Whether living in or traveling through NYC, it’s convenient to carry a refillable bottle to stay hydrated through the hustle and bustle and to minimize single-use plastic. No matter what borough you find yourself in, there are refill stations throughout the city that never sleeps.
In fact, the city has crafted a short list of water refill stations that are mostly located at schools throughout each borough that you can find here on the NYC 311 site. In the summer, Water-On-The-Go fountains are installed throughout all five boroughs for drinking and filling up water bottles by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The Importance of Refilling
Choosing to refill with a reusable water bottle is a game-changer. It reduces pollution, conserves resources, and it's a big thumbs-up for our planet. Plus, it's a smart move for your wallet. Every refill saves you money compared to buying bottled water. So here’s how to make a difference. Choose to refill, and raise awareness to help others make more sustainable choices.
Is NYC tap water safe to drink?
Often referred to as the "champagne of tap water," New York City's water is renowned for its quality. The city is among a select few, including Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, that benefit from an unfiltered water supply.
Over 90% of NYC's water supply originates from the Catskill and Delaware watersheds in upstate New York. The remaining supply is sourced from the Croton watershed. The water from these sources is so pristine that the city isn't legally required to filter it. However, it is disinfected using UV exposure.
Refill Stations at Major Parks & Recreational Areas
Since NYC boasts the bests tap water, you can count on many of the city’s parks for refill stations, there’a range of public spaces that offer convenient refill stations. Here are some popular pars where you can find refill stations an water fountains:
Parks and Recreational Areas
Brooklyn Bridge Park
There are many water bottle refill stations throughout Brooklyn Bridge Park and it’s important to note that outdoor refill stations are turned off during winter months.
While visiting the Bronx Zoo there are 5 bottle refilling stations throughout the park located in the Astor Court, Asia Plaza, Congo, Bronx Zoo Store, and Grizzly Bear. While these refill stations are fair game in the warmer months, due to freezing outdoor temperatures they are closed from November through April. You can find a year-round bottle refill station at the Dancing Crane Cafe.
An 843 acre expanse, Central Park is both a staple for New Yorkers and a must-see for visitors. When taking your next run bike ride through the park, there are several refill stations located throughout. Due to freezing temperatures some refill stations close during the winter, but not all of them. Here’s a map from the Central Park Conservancy that shows the running paths and where refill stations are located.
Pemlham Bay Park
Pelham Bay Park in the the Bronx is about 2,765 acres. There are some water stations located throughout the park, however look for closures as the old infrastructure has caused some of the faucet to be shut down. Visitors can check out the map with restroom facilities to find nearby water refill stations.
Other large parks in NYC that have water fountains and refill stations:
- Greenbelt, Staten Island
- Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
- Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, Queens
- Marine Park, Brooklyn
- Bronx Park, Bronx
- Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach
- Great Kills Park
- Fresh Kills Park
- Midland Playground
- Clawson Playground
- Prospect Park
- View map to zoom into a specific park
Refill Stations in Retail and Dining Establishments
The growing trend of businesses and restaurants offering refill stations reflects a shift towards more sustainable practices and an increased awareness of environmental concerns. Many establishments now recognize the importance of catering to environmentally conscious customers and are taking proactive steps to support their sustainability efforts.
Meeting Customer Expectations
As sustainability becomes an integral part of consumer preferences, businesses, and restaurants are adapting to meet customer expectations. Refill stations demonstrate a commitment to environmental responsibility, attracting and retaining customers who prioritize eco-friendly options.
Reducing Single-Use Plastic
Businesses and restaurants offering refill stations actively contribute to reducing single-use plastic waste. Providing an alternative to single-use bottled water, these establishments help minimize the environmental impact of plastic bottle production, transportation, and disposal.
Enhancing Brand Image and Reputation
Adopting sustainable practices, such as offering refill stations, positively impacts a business's brand image and reputation. Customers increasingly value environmentally conscious brands, and companies that prioritize sustainability can differentiate themselves in the market and attract a loyal customer base.
Encouraging Customer Engagement
Refill stations encourage customer engagement and participation in sustainable practices. By providing convenient access to clean drinking water, businesses empower customers to actively make environmentally responsible choices, fostering a sense of shared responsibility for the planet.
