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St Thomas More students choose tap

Central Highlands Water Education Officer, Shannon Haintz with students Taj, Meg, Grace and Ned with the free drinking bottles which can be used with the new drinking fountain.

STUDENTS from St Thomas More Primary School can now fill up their drink bottles from a permanent Be Smart Choose Tap drinking fountain recently installed at their school. The fountain, along with an education program developed by Central Highlands Water, encourages students to choose tap water over bottled water. As growing bodies are 70 per cent water, it is important for our health and hydration to drink water throughout the day.

Drinking water regulates your body temperature and helps improve joint and muscle health as well as concentration levels. The Be Smart Choose Tap program aims to encourage our community to choose tap water over bottled water for our health and for the environment. More than $500 million is spent each year on bottled water in Australia which also contributes to plastic waste in our environment. By choosing tap, students can refill their bottles again and again.

The average price of a one litre bottle of water is the same as 6,000 glasses from the tap.

Taking into account the virtual or embodied water content, it takes up to three litres of water to produce one litre of bottled water. St Thomas More students in all year levels learn about sustainability and practice what they learn around the school.

The new Central Highlands Water Be Smart Choose Tap education program provides lesson plans and activities for students to learn about all aspects of water for drinking, including: Health and hydration; Our water footprint; Our environment; Water around the world.

The program is designed for students in Foundation – Year 2, Year 3 – 4 and Year 5 – 6 and can be delivered by our education officer or run by teachers in their own classrooms.

Central Highlands Water Education Officer, Shannon Haintz said, “The Be Smart Choose Tap education program, along with the drinking fountain at St Thomas More Primary School and those around Lake Wendouree and in other public spaces, is educating our next generation to make a healthier choice.” The new drinking fountain is thanks to the efforts of St Thomas More Sustainability Teacher, Jayne Campbell, who saw children filling their drink bottles at the bubble taps. “They were trying to catch the water as it was falling down and there was a lot of waste water going down the drain and a lot of time wasted at the taps during class time,” she said. “So I thought of asking Central Highlands Water for a bottle filling unit, which we discussed and met with them quite a few times and they said yes, “Central Highlands Water was happy to supply us with a drinking fountain as long as we did some education that goes with it, which we were very happy to do.”