Quench is a new free smartphone app that makes it easy to find a place to grab a glass of water or fill up your water bottle when you’re out and about in Toronto. From Mimico to Scarborough, businesses, venues and institutions have put themselves on the map and are inviting users to drop in for a drink. What’s the point, you ask? It’s this: by promoting tap water, fewer water bottles are consumed and the City of Toronto can save tax payers’ dollars in clean-up and recycling fees. Also, it promotes local traffic and encourages people to visit local businesses and public spaces.
The app is a project of Toronto-born Water Brothers, Alex and Tyler Mifflin. The siblings have a program of the same name on TVO exploring water-related issues around the world, from Greenland to Thailand. Although the app is currently active only in Toronto, the brothers have plans to expand to other cities across Canada and beyond. To learn more about Quench and Water Brothers visit their website.
But is tap water safe to drink? Yes. In fact, City of Toronto takes drinking water samples every four to six hours to confirm the absence of bacteria, conducts more tests and on many more substances than required by regulation. Important fact to know is that there are fewer government regulations to guide the bottle water industry. While they should meet the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, monitoring requirements aren’t as stringent as are those for tap water. Also, some bottled water is actually drawn from municipal sources, so you’re paying for something that is already available to you for free.