Concerns over drinking water quality and possible disease transmission, as well as widely-publicized water contamination incidents, are contributing to a declining numbers of public drinking fountains across the United States.
In this Pacific Institute report, the authors examine epidemiology studies and other evidence of drinking fountain-related health issues. They find limited evidence of a causal relationship between illness and the use of drinking fountains. Further, problems that were identified can be traced to contamination from poor cleaning and maintenance or from old water infrastructure in buildings, rather than contamination at the point of use.
To ensure the safety and continuance of this valuable public resource, the report authors recommend:
Establishing comprehensive monitoring and testing of all drinking fountains;
Developing and implementing standard protocols for water fountain maintenance, repair, and replacement;