Public water station where citizens can refill their bottles with chilled still or sparkling TAP water.
Italy is one of the top three countries in the world for bottled water consumption, with Mexico and Saudi Arabia. Every year in Italy:
- 8 billion bottles of 1.5 litres of mineral water are consumed;
- 280 thousand tonnes of plastic waste are produced.
Good practice consists in installing a station that makes natural and sparkling water available directly from the aqueduct, after appropriate final purification treatment.
Cleanliness and hygiene of the water distributed is guaranteed by an UV sterilizer installed at the taps.
Water collected from the Casetta dell’acqua is free.
There is a limit in the quantity of water that can be consumed for each household.
The objectives of the good practice are:
- to encourage the development and diffusion of the use of water coming from the public network;
- to educate citizens to equip themselves with reusable packaging reducing the use of single use plastic bottles;
- to reduce the environmental costs generated by the transport of bottled water from the place of production to the distribution point.
The main stakeholder is the municipality that pays for the provision of the service and invests in a service that reduces the amount of waste produced by citizens. Citizens benefit from a free service that distributes controlled and free water, including sparkling water.

Resources needed

Costs consist in investment costs and O&M costs:
• construction costs are € 33,000
• O&M costs are € 3,000 for a reference year
There are some communication and promotion costs you have to take in account (€ 1,500 per year)

Evidence of success

Increasing consumption of TAP water means reducing the consumption of plastic packaging.
Council of Casalgrande 2019 results:
- 442 m3 is the amount of water supplied, i.e. approximately 1,2 m3 per day;
- 294.667 1,5 litres plastic bottles avoided, that is savings of approximately 10.3 t of PET and 26,8 t of CO2 (19.6 t of oil saved).
The Council of Casalgrande have decided to install a second Casetta dell’acqua in 2021.

Difficulties encountered

The most critical aspect is the impossibility of checking that users comply with the limit of not exceeding the quantity of 6 bottles per user at each withdraw and the fact that the bottles must not be rinsed on site, but in advance. Anyway, benefits outweigh the impossibility of capillary control.

Potential for learning or transfer

It is a good practice that can be easily transferred as it can be carried out anywhere in the city, preferably near meeting points that are easily accessible and visible.
The key elements for the success of the project are the attention and awareness of citizens to environmental problems. It is therefore of strategic importance to invest in educational initiatives such as the project "Plastic Free" carried out by the local Center for Sustainability Education “Tresinaro-Secchia”, with the aim of training teachers who then train children in schools.
The Casetta dell’acqua lends itself to training and awareness-raising processes for citizens on the subject of reducing the amount of waste produced.
Main institution
Municipality of Casalgrande
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
June 2010
End Date


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