Starbucks Never Turns Off the Faucet

by Tim Fulton on October 17, 2008

Image: rudolf_schuba

Not to let my ire for Starbucks seep into this post, but if any major company could do something like that, I’d guess it would be Starbucks. Do what, you say? Well, according to earthfirst, Starbucks has a practice of leaving a cold water tap on nonstop in all of its places of business in the world.

Seriously. Why? Evidently Starbucks is under the opinion that if the faucets are turned off when not in use the sinks will begin to grow bacteria and other nasty things you don’t want in a place where food is sold. If you read the earthfirst link, you’ll note that they believe this is bunk. I’m not a doctor and I can’t tell you if it is bunk, but if the sink is used often I doubt it will become a bacterial breeding ground even if the water is off.

If you’ve ever had a leaky faucet, or remember that old Sesame Street animation with the kid brushing his teeth, you’ll know how much wasted water can impact a water bill. Now imagine tens of thousands of faucets running at full blast and how much that’s wasting. According to earthfirst, this is even practices in countries like Australia, which is currently suffering through a serious drought.

Come on Starbucks, there’s got to be a smarter way to wash spoons.

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1 Kris Dee October 25, 2008 at 10:43 am

Do you have a source for this opinion or observance? I personally have not seen running water in the baristas but I could be wrong.

2 Lisa January 27, 2009 at 12:17 am

It is true. I work at a Target store with a Starbucks inside. There is a small faucet that runs at a small, but constant stream of water 24 hours a day. They keep the thermometers that they use to measure the milk temperatures in the sink. I have not asked what the purpose of it is.

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