OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), which has been a leader in California on the effort to remove lead from its water faucets and fountains, and its partner, FloWater, are announcing the remarkable achievement of saving seven million single-use plastic water bottles from entering the environment since hi-tech FloWater Refill Stations were deployed in schools District wide four years ago. The District is also announcing that it is expanding the FloWater program by adding 85 new FloWater Refill Stations to schools.
Seven million is also the number of sugary, carbonated, and caffeinated drinks NOT consumed by students. Instead, students across the district have been consuming better-hydrating water that is purified and enhanced. The FloWater machines provide additional protection by removing contaminants such as PFAS and microplastics from the water that the OUSD community consumes.
The first initiative in 2019 included 85 FloWater Refill Stations and was funded with Alameda County Measure A funds and revenue from Oakland’s “soda tax,” a measure that was passed in 2016 to help fight childhood obesity and educate the public on the health risks of drinking soda. Sugar-sweetened beverages have been linked to obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and other health problems. Studies show that school children across the country are also under-hydrated, which negatively impacts their ability to learn, and their emotional well-being.
“Our partnership with FloWater has been a huge success,” says John Sasaki, Director of Communications for OUSD. “Easy access to pure, great-tasting water has encouraged our school community to drink more water. Not only are our students loving using the FloWater machines, drinking more water and less sugar-sweetened drinks, but we are also accomplishing important results in reducing our plastic waste, which is a cornerstone goal of our commitment to sustainability.”
“OUSD is truly a model for how our nation’s schools are taking better care of our kids and the planet,” commented FloWater CEO and Co-Founder Rich Razgaitis. “We celebrate OUSD’s monumental achievement in hitting the 7 million mark in plastic water bottles NOT used and the better-hydrating, less sugary drinks served.” He added the FloWater Refill Stations are free-standing and easy to install, connecting to any potable water line within 100 feet, meaning that most schools can simply replace, or place alongside, their old water fountains or bottle fillers in the same location.
Launched in 2013, FloWater Refill Stations have transformed the tap water in approximately 1,000 schools across the United States. FloWater is also playing a leadership role in the post-Covid era by replacing traditional, germ-infested school water fountains with FloWater Refill Stations, which are completely ‘touchless’ and self-sanitizing, making for a safer, more sanitary drinking water experience for schoolchildren and their teachers.
To date, FloWater has saved nearly 500 million single-use plastic water bottles from the environment with its Refill Stations in schools, gyms, hotels, offices and at events nationwide.
About the Oakland Unified School District
In California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 77 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success. To learn more about OUSD’s Full-Service Community District focused on academic achievement while serving the whole child in safe schools, please visit OUSD.org and follow us @OUSDnews.
Recognized by INC. Magazine as one of America’s fastest-growing companies, FloWater is redefining the future of drinking water. Wherever people work, rest and play—at thousands of offices, schools, hotels, gyms and events, FloWater is transforming ordinary tap water into ultra-purified, great-tasting premium drinking water. On a mission to end single-use plastic water bottles, FloWater’s amazing and dedicated team of committed professionals achieved record sales in 2022 as business and consumer demand for safe, plastic-free water continues to soar. With its recent acquisition by Bluewater, the Sweden-based powerhouse, FloWater is set to become Bluewater North America and part of a global movement and platform of water purification solutions. More at: www.drinkflowater.com.