A talking tap is making a refreshing change for water drinkers on Wearside.
Visitors to several venues in the region, including Sunderland, have been pleasantly surprised that they could get a drink of tap water from a complementary water cooler, thanks to Northumbrian Water.
However, a bigger shock was to come as once the cooler had finished dispensing water, it started to spout advice and handy tips.
Passers-by, who took a drink from the water cooler, including Sunderland supporters in the club's Fanzone at the Stadium of Light, were unaware that it contained a specially-installed speaker system and camera, allowing it to talk to people and capture their reactions.
A video featuring some of the often-comical reactions has now been released as part of Northumbrian Water’s It’s In The Water campaign and people can look out for their own response at www.nwl.co.uk/hydrate.
The campaign highlights the excellent quality of tap water, as well as its versatility, and has seen the creation of great-tasting recipes, partnerships with leading restaurants being formed and a series of posters designed to illustrate the wide range of benefits that come from the water of the North East.
Posters are being placed at bus shelters and on the backs of buses and a two-week radio campaign is also underway as part of the campaign, in partnership with Heart FM. The talking water cooler was joined on its travels by members of the station's Heart Angels team, who handed out information to members of the public.
Northumbrian Water provides an average of 675 million litres of water per day to 2.5 million people and sewerage services to 2.7 million people, through a network including 17.035km of potable water mains, 29,923km of sewers and 264 reservoirs.
Northumbrian Water's marketing manager, Jennie Collingwood, said: “We are fortunate in the North East to have a plentiful supply of tap water which is among the best quality water in the UK.
“Some of the reactions when the water cooler started talking were brilliant, making it a really engaging way to spread the importance of water as part of a healthy lifestyle. This is all part of our work to not only highlight the value of water, but to pass on ideas of different ways in which it can be enjoyed, from switching fizzy drinks for water, to great water infusion recipes.
“Many people in the region are aware that we are lucky to have great tasting tap water, but we are keen for everyone to know. The quality of your water is checked at every stage of its journey from our treatment works to your tap."