When dining out, almost every restaurant in NYC will refill your glass or bottle with water. It's also commonplace in NYC to refill your bottle at soda stations of fast food venues and food chains like Panera Bread, Shake Shack, Mcdonald's, Taco Bell, and other establishments. As long as you're using the water feature on the machine, most places are obligated to serve you water, and thus, you can refill your bottle there. Some other mainstream places to refill include:
Starbucks locations throughout NYC often provide refill stations for customers. They encourage customers to bring their own reusable cups and offer refills at a discounted price, promoting sustainable choices and reducing single-use cup waste.
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market stores in NYC typically have refill stations for water and other beverages. Whole Foods encourages customers to bring their own reusable bottles and offers a variety of options, including filtered water, kombucha, and other refreshing beverages. PATH is also sold at Whole Foods if you're looking for a refillable bottle.
Find these places with hydration stations
Wherever you find yourself in the vast area that is LA, there are some common facilities where you can likely find hydration stations. These facilities encourage hydration and plastic waste reduction.
Airports - New York City's major airports, JFK and LaGuardia, are not just gateways to the world but also pioneers in promoting sustainable practices. Recognizing the need for convenient hydration solutions for the millions of travelers they serve, these airports have strategically placed refill stations throughout their terminals. You can also find PATH refillable aluminum bottles for travelers through HMSHost locations.
Recreation Centers - These often have water fountains or hydration stations for public use.
High Schools, Universities, and Colleges - NY 311 has crafted a list of high schools that have refill stations. Universities and educational institutions, like NYU and Columbia, have water fountains in their buildings and outdoor spaces.
Public Libraries - Libraries often have water fountains available for public use.
Museums - Many museums, like the Guggenheim, have water fountains or hydration stations for visitors.
Fitness Centers and Gyms - These places typically have hydration stations for their members, such as Barry's, Peloton, and Orangetheory Fitness.
Public Transport Stations - Grand Central Station has two historic clean and operating water fountains that are known for their cold water and have been in operation since 1913. Other large train stations, bus terminals, and airports often have water fountains or hydration stations.
Hotels - Many hotels offer hydration stations in their lobbies or fitness centers, like 1 Hotels, Marriot, The Ritz Carlton, and Andaz. However, New York tap water is amazing and can be obtained.
Restaurants and Cafes - New York is renowned for their restaurants, and it's commonplace for restaurants to share complimentary water or refill your bottle on request.
Office Buildings - Increasingly, office buildings have water coolers and hydration stations for employees and visitors.
Hospitals and Health Clinics - These facilities often have water fountains or hydration stations for patients and visitors.
Community Centers - NYC has community centers throughout every borough; these local spots often have water fountains, hydration stations, and cooling stations during the summer months that are all for public use.
Concert Venues and Stadiums - NYC concert venues and stadiums have varying rules that are quickly being updated for sustainability. Before venturing off to one of them, contact the venue stations near the restrooms. Citi Field has refill stations next to their bathrooms.
Refill Apps and Online Resources
Water station apps offer users easy access to details about local refill points, ensuring they remain hydrated and reduce plastic consumption. Below are some platforms designed to guide users to these refill locations:
RefillMyBottle is a renowned app and website guiding users to refill stations globally. Powered by community contributions, this platform lets users both add and find refill points in NYC. It's an indispensable asset for environmentally-aware travelers and locals alike.
Tap App seamlessly links users to nearby water refill stations through its intuitive map interface. Beyond just locations, the app enriches user experience with reviews, ratings, and water quality insights, enabling users to choose the best spots to refill their bottles confidently.
These apps are indispensable tools for finding refill stations in NYC. They champion sustainable choices by offering insights on the nearest refill points, granting easy access to pure drinking water, and reducing plastic waste.
NYC's Pristine Tap Water and the Refill Revolution
New York City boasts some of the finest tap water in the nation, a testament to its rigorous quality standards and pristine sources. The only caveat might be old or unrenovated pipes, which can occasionally affect water quality. But by and large, wherever you tread in NYC, you're always close to a spot to refill your PATH bottle with top-notch tap water.
The city is at the forefront of the refill movement, with hydration stations emerging everywhere, from Central Park's green expanses to the urban oasis of the High Line. These refill points, dotting the city's famed landmarks and vibrant streets, invite both locals and visitors to embrace sustainable hydration and reduce plastic consumption. Choosing a reusable bottle in NYC is a nod to a more sustainable future. Explore our top picks for refill locations, harness the power of apps to find the nearest stations, and be part of the city's stand against disposable plastics. Together, let's raise our bottles to refill in New York City!
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