Billy Hanafee  PHLASK: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Water Update #6

Hello Code for Philly community! With the addition of several new team members over the past couple months, I wanted to share some project updates:

Current Project Flows

  1. Website PHLASK Map functionality – adding Legend filtering; adding tap filtering; embedding open/close times from Google to add accessibility information
  2. Website PHLASK Map UI/UX – How to display all of the tap data / pictures in the side bar; displaying filtering tools and interface
  3. Data management – updating PHLASK database; mapping PHLASK points
  4. Data crowdsourcing – students at WB Saul HS helping; develop crowdsourcing tool
  5. Water Quality – Engaging PWD to dismantle myths and misconceptions about tap water

Simmering Ideas

  1. Data – Aggregate information about water quality, plastic bottle consumption and taste preferences / water drinking habits
  2. Website Migration – containerize Wordpress site for Linode hosting
  3. PHLASK App – convert website map into downloadable PHLASK App
  4. Special Event Mapping – mapping water locations for special events (eg. Broad Street Run)


  1. “Okay Google, PHLASK for water” Google assistant command
  2. New public tap water infrastructure
  3. PHLASK branded reusable bottles

Update from school visit:

[On March 20th] I visited the students at Walter B Saul High School to talk about their participation in the PHLASK Project and sustainability thinking. We watched “The Story of Stuff” on YouTube, which describes the current wasteful life cycle of consumerism and the need to shift to a more sustainable system for producing, consuming and reusing products. (If you haven’t watched it, I’d highly recommend it!) We then contextualized this with thinking about the life cycle of single-use water bottles and the comparative life cycle impacts vs simply drinking water from the tap. I think the students were pretty engaged at points and showed genuine concern for the issues.

For next steps, the students are going to start creating marketing materials and strategies to reach out to businesses. We did an interesting class survey to measure the students’ own water drinking habits, which I’m also hoping they will extend to the wider school community so that we can get even more data. We also left it a bit open-ended so that they can potentially approach this project from other creative angles.

If anyone is interested in working with the students directly, please reach out and let me know! The class’ teacher, Greg Smith, is very receptive to new ideas and additional ways to give hands-on experience to the students.

Plenty of Water II

Last year around this time, we had a little happy hour celebration at Plenty Café when they became the first Private-Shared point on the map. Since we have a growing team, it might be fun to have another happy hour so we can all hang out and learn more about one another. It could also be an opportunity to welcome other individuals to contribute ideas / help with other project vectors. Just wanted to put that on the radar so we could consider doing it sometime in April (United By Blue as the 2nd private-shared location could be a cool opportunity)

As always, we welcome anyone to the project who would like to get involved and help out. If you see something that strikes your interest or have other ideas, please reach out and join the #PHLASK channel on Slack.