Conventional drinking fountains are perceived as unhygienic, despite the fact that the quality of municipal water in the developed world is usually tested far more rigorously than water sold in a plastic bottle.
Part of the problem is that drinking fountains are generally of the vertical-arc type, which due to their exposed-hose design, are often damaged or blocked with leaves, cigarettes, or through vandalism.
As a result, the bottled water market is growing, with some 391 billion litres of bottled water being consumed around the world annually. This has a huge negative impact on the climate and environment, with nearly half a billion plastic bottles transported across the world by ship and truck, many of them ending up as ocean waste.
Sildr has created a new design of municipal fountain to address this problem. The fountain is more robust than traditional fountains, protecting the hose behind thick steel walls, and with various options for filtration.
The fountain can be integrated into a smart city ecosystem, as it features a monitoring system that notifies the authorities whenever it is blocked, requires servicing or when other anomalies occur. Also, a customisable graphic interface makes it unique for the context it is placed in or reflect a city´s identity. It is also possible to embed real-time data from the fountains in websites or social media posts.
Encouraging drinking from municipal sources rather than single-use plastic bottles, Sildr’s solution can reduce plastic waste considerably, helping to stop plastic from ending up in nature and ultimately making its way into the food chain.
At the same time, a reduction in the manufacturing and transportation of plastic bottles can dramatically reduce CO₂ emissions.
The solution also opens up for various alternatives for water filtration because it provides the authorities with real-time data, for example, on volume, among other parameters.
Ensuring public drinking water access will become increasingly important in the years to come, particularly with an eye to sustainable urban development. Moreover, the global smart cities market is expected to reach USD 237.6 billion by 2025, and smart drinking fountains will have a natural place in these.
Sildr fountains currently provide about 8 000 litres of clean drinking water each month in Norway.
At a glance
c/o Henrik Alsaker Prestmo, Rolf Hofmos gate 6, 0655 OSLO, Norway
Henrik Alsaker Prestmo