Philadelphia’s top-quality, affordable drinking water will be the star at the kick off for our Philly Water Bar pop-up, set for noon in the City Hall Courtyard on April 24.
As a celebration of the incredible H2O on tap in our city, Water Department staff and City officials will toast to Philadelphia tap water as a safe, high-quality, environmentally friendly and affordable beverage for all Philadelphians and provide free pours to any thirsty guests.
Once all are quenched, we'll make official a forthcoming City Council Tap Water Resolution, honor the inaugural class of Drink Philly Tap Water Ambassadors (apply to join by March 25) and launch the Philly Water Bar pop-up.
Throughout the spring and summer, the Water Bar will return to the City Hall Courtyard as a pop-up event where you can get fresh free wooder on Thursdays (weather-dependent!).
We'll also look for other parts of the city where we can take the Water Bar—and its message—as was we continue to spread the word about the pros of drinking tap water, so follow us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our PWD Events alerts.
Why have a bar that makes water the center of attention?
After doing years of comprehensive survey research, we found that nearly 40 percent of Philadelphians primarily drink bottled water, instead of tap, at home. Under our current rates, tap water in Philly costs about a half a penny per gallon. The most common bottled water size—16.9 oz, about one-seventh of a gallon—often costs close to $2 at the store, making it hundreds of times more expensive than tap water.
That reality makes another detail about who spends money on water in throw-away plastic bottles a cause for concern: Philadelphia residents with the least disposable income and the least education are the most likely to spend their money on stocking the fridge with bottled water at home.
“The more money you make, the less likely you are to buy bottled water. We have high-quality tap water, so people don’t need to be spending that money,” Tiffany Ledesma, the Public Engagement team manager at PWD, told PhillyVoice in a recent interview. "That people who make less money are spending it on bottled water is disconcerting ... We’re trying to use that hard data to help people feel better about tap water so they’ll drink it at home.”
Inspired by Philly's friends at the original Water Bar & Public Studio in Minneapolis, the Philly Water Bar and Tap Water Ambassador program aim to build trust and educate Philadelphians about tap water and how it is the better choice to quench their thirst.