News Feature | April 9, 2019

Paid Ambassador Program Will Evangelize Tap Water In Philadelphia

Peter Chawaga - editor

By Peter Chawaga

In an effort to promote the importance and benefits of tap water, the Philadelphia Water Department will pay local residents to serve as ambassadors.

“The Philadelphia Water Department is launching a Drink Philly Tap Water project, funded by the William Penn Foundation, and is seeking Tap Water Ambassadors,” CBS Philly reported. “According to the application, the ambassadors will be paid $600 between May and November.”

These tap water ambassadors will make $75 for completing a four-hour training session, then are set to receive five $80 payments between June and October. Finally, a $125 payment will be provided in November. They’ll also get $56 for transportation and outreach opportunities.

“The program is about a 50-hour commitment spread across seven months,” according to CBS Philly. “The ambassadors’ primary responsibilities will be to promote Philadelphia’s tap water and its low cost to their communities.”

All in all, it appears to be an effort to address an issue that municipal drinking water systems all over the country wrestle with: the lack of public awareness around the cleanliness, affordability, and other benefits of tap water. According to CBS Philly, the program was launched following a survey that found 40 percent of the city’s residents drink bottled water over tap water in their homes.

“The goal of the new Drink Water Project is pretty simple, drinking more tap water and less bottled water,” per 6 ABC. “The message is that Philadelphia water is safe, healthy and more affordable than bottled water. It also means less plastic in the community, which the Water Department says is better for the environment.”

Ambassadors will be expected to attend community events and make presentations around the city.

In addition to hiring about 25 local ambassadors via the application process, the Philadelphia Water Department is launching a “Philly Water Bar” and has partnered with celebrity ambassadors. It’s too early to tell how effective the efforts will be, but they’ve already generated a good amount of buzz.

“Six hundred dollars to tell people to drink tap water? Hey guys drink tap water,” said Daniel Gonzales, a Philadelphia resident, when 6 ABC described the program to him. “It is good for you. It’s always cold.”

To read more about how drinking water utilities evangelize their services to consumers, visit Water Online’s Consumer Outreach Solutions Center.