As Louisville Water looks to the future with a refreshed Louisville Pure Tap™ logo, let’s take a look back at the milestones that brought us to this exciting point!
The idea for branding Louisville’s tap water came about in response to the increased popularity of bottled water in the mid-1990s. The seeds for the Pure Tap brand were planted when results of a blind taste test of bottled waters ran in The Courier-Journal in May 1996. Louisville’s chilled tap water scored higher than the bottled brands! Single-use bottled water may have been a novel convenience at the time, but Louisvillians agreed that our own tap water was better.
As a result, in 1997, Louisville Water became the first and only water utility to brand its tap water, and Louisville Pure Tap™ was born. Beginning as a grassroots effort, Pure Tap aimed to get empty bottles out into the community so customers could “bottle their own” water. The campaign was a success, and in 1999 we added a mascot to our Pure Tap family, Tapper. Tapper helped engage customers of all ages, especially with Louisville Water’s educational outreach efforts with area schools.
As the need and interest for water in the community grew, so did the Pure Tap brand. In 2001, Louisville Water began bottling Pure Tap for distribution. These filled 8-ounce bottles were a popular addition to community events and races, giving customer the grab-and-go option they were looking for. Bottling our water also made it possible for Pure Tap to be delivered outside the service area. In 2005, 10,000 bottles of Pure Tap were sent to rescue teams helping Hurricane Katrina victims along the Gulf Coast.
As times changed and as the environmental impact of single-use plastics became more evident, Louisville Water decided that the 8-ounce disposable plastic bottles, although convenient, needed to be retired. By 2016, Pure Tap had fully committed to sustainable water service, including compostable paper cups and reusable, BPA-free bottles. These features remain a flagship of the Pure Tap brand to this day, allowing for environmentally friendly water service at events of all sizes. With a nod to Pure Tap’s original roots, “bottling your own” water has become the norm as a more sustainable option.
With the continued popularity of reusable bottles, Louisville Water began investing in bottle refill stations at popular area attractions. Branding these ‘hydration stations’ helps to remind customers the stay hydrated and limits the need for single-use plastic bottles in our community. From 2015 to 2021, Louisvillians have saved over 2.6 million plastic bottles from going into a landfill, just by filling up reusable bottles at these venues.
It’s been an exciting road for Pure Tap over the past 24 years. As Pure Tap has evolved into the brand our customers know and love, we’ve also won a few awards along the way – like the Best Tasting Tap Water in America by the American Water Works Association. With a continued commitment to quality and an exciting new logo, the future is bright for Louisville Pure Tap™.