UCSF Sustainability Stories



Kick the Bottled Water Habit—Check Out UCSF’s New Reusable Water Bottle Refilling Stations

Global Tap

UCSF’s New Water Bottle Refilling Stations

Do something good for the environment and your pocketbook—next time you head to campus, bring your refillable water bottle.  Thanks to a grant from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), UCSF has installed a water bottle filling station on campus. 

One is now working at Milberry Union East near Palio’s and one is located at Mission Bay, on Gene Friend Way near 3rd Street.

We are lucky to enjoy some of the nation’s highest quality tap water – pristine snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.  It is one of the purest, safest and best tasting water in the world.

The Many Benefits of Tap Over Bottled Water

According to Food & Water Watch, by turning to tap water, you will avoid the arsenic, microbes, toxins, and other pollutants that tests have found in various bottled water brands. In addition, you will face less risk of exposure to chemicals that could leach from the plastic bottle into the water.  Water collected at the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir exceeds all federal and state criteria for water quality, and unlike bottled water, is tested nearly 90,000 times a year throughout the system to ensure its safety every day.

Turning to tap water could help you save money, as well. According to Food & Water Watch, bottled water costs 445 times more than tap water (about $0.002 per gallon for tap compared to the $0.89 to $8.26 per gallon charge for bottled water).

Giving up bottled water also helps our environment. Annual production of the plastic (PET or polyethylene) bottles to meet U.S. consumer demand for bottled water takes the equivalent of about 17.6 million barrels of oil, not including the cost of transporting the bottled water to consumers. That more or less equals the amount of oil required to fuel more than one million vehicles on U.S. roads each year.

And in the end, about 83 percent of the 60 million plastic water bottles disposed of daily in America end up in the garbage instead of being recycled.

Help to preserve our environment and natural resources by drinking tap water.

To Learn More


To learn more about bottled water, check out The Story of Bottled WaterClick here to learn more about the GlobalTap program in San Francisco.

Written by Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact