Helmut Nickl, authorised signatory of GRAZ AG and head of its Water Division, recalls the first attempt to change this situation: “In conjunction with the Graz City Council, we launched the initiative ‘more drinking fountains for Graz’.
This led to a contest at the Institute for Industrial Design at FH Joanneum. Of the award-winning model, merely eight pieces were built and erected throughout the city. However, the time just did not seem ripe for public drinking fountains.”
This all changed when the trend to drink native water started booming; the newly discovered passion for jogging and cycling further added to this development and eventually caused a turnabout. In the meantime, Mirko Ercher from GRAZ AG had developed a new fountain model, which was at first set up alongside the bicycle and jogging trails.
The drinking fountain of Graz was born! Today the drinking fountains, which are also sold through Styrian Aqua Service (SAS), can be found at 179 sites throughout the city area, with their number growing constantly, as the water experts of Graz proudly point out.
The elegant, easy-to-handle and inexpensive design meanwhile enjoys growing popularity also outside the city limits of Graz and has obviously come to bridge a market gap. Peter Weinbauer and Klaus Zausinger, the two managing directors of SAS, are pleased to have meanwhile sold as many as 130 drinking fountains.
While customers were initially mostly from the Styrian province, the drinking fountain has meanwhile also found a home in Klagenfurt, Villach, Krems, Mannersdorf, Rax Bergen, Wels and Feldkirch. A special place of honour was reserved for the drinking fountain in Vienna, next to the Emperor’s Palace of Schönbrunn.
Also more and more companies are deciding to get themselves a water fountain made in Graz; and with customers coming from Germany, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Switzerland, the fountain has finally made it into the international arena.
For customers who order more than ten drinking fountains, GRAZ AG now adds a nice thank-you gift: a miniature drinking fountain by the model designers Michael Poier and Bernhard Perl.