Tippy Taps Provide Affordable Hand Washing Stations to Schools and Community Centers During COVID-19
After Ward 6 City Councilman Steve Kozachik contacted Watershed Management Group (WMG) about installing tippy taps to serve the homeless population in March, interest in tippy taps has taken off. With their simple design—they can be constructed with common materials around the house or easily purchased at a hardware store—tippy taps are low-tech hand washing stations that improve sanitation by creating a contact-free way to wash your hands as well as offer water savings!
The Second Street Children's School, located at the corner of Speedway and Tucson, is installing tippy taps to increase hand-washing opportunities in response to COVID-19 when reopening later this summer. Director Jenny Douglas comments, “going indoors to wash hands is complicated with a group of young children and although hand sanitizer is helpful, we really prefer soap and water for washing hands.” She also lauds the contact-free design of the tippy taps and their wonderful water savings, stating “we are excited about using the tippy taps as a learning opportunity for the kids to learn about water conservation since we will be using the runoff gray water to water our trees on the playground, and up-cycling the water containers from their original purpose.” WMG will be providing four tippy taps to the school, free of charge, thanks to funding from the Kaimas Foundation.
Watershed Management Group has been promoting tippy taps and ecosanitation practices for over a decade internationally, starting with a program in India to provide school children access to hand-washing facilities to eliminate unnecessary deaths caused by diarrheal and respiratory infections. Handwashing with soap is the best way to prevent these deaths, especially in young children, and tippy taps fill a critical function in areas without running water. As schools begin to plan for the 2020 – 2021 school year, tippy taps can play an important role in ensuring the safety of Tucson’s children. Even more broadly, tippy taps can be an affordable, simple solution to promote safety in all of Tucson’s public areas.
The Community Gardens of Tucson contacted WMG, hoping to install some t ippy taps at their garden sites around town. Following WMG’s donation of four tippy taps at multiple locations, Director J. Scott Feierabend remarks that “the opportunity for the public and our gardening community to wash hands and ensue personal hygiene during these challenging times brought on by COVID-19 is a service that will “go the distance” for weeks and months to come.”
Using their years of experience in sanitation work, WMG is pleased to offer a new one-stop-shop webpage of tippy tap resources for the Tucson community and beyond. Featuring a resource library with how-to guides for use and construction, how-to signs, and fact-sheets in multiple languages, anyone can build a tippy tap! In addition, WMG is pleased to offer tippy taps to community locations—especially schools—to promote safety and health during the time of COVID-19.