Bottled water poses dilemma for Vermont offices

By JOHN CURRAN | July 24, 2011 | 12:00 PM EDT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont state officials had planned to pull the plug on water coolers and bottled water deliveries in state offices and buildings this month but now are reconsidering amid a wave of complaints from state workers.

Officials say bottled water is a waste of taxpayer money and Vermont could save up to $200,000 a year by having workers use fountains and tap water instead. They say the change would help the environment because toxic chemicals go into making plastic water bottles and the bottling process damages ecologically sensitive stream headwaters.

But many workers complained that the tap water in their buildings is dirty and that they'll have no way to get clean drinking water if the state stops buying bottled water for them.

The policy was to take effect July 1.