Tap’s the way we do it in the Western Isles  

Isles’ music sensation and summer festival favourites Peat & Diesel joined children from Back Primary School and representatives of the local community to unveil a new Scottish Water Top up Tap outside An Lanntair Arts Centre on Kenneth Street in Stornoway. 

The hi-tech tap, which digitally tracks water usage and records cost savings, is part of a nationwide campaign by Scottish Water which aims to get more people to carry a reusable bottle. Your Water Your Life aims to encourage more people to drink tap water on the go to stay hydrated, save money and protect the planet by using refillable bottles.  

The Stornoway tap is the twelfth to be installed so far, with a total of 70 planned to appear across Scotland over the next 18 months.  

Tracey Gourlay, of Scottish Water, said: “We’re delighted to bring our expanding network of Top Up Taps to the Western Isles, helping local residents and visitors to Stornoway stay hydrated while they are out and about.  I’d like to thank the team at An Lanntair for all their help and support over recent months. 

“We’re encouraging everyone to top up from the tap as much as possible and get into the habit of carrying a refillable bottle when they leave the house – it benefits health and wellbeing, reduces waste and saves people money.”  

Innes Scott, of Peat & Diesel, said: “In the islands more than most places we see the effects of single use plastics on our beaches and beyond. 

“The kids from Back have the right idea when it comes to drinking water: tap’s the way we do it in the Western Isles.” 

Elly Fletcher, Chief Executive of An Lanntair, said: “Scottish Water’s Top Up Tap is a fabulous initiative. Here at An Lanntair, we are passionate about environmental issues and have been working hard over recent years to stop using single-use plastics and to reduce our carbon footprint.    

“This weekend, we even did a Sponsored ‘Walk to Work’ to celebrate the launch of our Travel Plan and raise funds for a new cycle shelter in the town, walking across the island from the Callanish Stones to Stornoway – we could certainly have done with filling up from the Top Up Tap when we arrived back from this 16.5 mile walk!    

“We are delighted Scottish Water have chosen to locate the Top Up Tap on our forecourt – I’m sure that it is going to be very popular with everyone living in and visiting the town.”  

Local Councillor Iain MacAulay of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar added: “The Comhairle is very pleased to support this initiative which will make a positive contribution in our efforts, as a community, to reduce plastic usage. This ‘Top Up Tap’ will be a useful addition to Stornoway Town Centre and I am sure that it will be well used by locals and visitors alike.” 

The refill point – giving access to free, fresh and clean drinking water at the push of a button – is connected to the mains water supply and will be inspected regularly.