Free Tap Water

All licensed premises in England, Wales and Scotland are required to provide free tap water?

Many families feel embarrassed to ask for free tap water when eating out at a restaurant and therefore feel inclined to order a sugary soft drink as an alternative.

With ofree tap waterne in ten children living in the UK already obese by the age of four and one in five children obese by the age of eleven – councils are prompting restaurants to provide complimentary tap water for each table without the customer having to request it.

Izzi Seccombe, community wellbeing spokeswoman at the Local Government Association, said: “While most restaurants will happily provide a glass of tap water on request, we’re saying it shouldn’t be something you have to ask for. (

“Water brings important health benefits and keeps people hydrated. For children, it’s an alternative to a sugary drink, while for adults it might dissuade them from ordering another alcoholic drink.”


According to a survey carried out by the Local Government Association (LGA) out of 3,000 people who took part – 15% of people who drink tap water at home do not ask for free tap water when eating out at a restaurant. The LGA have also encouraged schools, nurseries and children centres to have free tap water more available for children to access.

Water helps to maximise physical performance, increases energy levels and benefits brain function. (

The British Dental Association (BDA) is supporting this proposal by the council for free tap water. “Offering tap water is a simple way the restaurant industry can play its part in turning the tide on tooth decay and obesity“. (Russ Ladwa, the BDA’s health and science committee chairman)

The introduction of the new sugar tax on soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola, (put forward in the Chancellor George Osborne’s budget) combined with free tap water provided in restaurants, should encourage people to deter away from drinking fizzy drinks.

Although only a small adjustment; making available complimentary tap water to all patrons in licensed establishments is likely to help influence obesity levels and encourage children towards a healthier lifestyle.