UPDATED: October 13, 2022

Everyone knows that water is essential for life, but bottled drinking water can be costly. 

If you’re one of those looking for water to drink that isn’t tap water, and you want to save money by not spending on bottled water, then look no further, because we have the answers for you.

We were surprised to find out that 3 out of 4 Americans are chronically dehydrated. Maybe they don’t have access to clean water 24/7 or they don’t like drinking tap water.

So we did our research and found out where you can have your water containers refilled for an affordable price. 

We’ve also added in a few quick information tidbits on the different kinds of drinking water and how you can get some for free or at least save money on it. 

If you don’t want to keep wasting money on expensive bottled water or risk getting dehydrated, then keep reading! We’ll tell you all there is to know about saving money on bottled water and staying fresh and perfectly hydrated. 

Drinking Water Filling Stations Near Me

The first step to keeping yourself fresh and hydrated? Drink more water! Here are a few water filling stations that are probably close to your home. 

1. Primo Water

Cost per gallon: $0.35; $22 for a reusable 5-gallon container with one refill.

Type of water: Filtered

Method of refilling: Bring an empty container to a nearby station and fill it.


Ace HardwareWhole Foods
Home DepotCVS
WalmartFamily Dollar
ChevronFood Lion
AlbertsonsFood 4 Less
Food MartJewel
KrogerOffice Depot
Sam’s ClubMeijer

Primo Water is one of the biggest water refilling businesses in the US. They offer reusable and pre-filled water containers in over 13,000 of their locations. They also have around 22,000 standalone water refilling stations in North America. 

Refilling costs about $0.35 per gallon on average. If you don’t have a container, the initial cost for the container and one refill is about $22. 

Primo Water dispensers can be found in most major retailers and online sellers. Their refill stations cwan also be found in many of the biggest retailers you know like Ace Hardware, Home Depot, and Walmart. 

2. Watermill Express

Cost per gallon to refill: $0.25-$0.35 depending on location; $20 for a 5-gallon container and 5 free refills

Type of water: Filtered

Method of refilling: Bring an empty container to a nearby station and fill it.

Locations: Standalone locations

When it comes to standalone and drive-up drinking water refill stations, Watermill Express is the biggest name in the game. 

They actively encourage their customers to opt for refills instead of buying single-use plastic water bottles every time. For example, they offer 5-gallon containers with 5 free refills for only $20. 

Watermill Express uses filtered water that leaves some minerals. This makes it ideal for use with steam mops and humidifiers as well. Some of their locations even offer crushed ice at an affordable price. 

Watermill Express accepts cash, debit cards, and credit cards for payment. 

3. Culligan

Cost per gallon: $0.25 ; $1.00 for five gallons

Type of water: Filtered

Method of refilling: Bring an empty container to a nearby station and fill it.

Locations: Standalone locations

Culligan Water operates over 600 locations throughout the US and Canada. They provide filtered water to businesses and homes, as well as to industrial facilities throughout the world. 

The business also sells faucet water filters, filtration systems, whole-house filtration systems, drinking water systems, water softeners, and industrial and commercial water treatment solutions. They also offer 5-gallon bottle deliveries, if you’re looking for them.  

Culligan Water has standalone locations in different parts of the country. They also offer delivery if it’s more convenient for you.

4. U-Fill Water

Cost per gallon: $0.25-$0.35 depending on location

Type of water: Filtered

Method of refilling: Bring an empty container to a nearby station and fill it.

U-Fill Water is another popular name in the water refilling station industry in the US. Depending on the location, they offer refills for an average of only $0.25 to $0.35 per gallon. 

Most of their branches are located in the Northeastern US. 

Types of Drinking Water

We hear these all the time: distilled drinking water, purified drinking water, mineral water, etc.. What differentiates one from the other? 

1. Tap Water

Tap water is the most common type of drinking water generally available to everyone. As the name implies, you can simply get it from a tap or a faucet, whether you’re at home, in school, at the office, or in any public place. 

It mainly comes from lakes, rivers, and wells, and is used for everyday needs like showering, cooking, and drinking. In most cases, tap water is purified before it reaches you. 

2. Spring/Glacier Water

Springwater, otherwise known as glacier water, as the name implies, comes directly from a glacier or a spring. Because it’s taken directly from these sources, this kind of water is considered free from toxins. 

If the source contains minerals, then traces of it will probably be found in the drinking water. 

