Town centre top-up tap goes down a treat

SCOTTISH WATER OBAN TAP Members of various local groups welcomed the placement of the new tap in Oban. PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE

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Members of Oban High School Pipe Band line up to quench their thirst at the new tap. PICTURE: IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE.

A small blue oasis has appeared in the centre of Oban, and it has been drawing attention from locals and tourists alike.

Scotland’s newest top-up tap was unveiled in Station Square last week as part of a nationwide roll-out by Scottish Water as part of its Your Water Your Life campaign.

It is hoped that the taps will encourage more people to drink tap water on the go to stay hydrated, save money and protect the environment by using refillable bottles.

The location, near the clock tower, was chosen because it is a transport hub close to the railway and bus stations and ferry terminal, and is convenient for thirsty travellers and residents.

Welcoming the installation of the tap, BID4Oban’s Andrew Spence said: ‘We are delighted that Oban has been chosen by Scottish Water for this new initiative.

‘The new tap is in a central location in a busy thoroughfare and that means it will be very convenient for residents and visitors.

‘Hopefully, this will encourage people to use reusable bottles and so minimise the use of single-use plastics and bottles.’

Phil Hammerton, of Oban Plastics Reduction Initiative, added: ‘Scottish Water’s Top-up Tap initiative is a huge step forward in providing water for travellers and on-the-go residents.

‘What we need now is to change our behaviour. We must encourage everyone in the area, whether resident or visitor, to use refillable bottles wherever possible.

‘The tap can only help so it’s a very welcome addition to the landscape and facilities in the town centre.’

The opening of the tap, at which Scottish Water staff distributed refillable bottles, follows the recent completion of a £29m investment by the utility firm in a new water treatment works at Tullich south of Oban which supplies drinking water to more than 10,000 customers in the area.

Speaking at the tap launch, Ross Barclay, Scottish Water’s water operations team leader, said: ‘We’re delighted to have opened the top-up tap in Oban, which is one of the first 10 locations in the country to receive one as part of our nationwide roll-out.’

Top-up taps have been installed in locations such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ayr, Dumfries, Aberdeen and Inverness and at both ends of the West Highland Way in Milngavie near Glasgow and Fort William.

Members of the Oban High School Pipe Band and local councillors helped Scottish Water celebrate the tap opening.