Fuelling Melbourne’s Athletes with Fresh Drinking Water

Drinking fountain and water bottle refill station with blue artwork and a set of bike racks installed at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre

The team at CIVIQ collaborated with Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre to deliver ten drinking fountain and bottle refill stations across the sporting complex.

Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre (MSAC) is striving to become the first state-level sporting facility in Victoria to eliminate the supply of unhealthy, sugary drinks. They required a solution for fresh and easily-accessible drinking water to keep patrons hydrated – and partnered with CIVIQ to achieve this objective.

Located in Albert Park, the centre is home to a state-of-the-art aquatic centre and a variety of sporting halls and courts, which accommodate basketball, volleyball, gymnastics badminton, table tennis and martial arts training and competitions.

The centre needed a robust solution to provide filtered drinking water in several high-foot-traffic areas. Both outdoor and indoor areas needed to be equipped, while the units installed around the swimming pools needed to be extra resistant to salty, chlorinated water.

Staff at MSAC got in touch with the CIVIQ team, due to their extensive range of Aquafil and Elkay branded drinking water stations, which were suited to both outdoor and indoor applications.

Facility managers examined a range of possibilities, and decided on the 1400mm-high Aquafil Pulse Senior for outdoor areas, whilst the Elkay EZH2O Vandal Resistant wall mounted station was specified for the indoor swimming areas.

The Aquafil Pulse Senior is ideal for outdoor spaces with its durable stainless steel design and customisable, vandal-resistant signage panels which allow for the organisation’s branding to be displayed. The station features one drinking fountain as well as two anti-bacterial bottle refill points to ensure that athletes never have an empty drink bottle.

A side view of the Outdoor  drinking water stations with blue artwork installed near a fountain out the front of Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre

Whereas the Aquafil Pulse is a freestanding unit ideal for outdoor spaces, the Elkay EZH2O VR is a wall mounted solution for indoor and outdoor use. The unit is developed with heavy-duty stainless steel materials which resist corrosion and tea-staining – ensuring that the visual appeal and structural integrity of the unit is maintained over time. The product comes with inbuilt filters and refrigeration as standard, and has an inbuilt green ticker which counts the number of bottles saved from waste – a great way of reminding users that refiling water bottles can benefit the environment.

The Elkay EZH2O bottle refill station and drinking fountain installed at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic centre in the pool area

The project was funded by a grant from VicHealth, a division of the Victorian Government, which was created to minimise the amount of unhealthy food and beverages sold on site. This has since led to the removal of vending machines containing sugary drinks, and healthier foods sold in the tuckshop.

With the support received by VicHealth, MSAC now has ten drinking fountain and bottle refill stations fitted in key areas across the sporting complex.

Facility users have chilled and filtered drinking water available, which is free to use and can be accessed by a simple push-of-the-button. The drinking water stations are also allowing patrons to save money, as they now have an alternative to purchasing sugary drinks.

Since their installation in mid 2017, the drinking water stations have assisted in refilling over 200,000 water bottles, equating to more than 157,000 litres of water, which has helped to eliminate waste from disposable plastic bottles.

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