Taps on for Lochaber communities bringing hydration to the Highlands

02 July 2024
A group of people are standing outside surrounding a blue Scottish Water branded water tap. They are holding blue plastic bottles and facing the camera. In the background is a white building with grey roof, and a Scottish Water branded vehicle.

Highland hydration

Helen Fairlie, Sally Mortimer and Gwen McTaggart from Glencoe and Glen Etive Community Council with Robert MacLean of Scottish Water at Glencoe’s new Top up Tap by the A82, in front of the village’s Mountain Rescue Team base.

“Carrying a refillable water bottle and topping up regularly is a great way to take care of yourself, while also helping local communities who work hard to keep our area looking at its best.”

Robert MacLean
From Scottish Water's local field response customer team

Local communities have welcomed the arrival of two new Scottish Water Top up Taps in Glencoe and Kinlochleven as the school summer holidays get under way.

The two new taps join three that are already established in Lochaber at Gordon Square in Fort William, the National Trust for Scotland visitor centre in Glenfinnan and Station Road in Mallaig. The modern water refill stations are part of a growing network of 124 taps offering outdoor hydration across Scotland.

Community leaders gathered last week in each village to celebrate the arrival of the taps and help encourage locals and visitors to make full use of them in the months ahead.

Gwen McTaggart of Glencoe and Glen Etive Community Council played a key role in making the case to bring a Top up Tap to the banks of Loch Leven, at the heart of one of Scotland’s most famous landscapes.

Gwen said: “I think it’s good for locals and visitors alike. We’d seen the taps appearing all over the country, so we decided to go for it and try to get one in Glencoe.

“I'm down around the area cutting the grass regularly and there are lots of people using the tap already. If we get some warm, sunny weather then there will be even more."

Robert MacLean from Scottish Water’s local field response customer service team added: “The aim of the Top up Taps is to encourage everyone to carry a refillable water bottle and to enjoy Scotland’s world class drinking water when out and about, as well as at home. It's a really easy way to stay hydrated, save money and cut down on unnecessary plastic waste.

“Coming into the summer, it's a great time to head outdoors and enjoy the dramatic landscapes that we have on our doorstep – all the way from the Buachaille to our equally stunning coast and beaches.  Carrying a refillable water bottle and topping up regularly is a great way to take care of yourself, while also helping local communities who work hard to keep our area looking at its best.”

The new Top up Tap at Kinlochleven is not only Lochaber’s fifth, but the latest in a series of seven along the route of the West Highland Way. Top up Taps are available for thirsty walkers to refill at the southernmost end of the route in Milngavie, in Drymen, Balmaha, Rowardennan, Crianlarich, Kinlochleven and Fort William.

Robert was joined by members of the Kinlochleven Community Trust at the new tap there, which has already been proving popular with young, old and four-legged residents – as well as ever-increasing numbers of visitors and walkers as the weeks go by.

Sarah Arfaoui of Kinlochleven Community Trust said: “The tap is a really welcome addition to the centre of the village and is already well used by locals and visitors, rain or shine. With many of our visitors coming via the West Highland Way, it’s particularly good to have taps right along the route from start to finish.

"Hopefully walkers and cyclists will get to know the taps are there to help them enjoy their journey, encourage them to stay hydrated and minimise plastic waste. One refillable water bottle can easily take you from start to finish – and on many more adventures to come.”

More information about the Top up Taps and Scottish Water’s ‘Your Water Your Life’ campaign can be found at Your Water Your Life, including a handy map showing the location of all the Top up Taps across Scotland.