A water refilling station is a place for people to gather clean water in areas where it may not be accessible. Patrons walk in and use machines to fill jugs with filtered water, which they then take home to use with a water cooler.
Water refilling stations are tapped into municipal water systems. Distribution machines remove sediment from the water and eliminate odors and foul tastes as the water passes through a carbon filter. The machine further filters impurities by placing the water through reverse osmosis. The machine then exposes the water to ultraviolet light to improve its quality and taste.
Popular water refilling stations such as Primo offer filtered water at around 40 cents per gallon, as of October 2015. They offer both refill machines, where customers can refill pre-purchased one-, two-, three- and five-gallon water bottles, and convenient exchange, where customers recycle their water bottles and take home new, pre-filled ones. The convenient exchange program offers discounts of around $10 on new water bottles.
Smaller water filling stations meant to fill reusable water bottles are gaining popularity in public places, particularly schools and hospitals. These stations are hands-free and activated when the container passes under a sensor. Their placement not only encourages the consumption of clean water but discourages the use of single-use plastic bottles that decompose slowly.