LOCALS and visitors in Dorset will soon be able to top up with tap water for free, thanks to new Wessex Water refill points.

A unit was recently installed at the bottom of South Street in Dorchester with additional points due to be installed in Bridport and Blandford Forum in the new year.

Earlier in the year, the water and sewerage company also installed four refill points across Weymouth. They can be found in Hope Square, The Esplanade, New Bond Street and Alexandra Gardens.

The refill points will not be turned on until the current Covid restrictions have been eased. Once turned on they will be cleaned, maintained and inspected regularly to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and water quality.

Wessex Water is encouraging people to drink more tap water and avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and the company is working with councils and businesses across its supply region to install refill units in public spaces.

Kirsty Scarlett, Wessex Water’s head of community engagement, said: “The water refill points are in great locations to keep Dorset’s residents and visitors hydrated.

“These are just some of the many water refill points we will be installing across the region as part of our mission to reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles we all use.

“We are pleased to be able to work with so many local communities which share the same aim of choosing refill over landfill.”

Emma Scott, Dorchester Town Council’s community development officer, added: “The refill point is in an ideal location for people to fill their water bottles, either on the way to town or the park, helping them to stay hydrated and use less plastic.

“The Dorchester Town Council has been very supportive of the Plastic Free Dorchester initiative that in 2019 saw the town awarded official Plastic Free status. Many local businesses have also signed up to a scheme to encourage people refill their bottles in their shops for free.

“This is not a project that we could do on our own, so we are very grateful to Wessex Water for installing this refill point in the area, and we hope and expect that it will be very popular and well used by our local community.”