Vale of Glamorgan Council

Vale of Glamorgan Council and MIW

In 2015, Vale of Glamorgan became the first council in Europe to install free to use public bottle refill stations. The first installation took place as a result of public petitioning and funding. And led to a further water provision infrastructure review and an ongoing relationship with MIW Water Cooler Experts. In the course of the last five years, MIW has worked with Vale of Glamorgan Council to install 14 bottle fillers in high traffic public areas and continues to provide support and aftercare where needed.

The Brief

Vale of Glamorgan Council’s original request was for a single outdoor bottle filler for a popular public park. The brief was simple, but has since been repeated for 14 different venues in the county borough.
 

  • MIW’s initial role was to provide advice upon site suitability and to recommend equipment that would answer the detailed brief of the Vale of Glamorgan Council Project Management Team.
  • The equipment – in the first instance – was required for an outdoor site. It needed to be strong, durable, weather resistant and vandal proof. It also needed to be family-friendly and wheelchair accessible. Later, equipment for indoor sites would also be required.
  • It was also essential that the bottle filler should adhere to all water authority and Government health and safety guidelines. WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approval would answer this.
  • Once the appropriate equipment had been identified, MIW would be required to install it in its new location with as little disruption to the public as possible.

The Process

The initial process for MIW was reasonably straightforward. With a large catalogue of WRAS approved equipment held in stock as standard, it was simply a matter of narrowing down the selection to find an outdoor unit that would answer Vale of Glamorgan Council’s other requirements.

In this instance, the Halsey Taylor Endura II Tubular Outdoor Bottle Filler was selected. Partly for its solid stainless-steel build, durability and easy operation. And partly because it caters for the widest possible audience. The unit is wheelchair accessible, provides a bottle filling option for those who have come prepared and a drinking fountain bubbler for ad hoc users. It was an ideal solution for the busy, family-friendly site intended for the original installation.

As the council has taken steps to expand its network of water dispensers, MIW has worked closely with the Project Management Team, providing advice on site suitability and logistics, and equipment specification, as well as installation and ongoing support.

With a variety of different sites included in the evolving project, the MIW team has been required to find a range of equipment solutions, customising some units to ensure site suitability and appropriateness for the extreme weather conditions that can be experienced in coastal locations. Three different base units, all from the Halsey Taylor Endura II series to ensure visual cohesion across the county, have been employed in the Vale of Glamorgan. They have all been hand-finished in blue, in line with the client’s specification.

The Completed Project

Newport’s Belle Vue Park was the first venue in the Vale of Glamorgan to benefit from a free to use public bottle filler. Since then 13 other sites, including Romilly Park, Murchfield Community Centre, Ogmore Beach and several locations around Barry Island, have all had public bottle fillers and/or drinking fountains installed. Each project was completed in line with an agreed timetable and within an expected budget.

MIW Water Cooler Experts continues to work with Vale of Glamorgan Council, providing ongoing support with the existing bottle fillers and helping them with plans relating to the expansion of the Vale’s bottle filling station network. This work is contributing to Wales’ stated plan of becoming the world’s first ‘refill nation’.