#OneLess, the Mayor of London and MIW Water Cooler Experts are ramping up London’s refill revolution. Together, we have started a ‘drinking fountain fund’ for London, and with it, we’re installing an initial network of up to 20 drinking fountains across the capital, making it really easy for Londoners to refill on the go.

The average Londoner gets through 175 bottles of water each year – that’s over a billion on a city level1. Too many of these bottles end up in the River Thames, from where they can flow out to the ocean, causing harm to marine creatures and poisoning our food chain.

By improving access to drinking water and making it really easy for Londoners to refill, #OneLess, the Mayor of London, and MIW Water Cooler Experts are leading the charge against needless single-use plastic waste and plastic pollution.

Call for sites

We are already working with a number of land and site owners across the capital to install drinking fountains. The first of these has already been installed in Kingly Court, Carnaby – one of London’s busiest shopping areas. And we are working with others to install more fountains across London in time for the summer.

Now we’re inviting land and site owners to apply to host some of the remaining fountains, starting with submitting a simple ‘Expression of Interest’ form.

Successful bidders will get their own drinking fountain to keep, and be part of the refill revolution sweeping the capital.


Get involved today


Would you like to see a drinking fountain installed in your community or neighbourhood?

This is your chance to help make it happen!

Get in touch with your local council, land owner, or business and encourage them to bid for one of the #OneLess drinking fountains.


Are you a land owner, a site owner, a business, a council, or an education institute with a publicly accessible space? And can you secure the necessary permissions required to install a drinking fountain? If so, this is your opportunity to get involved in this exciting initiative. Complete our simple ‘Expression of Interest’ form available via the button below to put yourself in the running.


Should you apply?

In order to apply, you must meet the requirements below. Please note that ‘Expressions of Interest’ that do not meet these application requirements will not be considered.

  • You will be a land owner and/or in a position to secure all the necessary permissions to install one of the #OneLess drinking fountains on your proposed site.
  • You will have identified a suitable site for a drinking fountain. This must be in a high footfall area, easily accessible to the public, and must have an existing water supply and drainage. Members of the public must not have to pay to enter the site.
  • You will be willing and in a position to take full responsibility for the drinking fountain. Successful applicants will agree to assume ownership of the fountain. You will agree to be liable for the fountain and to take responsibility for cleaning and maintaining it to adequate standards (see FAQs for more information).
  • You will be able to install the drinking fountain on your site by August 2018. You will also be willing to fund, arrange and project manage the installation process. (In some special cases funding might be available to help cover installation costs).
  • You will be willing to help the #OneLess team evaluate the success of this pilot network of drinking fountains. Successful applicants will be committed to helping the #OneLess team understand how much the fountain is used by installing a water meter on the fountain, and sharing the data gathered (the water meter will be provided by #OneLess).
  • You will be willing to install signage near the drinking fountain, with #OneLess and Mayor of London logos.

Evaluation criteria

The following criteria will be used by the #OneLess team to assess bids, and will need to be demonstrated in your ‘Expression of Interest’.

  • Footfall. We will take into account the footfall of your site. We are looking for sites where lots of people gather or walk past, and where large numbers of people would use a drinking fountain.
  • Access and visibility. We will assess how easy it is to access your site, and how visible the fountain will be. We will also assess how accessible the site is for those with disabilities.
  • Communication and promotion. We will take into account your willingness and ability to promote the fountain and the wider #OneLess initiative to reduce single-use plastic bottle waste in London.

How to apply

The application process will be split into two stages:

Stage 1: Expression of interest.

If you fit the above criteria, we would love to hear from you.

Please complete our online ‘Express of Interest’ form by 5pm on Tuesday 24 April.

Successful applicants will receive an email from the #OneLess team within two weeks (by Monday 7 May), inviting them to participate in stage two of the competition.

Stage 2: Full application.

Successful applicants will be invited to provide further information about their proposed fountain location by 28 May 2018.

Please note that stage two of the process may involve in-person and telephone meetings, a site visit, as well as question and answer sessions with someone from the #OneLess team.  #OneLess reserves the right to prioritise high-impact sites.

Key dates

Deadline for ‘Expression of Interest’ submissions

24 April 2018

Shortlisted parties invited to make a full application

by 7 May 2018

Deadline for full applications

28 May 2018

Deadline for fountain installation

August 2018

This is just the beginning

This is just the beginning of London’s refill revolution.
This pilot network of 20 refill stations is an initial testing-ground and will allow us to understand what’s involved in scaling up public drinking water infrastructure, what the impact is, and what Londoners think of them.


How much does it cost to install a drinking fountain?

Costs vary depending on the site and unit selected. In a straightforward case where there is a pre-existing drinking water supply and drainage at the site, installation will usually cost somewhere between £500 and £1,000.

What’s involved in maintaining and cleaning a drinking fountain?

The fountain will need to be kept in good working order so that it remains fit for purpose. It also needs to meet all relevant approvals and regulations. This will include at a minimum: a 6-monthly service and sanitisation; any works or cleaning required to comply with British Water Cooler Association and other applicable regulations; daily cleaning of the drinking fountain; and maintenance of any signage around the water fountain. Typically, a landowner will add the cleaning of a drinking fountain to their existing cleaning rota with minimum additional cost. If you have more questions on maintenance and costs, please email oneless@zsl.org

What permissions do I need?

You will be responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions prior to the installation of the drinking fountain. These will differ from site to site, but might include landowner permission, planning permission, highways permission and listed buildings permission.

What type of site are you looking for?

The site must be accessible to the public, and must have an existing water supply and drainage. It must also have a high footfall, with lots of people walking past, and be highly visible. It should not be in a location where people have to pay to enter, and it should be accessible for people with disabilities.

Who’s liable if the drinking fountain breaks?

If successful, ownership of the fountain will pass to you. You will be also liable for the fountain and will be responsible for maintaining and cleaning it to appropriate standards and for ensuring that all regulations around the fountain are adhered to.

Who can apply?

We are looking for applications from landowners and/or other organisations that are in a position to secure all the necessary permissions to install a fountain. This might include a business with a publicly accessible space, a council, or an education institute.

How long do I need to commit to keeping the fountain for?

The expected life of a water fountain is eight years.

What counts as being in London, for the purposes of this fund?

We will consider any high footfall site within the Greater London Authority boundary.

What happens if too many people apply? What’s next?

We expect this will be a competitive process, but it is the first step in an initiative to install more fountains in London. So if you’re not successful or you miss the deadline, please stay in touch with the Mayor of London and #OneLess via Twitter and Facebook to keep track of future opportunities.

What types of fountains are available?

For the pilot fund, the two types of fountain are available. One is designed for indoor use, one for outdoor use.  See the main application guide for more details. There will also be a free-standing option available in certain circumstances. Please mention in the expression of interest if you think this is appropriate for your site.

1 One Poll – Brita Survey 2016