Lonely Planet Writer

Paris is getting fancy new sparkling water public fountains

If you become thirsty in Paris and are in need of a refreshing drink, you’ll be able to drink crisp, sparkling water from one of the free fountains dotted around the city. While eight of these fountains were introduced in 2010, Paris City Hall has announced that it will provide at least one fountain dispensing sparkling water in every one of the city’s 20 arrondissements.

The unveiling of a soda water fountain called ‘La Petillante’ at the Jardin de Reuilly in Paris. Image: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images

A batch of nine new fountains will be installed by December, and the first recently arrived at Square Eugene Varlin. Called Fontaine Pétillante by Parisians, these fountains are likely to multiply all over Paris in the coming years and were originally introduced as part of a campaign to make tap water more acceptable to locals.

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The city’s water authorities originally presented them as a way to encourage French people to stay hydrated, after they received feedback that people would drink tap water if it was carbonated. French people consume an average of 40 gallons of bottled water annually, and with over 65 million people in the country, the city is also trying to discourage the plastic waste generated by bottled water by providing fresh, clean water at public fountains.

The unveiling of a soda water fountain called ‘La Petillante’ at the Jardin de Reuilly in Paris. Image: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images

The fountains work by dispensing water from the main network, to which CO2 is added just below or above the fountain. The best temperature to add CO2 is 7°C, so the water supplied through these fountains is always distinctively fresh. Many of the sparkling water fountains can be found in gorgeous public parks or gardens, so an added bonus is that you can chill out there and enjoy your refreshing fizzy drink.