Rebels are Refilling!

Join UNLV's sustainability community by using a hydration station.

There are a lot of reasons to love Las Vegas tap water. It's strenuously regulated by, not only the Environmental Protection Agency, but also the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Las Vegas Water District one hundred times per month to make sure our tap water is safe for consumption. Now, thanks to Facilities Management and other funding, UNLV offers 40 hydration stations with free, cold, filtered tap water on campus!
Locate a Hydration Station: map

What's a hydration station?

Hydration stations allow the UNLV community access to clean, good-tasting water that quickly and easily refills reusable bottles. These are a sustainable alternative to expensive plastic bottled water. On campus, there are two types of carbon-filtered hydration stations: the Brita and the Elkay systems.

Hydration Station

Why choose hydration stations?

There are many reasons to use the hydration stations on campus. Drinking tap is great for your planet, your health, and your wallet.

Your Planet

  • Each year about 50 billion plastic bottles of drinking water are purchased in the United States, requiring the energy equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil - enough to fuel more than one million vehicles for a year and produce more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.
  • In 2007, 3 out of 4 plastic bottles in the U.S. ended up in landfills, oceans, or were incinerated.
  • For each gallon of water bottled in a PET container, two gallons are wasted in the making of the plastic bottle and the bottling process.
  • Transporting bottled water across hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles spews carbon dioxide into the air and contributes to climate change.

(Image: Waterstillar)

Your Health

  • More than 70 percent of plastic products release chemicals that act like estrogen according to Environmental Health Perspectives.
  • Testamerica found that their store bought bottled water containing a chemical called toluene, which is a constituent used in gasoline along with paint thinners.
    Another test conducted by Testamerica found that bottled water left in cars had chemicals leached into the water such as styrene, a cancer-causing agent that also has adverse reproductive effects.
  • BPA is another chemical of concern found in plastic which has been linked to breast cancer, immune system damage, heart disease, and diabetes.

Your Money

  • In 2006, Americans consumed 8.3 billion gallons of bottled water- that's 26 gallons per person! And, the cost of all this bottled water is high-- economically and environmentally.
  • Americans spend $0.89 to $8.26 per gallon on bottled water, while tap water costs an average of $0.02 per gallon.
  • According to the Environmental Working Group of the FDA, 44% of bottled water is just tap water, so you might not even be getting what you paid for.

Source: Pacific Institute's Fact Sheet [PDF]

Campus Facts

Our Campus

  • At UNLV, from August 2010 to July 2011, 79,799 bottles of water were purchased on campus for a total of 16,045 gallons of water.
  • On average, a Brita hydration station can save a student $400 annually.
  • Rebel Recycling estimates about 35% of the plastic bottles purchased on campus are recycled.


Tap water at UNLV is sourced from the Rocky Mountain snowmelt that makes its way from the Colorado River into Lake Mead and is further filtered by the Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) and the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) before it reaches our hydration stations. Water quality is determined through rigorous testing for contaminants and results must meet or surpass federal and state drinking standards.

Take the pledge with UNLV's Take Back the Tap (TBTT) campaign. Take Back the Tap promotes tap water as an alternative choice to bottled water and educates the campus through a website, newsletters, class presentations, and various social media. Follow Take Back the Tap on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Email Take Back the Tap at for more information.


For more information, contact Tara Pike,
UNLV Sustainability Coordinator,
at 895-3760 or