensure an uninterrupted service, the MIW team upgraded the units with additional freeze packs prior to installation.

Once the correct equipment had been identified and modified, MIW worked with Douglas Borough Council to schedule a suitable installation timetable, taking in the three separate locations.

The Project Continues

The initial phase of this project – the installation of three water bottle refill stations at Loch Promenade and Queen’s Promenade – was completed by MIW Water Cooler Experts in September 2019. The installations took place according to schedule and budget. MIW will remain responsible for the unit’s maintenance, sanitisation and servicing.

Douglas Borough Council is continuing to collaborate with MIW on further bottle filler installation in parks around the borough.