GB on Tap

What is GB on Tap?

GB on Tap is a program to increase citizen and visitor access to Great Barrington’s tap water and to help our local businesses adapt and thrive. This is a two-pronged effort. First, eateries and retailers in town now welcome pedestrians, filling their refillable water bottles upon request. Second, exterior refill stations are being positioned in key locations around town, offering the opportunity for anyone to refill their water bottles.

Merchant and restaurant program

40 participating "GB on Tap" merchants are identified on the GB on Tap Map. Window decals have been provided to them, attracting pedestrians into stores where they can obtain water, creating potential for added business. A sheet of suggestions for ways to dispense water has been distributed to merchants seeking this sort of help.

How many water stations will there be, where would they go and when will they be installed?

Three water stations will be installed summer of 2019. Their locations will be the following: Great Barrington Town Hall, Mason Library and in Housatonic at the Housy Dome. We hope to install more over the coming years.

What will be the cost of each and who will pay for them?

Each outdoor water refill station, including installation, will cost between $8,000 and $10,000.

How do we donate to help purchase stations?

We actively seek donations from citizens locally and regionally who believe in this principal. A fund has been set up at Town Hall to accept your donation of any size.

Make check to Town of Great Barrington

Write in the memo line "Water Station Fund"

Mail to: Treasurer’s Office, Town Hall 334 Main St. Great Barrington MA 01230.

Include a letter stating, "Please accept this contribution to the Great Barrington Water Station Fund."

Who will maintain them?

The Town will own and maintain the stations.

What model will be used and is it sanitary?

For the Town Hall and Mason library units, we have selected this 'multi-station' model that has both a bottle filler and a bubbler. The bottle filler is designed so that you simply hold your bottle under the spout to fill, and even your hands do not come in contact with any part of the fountain. The bubbler is likewise hygienic; the chrome-plated integral hood guard around the spout makes it nearly impossible to put your mouth on the spout, preventing contamination from other users, airborne deposits and tampering. As well, the presence of chlorine in the water helps to clean the spout. These units will also require this adaptor kit.

The Housatonic unit will be attached to the exterior of the Housy Dome, and its filter will be located inside the building (to protect it in extreme weather). This unit will be used there.

The stations are heavy-gauge construction with tamper-resistant screws that resist stains and corrosion. They have a powder-coated exterior over a corrosion-resistant stainless steel type-316 base material to provide protection from the elements. The flow of the water provides a clean fill with minimal splash.

Will the water be filtered?

The outdoor pedestal units do not come with filters. However, the unit in Housatonic will be filtered. See below.

Would they function in winter?

No. These are three-season stations, functioning eight months of the year.

Do you plan to put a water refill station in Housatonic?

Yes! Since Housatonic occasionally has water quality issues, filtering is of great importance. Therefore, we've worked out a system so that the filtration equipment will be placed inside, attached to the water line, while the multi-station unit will be attached to the exterior wall of the building. The unit is attached to the wall at the entrance of the Housy Dome. This is the model of the station.

Why are the stations so expensive?

The two Great Barrington units total about $21,000. The Housatonic unit is approx. $6,400.

The cost is due to a combination of elements: the units, installation plus installing meter pits, plumbing , a tie-in fee to the GB water system, and in Housy, the filters.

The installation in GB is tricky due to the extent of the piping from the main pipes; having to drill through concrete at Town Hall; and the need to pour new concrete pads for ADA compliance.