Having safe water fountains should always be a top priority for public health. We all need to stay hydrated, and public fountains help ensure that everyone has access to drinking water wherever they are. Unfortunately, the fountains we currently see installed may be doing more harm than good.
Are Public Water Fountains Safe?
While the best way to hydrate is to drink water, there are a few hygienic concerns surrounding traditional public water fountains and tap water in general. Aside from the chance of interacting with germs when we’re out and about, unfiltered drinking fountains are linked to more specific risks. That’s why all types of facilities are deciding to be proactive and improve their water system setups:
- Schools and Universities
- Healthcare Facilities
- Office Buildings
- Gym/Fitness Centers
- Public Parks/Municipalities
Because some water supplies are still working with lead plumbing parts, certain public water fountains might not be safe drink from. Even though the water treatment plants work to sanitize our public tap water, the water at the spout can be contaminated with lead that leached from the old plumbing. In 2018, at least 56 schools in Central Indiana were found to have elevated levels of lead in their water fountains. Now that our plumbing infrastructure is getting up in years, monitoring our water quality is more important than ever.
Our tap water can easily pick up contaminants as it travels through the pipelines to our homes, public fountains, and community schools. To better ensure that our public water fountains are safe, the Indiana Senate unanimously passed a bill in March 2020 to send to Governor Holcomb. The bill would require all schools that haven’t taken action since 2016 to test for lead in drinking water at least once within the next two years. Discovering lead in your child’s water can be scary to think about, but it’s crucial to check. There are a few concrete ways to make our drinking water safe and clean. It usually comes down to improving the site with proper point-of-use filtration.
3 Features of Clean Water Fountains
Modern water fountains and bottle fillers include a handful of features that make them safer for public use. If you aren’t sure whether a fountain has safe drinking water, you can always look for these three details:
1. Companion Filtration Unit
To start, it helps to know that some sites don’t actually need to replace their older drinking fountain units. When you notice another “fountain-size” box on the wall that’s right next to a traditional-looking fountain, you’re likely looking at a safe fountain system. Those types of filtration systems hook up to the existing unit. They can include powerful water filters to remove lead, and they’ll often have filters to get rid of bacteria, viruses, and cysts. Plus, the filters will work to make the water taste a lot better. It’s a relatively simple upgrade, but it makes a big impact.
2. Sanitary No-Touch Sensor
Touching the buttons and knobs on public fountains can be an easy way to transfer germs. But with modern bottle fillers, we can help lower that risk. These units are great upgrades for just about any workplace or public area. The bottle filler sensor will start and stop the water flow for you, so the system is completely touch-free. All you need to do is hold out your water bottle.
3. Filter Monitor Light
The third feature to check out is whether the bottle filler (or fountain, for that matter) has a filter-change sensor. If you notice this detail, you should expect clean water. Newer units often have filtration built-in, and their quality sensors are often displayed as a little green or red light. This works as a helpful reminder for when the unit’s filters need to get swapped out or serviced. And based on the color of the light, users can feel good knowing that they’re getting filtered water.
Our current environment presents real evidence that public drinking water will to need to be modernized in order to keep people safe. Please know that you can count on Indy Soft Water for all of the latest technology and safest strategies. We’re here to help.