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New Water-Filling Station At Lake Mead National Recreation Area Helps Cut Disposable Plastic Water Bottle Use

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Jacob Vanlue, 17, from O'Fallon, Missouri, fills his water bottle at the water refilling station at the Alan Bible Visitor Center at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. NPS photo.

Editor's note: Due to concerns from the Haws Corporation, which has trademarked the phrase "Hydration Station," this story has been edited to remove those two words as they appear back to back.

A new water-filling station at the main visitor center for Lake Mead National Recreation Area has been in service for six months, and in addition to reducing the use of disposable plastic water bottles, use of the filtered water is proving popular with visitors. Since it's installation, the station has been used to fill 13,600 water bottles.

You'd expect to find a drinking fountain at any park visitor center'”especially one in the desert'”and this filling station does that job nicely, plus a little more. It works just like a standard drinking fountain but also has a shelf for easy filling of water bottles. A sensor initiates the water fill, and every time a bottle is filled, that action is automatically counted and displayed on the station.

'œWord is getting around that this is the place to stop and refill your water bottle, which with the heat and everything else, that'™s a really good message to have,' said Michelle Riter, a Lake Mead NRA district interpreter.

Riter said installation of the water-filling station at the Alan Bible Visitor Center is part of the Lake Mead NRA'™s Climate Friendly Parks action plan to cut down on plastic water bottle waste. This plan includes initiatives to increase visitor use of refillable water bottles, increase number of filling stations in the park and collaborate with the visitor center store to sell less expensive refillable water bottles.

Once the water-refilling station was installed, Riter said they stopped selling bottled water at the visitor center store and began selling more varieties of refillable water bottles. She said the least expensive water bottle is only $2.99 and has the Lake Mead NRA logo on it along with facts about the park.

The Vanlue family, from O'™Fallon, Mo., visited the store in early August, purchased a refillable water bottle and filled it at the station. After Jacob, 17, filled up his bottle, his mom, Barbara, said she was thankful for the station and the reduction of plastic water bottle waste in landfills.

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A counter automatically records how many times the water bottle portion of the station has been used. NPS photo.

It'™s not just popular with families and individual visitors. Gabriel Kelsey-Yoder, Western National Parks Association (WNPA) bookstore manager, said large tour groups often stop by the visitor center and have been receptive to purchasing and using the refillable water bottles. She said she has seen campground users come to refill their water bottles at the refilling station as well because they prefer the cold, filtered water.

Park visitors, especially local hikers and bicyclists who use the trails, have been spreading the news about the new refilling station by word of mouth and through social media, Riter added. They are excited to see how many water bottles have been refilled and want refilling stations to be installed in other areas of the park.

Funding for the refilling station was provided by the WNPA. The Alan Bible Visitor Center is located just of US 93 between Boulder City, Nevada, and Hoover Dam.

 

Comments

So what.

And of course, they didn't "save" 13,618 water bottles. All they can claim is that it was used 13,000 times. Those users might have just as well refilled at a standard fountain, faucet or elsewhere without that station.

More mindless "do good".


Yeah, but I always figured it was better than mindless "do bad".


Sorry Rick - nothing "mindless" is better.


Are you talking about Congress?


ec - I think the key here is that, rather than buying more disposal bottles of water, people are reusing the reusables, thereby creating less waste and less litter. Regardless of whether it was 13,618 or 1, less waste and less litter is a good thing. Not mindless in the least, though, if you have stock in a disposal plastic water bottle factory, it may irritate you.


regardless of whether it was 13,618 or 1, less waste and less litter is a good thing. Not mindless in the least.

I totally disagree. Less "litter" at any cost is as mindless as "if it only saves one life".

First, we don't know that this had any impact on "litter" nor do we know that this watering station actually caused a shift from disposable bottles to reusable bottles as many users may have used tap water anyway. Finally, what is "good" about eliminating 1 bottle or even 13,000 while inconveniencing thousands of people. The fact that the device was used 13,000 times in six months when Lake Mead had approximately 3.4 million visitors just shows how insignificant this is.


Would you still think it to be mindless if it was your life?

And stop to think for a moment -- 3.4 million visitors. Hmmm, how many of them passed that hydration station and how many were never anywhere near close to it?

Then, your entitlement mentality is showing again in the comment about "inconveniencing thousands of people." It's pretty pathetic when having to fill a water bottle instead of trying to untangle a disposable from the plastic wrapping and binding material is an "inconvenience."

I'll grant that water bottles can be inconvenient, however. Having all those empty disposables rattling around in the car until you can find a recycle can is a bit messy. Although if you don't like that inconvenience, you can always toss it out the window as so many people seem to do.

But thanks for another good laugh this morning.


Would you still think it to be mindless if it was your life?

Yes. Or maybe you would like to shut the parks to visitors - because it would be worth it if it only saved one life.

It's pretty pathetic when having to fill a water bottle instead of trying to untangle a disposable from the plastic wrapping and binding material is an "inconvenience."

Yet millions of people make that choice every day. Talk about entitlement. You feel you are entitled to dictate how others lead their lives.

how many of them passed that hydration station and how many were never anywhere near close to it?

As usually you are totally oblivious to the point. In the scheme of things, that hydration station is a gnat on an elephants rear end and has absolutely no real beneficial impact. Mindless.


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