A partnership born out of a conversation seven years ago has sent a message on the importance of Louisville’s drinking water and at the same time, generated thousands of dollars to bring safe drinking water to people around the world.
Since 2011, Waterfront Development Corporation and Louisville Water have worked to eliminate the amount of single-use plastic bottles at Waterfront Park. In doing so, their partnership at WFPK Waterfront Wednesday concerts have netted more than $10,000 to date for WaterStep, a local non-profit that works to install safe drinking water systems in other countries.
WFPK Waterfront Wednesday is a free monthly concert series held from April to September at Waterfront Park. The event features a Louisville pure tap® tent where guests can bring a reusable container and fill it with Louisville’s tap water for free or purchase a Louisville pure tap® bottle for $2 and fill it up. During the concerts, WaterStep assists in selling the bottles and uses the proceeds for its projects to bring safe drinking water to other parts of the world.
The 2017 season was the most successful to date with just over $3,700 generated for WaterStep’s Disaster Relief fund. WaterStep is currently responding to Hurricane Maria by sending 20 disaster relief kits to Puerto Rico to provide safe water and disinfectant to communities in need.
For many who attend Waterfront Wednesday concerts, they’re accustomed to seeing the Louisville pure tap® set-up. Louisville Water brings its portable water units to nearly 200 events annually with a goal of making it easy to enjoy tap water and highlighting the quality and value of Louisville’s drinking water. Plastic water bottles are frequently the most common item that wash ashore along the Ohio River, and Waterfront Development is working to keep the park free of trash.
“Waterfront Park and WFPK love our partnership with Louisville Water and WaterStep,” said Ashley Smith, Communications Manager at Waterfront Development. “It provides us an opportunity to reduce waste, improve the experience of our park patrons and to help people in areas of the world who desperately need access to clean water. It’s a win, win, win.”
“Waterfront Wednesday has become a really an important part of our annual rhythm at WaterStep,” said Mark Hogg, CEO of WaterStep. “We get to catch up with old friends, introduce ourselves to new ones, and remember we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves. We can save lives with safe water.”
Louisville Water trademarked its tap water as Louisville pure tap® in 1997 and launched a campaign around the quality, value and innovation of tap water. “We not only have some of the highest quality tap water in the nation, we have the best-tasting,” said Kelley Dearing Smith, Vice President of Communications and Marketing at Louisville Water. “People really appreciate making pure tap available at community events, and we love the opportunity to provide the service and the opportunity for others to receive safe drinking water.”