Installation of Bottle Refill Stations 2011-2012

Project Lead: Trish Ratto

Sponsor: University Health Services

TGIF Grant: $27,000

Project Theme: Water Conservation & Tap Water

Project Location

2011 Application Submission

Design Guidelines for Installation of Bottle Refill Stations - This project is a continuation of the 2010 TGIF Grant and will continue further in the 2012 TGIF Grant.

Status: Complete

Project Description: Installed 4-5 bottle refill stations on campus per the Bottle Refill Station Design Guidelines. Locations include Evans, Stanley, Boalt and University Hall.

Goals: Reduce the current amount of over 400,000 single-use water bottles being purchased on campus each year, as only about 1/3 of these 14,000 lbs. of plastic waste is estimated to be recycled. Provide the campus community more access to tap water and educate the campus community about the health and environmental benefits of tap water through the I Heart Tap water campaign. Assist the campus in reaching its goal of zero waste by 2020. Add new station locations to I Heart Tap Water campus map and the recently funded Campus Sustainability Map project. Collect and analyze data regarding single-use bottled water campus sales. Collect and analyze data from the water refill stations which record the number of single-use plastic bottles saved from the landfill based on every 12 ounces used to fill a container at the refill stations.

TGIF Blog Posts about Bottle Refill Stations

2012 Project Poster Fountain Retrofit Guidelines
  Water Refill Station Guidelines

Be sure to take the I Heart Tap Water pledge and be entered into a raffle to win an I Heart Tap Water reusable bottle.

University Hall Hydration Station Tang Center Hydration Station

2011-2012 Accomplishments

  • Bottle Refill Stations were installed in Evans, Stanley, Boalt, University, and Barrows Halls.
  • The I Heart Tap Water Google Map was updated with the new bottle refill station locations and descriptions.
  • Nutritional Sciences 166 class surveyed about 800 students about tap water, the use of refillable containers, knowledge about the campus bottle refill stations, and use of the stations. View a summary of the survey results. NST 166 also surveyed campus water fountains to determine where bottle refill stations and retrofits could be installed. Fountains must be ADA compliant before the bottle filler can be added and only certain styles of fountains can be retrofitted.
    • Statistics of note:
      • The majority of students drink tap water frequently, with 84% of respondents rarely or never buying bottled water on campus.
      • Only 7% buy bottled water from vending machines.
      • 61% of respondents know where refill stations are located, and 55% have used them.
      • Top reasons for never drinking tap water were
        • fear water is not clean - 53%
        • accessibility - 21%
        • taste - 14%
        • temperature
    • As a result of the surveys, students in NST 166 created a presentation of their findings and recommendations.


  • New filters were purchased for the Elkay bottle refill station models.

Project Photos

I Heart Tap Water and Bottle Refill Station Google Map


Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.