Paris’ Sparkling Water Fountains – Yes, You Read Right: Sparkling. Water. Fountains.
Will we soon be able to see Beaujolais Nouveau faucets in public parks? The famous/infamous wine has been released and it was almost a national holiday in France last week. Even though the vino is not known for its great taste, its arrival is always another convivial excuse to meet, drink, and be merry.
The city of Paris thinks its citizens are dehydrated and is installing water fountains all around the capital, in every single one of its 20 arrondissements in fact. Nothing unusual here. But the said water is not the flat kind like the vulgar faucet liquid, nope - we are talking here about fizzy water, the sparkling kind!
Wow! Should we soon see pommes frites and éclairs au chocolat to fight hunger spasms in the city? That would be quite lovely.
Let’s try to decipher the reasons and the secrets behind the newest enterprise of a mayor who has never lacked beneficial ideas for her beloved city.
This is no Joke.
Since 2010, some eight fountains dispensing sparkling water have been scattered across the city, unbeknown to many Parisians. But now the Paris City Hall has just embarked on a mission to provide at least one such fountain in every 20 districts of the city, by next December.
Soon every corner of Paris should be flowing with free fizz. Their name is Fontaine Pétillante in French.
“People often told me that they were ready to drink tap water if it was carbonated,” Anne le Strat, head of the Paris water board, told the magazine 20 Minutes when the first fountain was installed in 2010.
Flat Tap is so Passé.
The dispensed fizzy water is kept cool but not icy (French people do not use much ice cubes anywhere in anything), it’s very bubbly, almost as much as the effervescent Vichy mineral water sold in every supermarket.
The magical water is both cooled and carbonated with CO2 kept at 44 degrees Fahrenheit. The surprising fountains don't just dispense chilled seltzer, they also have a green raison d’être: the French drink some 40 gallons of plastic bottled water annually, so the city wants to reduce plastic waste by providing fresh, clean water at public fountains.
Even better when the water happens to be sparkling and you can get the free Perrier-like drink to go with your jambon-beurre. The water is limited to 17oz at one time, to discourage people to fill up a gallon container.
Parisians have always had flat water fountains throughout their city, but only 70% of them regularly use them – the mayor wants to change that, and hopes that the more eco-friendly generations will take to use the fountains more.
Paris already has a sparkling Eiffel Tower, now visit the sparkling drinking water fountains!
A votre santé !
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