Aimed at encouraging people to ditch disposable plastic water bottles, it is hoped that the hydration stations will help eliminate the extra trash that disposable water bottles can create.

"Simply in light of Greenrock's sustainable solutions and based on the environmental issues with the fact that this Island imports millions of plastic water bottles we saw the need for the hydration stations," explains Chris Backeberg, Greenrock's executive administrator.

Water in disposable plastic bottles has been found to be tainted by the plastic and other environmental issues, besides the accumulation of trash, include shipping the bottles of water as well as the oil that is used to make each bottle, Mr Backeberg explains further.

"It's not about the shock value, though, the point is that we have our own water sources here and we are capable of making our own good water," he says. "There are thousands of people walking around in the heat of the day in Hamilton and now they will be able to fill up their own bottles."

The hydration stations have been very successful in Australia where they line the coastal paths. The Bermuda hydration stations were sourced from Australia because of the similarity in the environment as they will need to stand up to Bermuda's salt and wind.

The hydration stations will be coming out of Australia but will be Bermuda-specific and the side panels will contain local facts about water bottle usage and the environmental impacts of disposable bottles.

"The hydration stations are a sturdy combination of heavy-duty plastic and stainless steel that have worked well in similar environments," says Mr Backeberg.

The water will come from the City of Hamilton water line and go through a filtration process before users fill up. The filtration will be changed out every month and will be managed by BAC one of the several sponsors behind the new project.

"From a sustainability point of view we wanted to identify the environmental issues and we are a big believer in collaborating with community groups. The big movers on the project include the Corporation of Hamilton, AES, BAC and the Blue Halo Project/Pew Environment Group," adds Mr Backeberg.

The hydration stations are due to arrive in the next two weeks and will be installed in the following locations around Hamilton:

  1. The Bus Terminal at the corner of Church Street and City Hall
  2. Hamilton Ferry Terminal
  3. Outside of Queen Elizabeth Park (formerly Par-la-Ville Park) on Queen Street
  4. Outside of Victoria Park on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Dundonald Street
  5. The Union Street car park across from Liberty Theatre
  6. Car park at Reid Street extension opposite Spurling Hill

"We seem to be addicted to water bottles in this country and it's staggering the amount of plastic we use," says Mr Backeberg. "The hydration stations are more sophisticated than a water fountain and will hopefully encourage people to use their own reusable bottles."

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