News | May 8, 2018

What's In A Name? Louisville Water Company Celebrates The 21st Anniversary Of The Louisville pure tap® Campaign

Filling up Louisville pure tap cup1

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer joined Louisville Water employees to kick off a 21-week campaign that highlights one of the city’s prized liquid assets, tap water. In 1997, Louisville Water did something no other water utility to date has done: It trademarked its tap water. The Louisville pure tap® campaign highlights the quality, innovation and value of the city’s tap water, a drink that’s twice earned the honor as the “best-tasting tap water in America” from the American Water Works Association. Since Louisville is a city that loves its beverages, a 21st anniversary for Louisville pure tap® is appropriate.

The 21-week celebration will include tours of Louisville Water facilities and lots of pure tap® served at dozens of community events — as well as the remake of a 1997 song about Louisville’s drinking water, “You Can’t Top the Tap.”

“For a city renowned for its award-winning beverages in both bourbon and drinking water, it’s only fitting to celebrate pure tap’s 21st birthday,” Mayor Fischer said. “It’s a great way to recognize Louisville’s pioneering past, as well as its innovative present, that has given us remarkable water that continues to be such an important resource.”

 Louisville Water began as Kentucky’s first public water provider in 1860, and the company pioneered experiments into modern-day water treatment. Its two treatment plants are ranked as two of the top 16 in North America for quality water with the Phase IV Partnership for Safe Water.

“Louisville Water is one of the premiere water utilities in the United States and our water quality is ranked among the best in the country,” said Spencer Bruce, President and CEO of Louisville Water. “It’s important that we talk about the science that goes into making and delivering a product that everyone in this community uses. The pure tap campaign is our platform to elevate the value of water.”

Why name the tap water?
The seeds for the Louisville pure tap® campaign were planted at a time when bottled water sales and home treatment devices were gaining in popularity. The results of a local blind taste test of bottled waters ran in The Courier-Journal in 1996, and Louisville’s chilled tap water scored higher than the bottled brands. Louisville Water thought if the water was so good; why not give it a name?

The Louisville pure tap® campaign started with an empty bottle and the message that if you want great, high-quality bottled water, all you need is the bottle. The campaign has evolved from focusing on the container to the product itself. Today, the Louisville pure tap® campaign reaches more than a million people through events, education and social media. Some of the most popular tweets are from college students who miss the taste of the water when they leave home.

What’s in the Louisville pure tap® campaign?
The Louisville pure tap® program centers on enjoying tap water, highlighting the science behind it and illustrating the value of water to a community. Louisville Water is at over 100 community events annually to serve water with its mobile water station or coolers and compostable cups. Customers can request a reusable bottle and businesses can receive water pitchers, cups and coasters to use at meetings and conventions.

If you travel to Louisville, you’ll notice branded drinking water fountains with a message that encourages guests to “drink local.” At local schools and community events, thousands of children learn how Louisville Water makes pure tap®. Search “Louisville Water” on Twitter and you’ll find college students tweeting (and debating) about the taste of pure tap®. Finally, a visit to the WaterWorks Museum at Louisville Water’s 1860 pumping station shows the history and innovation of the city’s drinking water. Guests can even learn about the taste test panel that’s part of 200 daily experiments on the drinking water.

In 2018, the 21-week celebration includes tours of Louisville Water facilities, pop-up events where pure is served, and some flashbacks from the 1990s. See the story of Louisville pure tap® and the events at

A utility with a rap song? When Louisville Water launched the pure tap® campaign in 1997, a local ad agency created a rap song, “You Can’t Top the Tap.” Louisville Water is sponsoring a contest for a remake of this classic song, encouraging submissions in variety of formats.

Find additional information on this program and the 21-week celebration of Louisville pure tap® at Louisville Water’s website.

About Louisville Water Louisville
Water began as Kentucky’s first public water provider in 1860 and today delivers an average of 117 million gallons of drinking water to nearly one million people in Louisville and surrounding counties. To highlight the quality of its drinking water, Louisville Water trademarked its tap water as Louisville pure tap®.

Source: Louisville Water