St Paul’s drinking fountain springs to life

The first fully certified drinking fountain in London for 30 years was switched on at 11am on Friday 21 May. The fountain is alongside St Paul’s Churchyard, near the City Information Centre and opposite St Paul’s Cathedral. It was unveiled by Robert Duffield Chairman of the City Corporation’s Port Health and Environmental Services Committee.

The drinking fountain is designed to refill water bottles and will provide a welcome facility in the summer months to workers, residents and visitors to the City. It has been installed with the approval of Thames Water, the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme and the Drinking Water Inspectorate. There is a thorough maintenance programme which includes daily cleansing and regular tests to ensure the water is of the highest quality.

This is a trial installation as part of a proposed scheme to introduce new drinking water fountains around the Square Mile and restore the City’s historic drinking fountains. Depending on the success and use of the fountain it could lead to a roll out of similar drinking fountains across the City during 2011.

Robert Duffield, Chairman, Port Health and Environmental Services Committee, City of London Corporation said:

“The fountain represents the City of London Corporation’s commitment towards reducing waste by providing an opportunity to refill empty bottled water containers instead of simply throwing them away. It is a free amenity for workers, residents and visitors being unveiled at a particularly vital time: ahead of the summer season.”

The project is part of the ongoing streetscene improvement work around the Carter Lane / St Paul’s area which also includes the installation of the restored nine metre high St Lawrence Fountain later this summer. In addition it complements the nearby Cheapside Initiative, which supports the development of Cheapside as a premiere retail and leisure destination and is anticipated to attract more shoppers and visitors to the area.