3. Mineral Water

Mineral water is typically pulled from mineral sources. These sources contain various kinds of healthy minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. It is generally considered a healthier alternative because of these properties. 

4. Flavored/Infused Water

Infused or flavored water contains sugar or artificial flavors that encourage you to drink more. While they might taste good, they are generally considered slightly less healthy because of the chemicals added to create flavors. 

Plus, they are rarely available for refills. Instead, they often come in small single-use plastic bottles, which are not only expensive, but also not eco-friendly.

5. Well Water

Well water is a popular source of affordable drinking water especially in rural areas. People here often drill into the ground until they reach a depth where an underground water reservoir lies. Afterwards. The water is then collected by pumping. 

6. Alkaline Water

Alkaline water has a higher pH level than regular tap water. It undergoes a process of passing through rocks and minerals that increase its pH level and nutrient content. Alkaline water has a pH level of over 7. 

Proponents of this kind of water say that it helps neutralize acid in the bloodstream. While it may have some small effect, research shows that alkaline water is not likely to change blood pH significantly.

Still, other studies also maintain that it helps with bone loss. However, it isn’t clear if the benefit can be maintained over a long period of time. 

8. Distilled Water

Distilled drinking water is one of the safest kinds of drinking water out there. It undergoes a process that includes heating the water until it turns into vapor, then cooling it through condensation to form distilled water. 

This process kills harmful microorganisms that may enter your body when you drink it. At the same time, however, it also strips the water of important minerals like sodium, calcium, and magnesium that give other kinds of water that distinct flavor. 

While the process can make the water taste bland, it is considered the safest to drink. 

How to Get Free Water

While these ways of getting drinking water may not be conventional, they are some of the best life hacks to help you save money on your H2O expenses. Here are a few ways to get free, clean, drinking water for your home.

1. Install a whole house water filtration system

A home water filtration system may cost you a bit of money upfront, but it’ll save you tons later. It’s a great way of keeping your H2O costs low, while simultaneously ensuring that you’re still drinking safe and clean water. 

Whole house water filtration systems, otherwise known as Point-of-Entry (POE) water filtration systems, are installed at the point where water gets into your home. It can cost anywhere from $600 to $4,200, depending on the brand and the quality. 

Keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay for labor and materials. Again, the cost of this will vary depending on the structure of your home. 

2. Go for reverse osmosis systems

Reverse osmosis systems use three or more purification stages to remove impurities from your water supply. It softens water and removes salt to give it a healthy balance that is perfectly safe for home use. 

Unlike whole house water filtration systems, reverse osmosis systems are only installed in specific sinks in your kitchen, bathroom, or whichever faucet you want to treat. A reverse osmosis system is easy to set up and will only cost you $150 to $1,300.

3. Set up a well

A well may be a more old-school approach that seems appropriate only for those planning to go off-grid. Still, if you can afford it, it’s a great source of free, natural drinking water for the rest of your life. 

On average, hiring a drilling company to dig a well can cost about $15 to $30 per foot. A standard well will probably go for 100 meters deep or more. 

However, you also have to keep in mind that other costs include electrical wirings, control panels, pump systems, pressurized storage tanks, and well water filtration systems. These components can cost you an additional $2,000 to $8,000.

4. Self-haul

If the options above are too expensive, then you can always collect water and bring it back home from the public water station near you. With enough containers, you might even get away from hauling water once a week from locations like the nearest gas station.

If you are able to successfully haul water from public sources, make sure that it is purified and filtered before you use it. An old-fashioned method of doing this is to boil it to at least kill the many strains of bacteria that may be present there. 

If you can afford it, buy water filters and check which kinds of contaminants it will remove. Just make sure you don’t drink the water you got from public sources without filtering or purifying it in some way. 

5. Capture rainwater

Rainwater harvesting is a method popular among homesteaders. It’s a great way of collecting natural water in months when rainfall is significant in your area. 

If you are considering this option, make sure to review the monthly rainfall levels in your area so you have an idea of how much you can depend on this system for your needs. Similarly, like with hauling from public sources, make sure to filter or purify your water especially before you drink it. 


Buying bottled water regularly isn’t just harmful for the environment. It’s also harmful for your pockets! If you want to save money on your H2O needs, then you know that refilling is the way to go. 

Make sure to go through our list of nearby water refill stations so you can save money on your drinking water needs. Alternatively, there are also a few ways that you can get water for free that you might want to consider as well.