Sebastopol to crack down on bottled water
Sebastopol, which prides itself on environmental friendliness, is proposing to formalize a long-standing policy that bans city purchase of bottled water at municipal events.
“The practice has been in place for a couple of years, but it has been hit-or-miss; that is one of the reasons the council has expressed an interest in a more formalized policy,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.
City Clerk Mary Gurley said the no-bottled-water policy has not been a problem for workers. “It is a good thing. For one, the environmental impact — it eliminates the use of bottled water,” she said. “We basically have water pitchers and fill it up with tap water and have glass or paper cups we use.”
Most cities in Sonoma County have adopted formal policies, instituted informal bans or are considering them now.
“It is not an issue at all,” said Terri Griffin, the deputy city clerk in Rohnert Park, where the ban went into effect two years ago. “The city gave each of its employees a reusable water bottle over a year ago. I use that. I drink tap water.”
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors enacted a similar ban in September for all county departments and divisions. In October it asked all eight Sonoma County cities to do the same.
“I think that in general everybody has taken it to heart,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Valerie Brown, who proposed the countywide prohibition. “Who would have thought an industry that has become so prolific has started to look so different?”
Brown said it is also an environmental issue that saves money. For Sonoma County, that savings is $70,000 a year.