How clean are our drinking fountains?

Picture by Filip Pejcinovic

Picture by Filip Pejcinovic

Sometimes a dirty looking drinking fountain can be the only thing between you and that feeling of satisfaction a few gulps of water give you after long day, but did you make a mistake by trusting its cleanliness?

There are many different factors you should consider when choosing to drink out of the fountain in question. When a fountain is not cleaned often or maintained it could pose a risk. It is not recommended to drink from leaky fountains which could lead to contact between the spout and user’s lips.

Contaminants could possibly be found on the spout, Though it is much safer than making contact with the bowl. Fortunately people usually know how to use a drinking fountain so what poses the greatest risk  would have to be bacteria or viruses growth on places of hand contact, similar to risk’s someone would encounter when using bus handrails.

Jordan Bonecutter a student at Saddleback Colledge of two years pursuing a degree in electrical engineering, does not use Saddlebacks fountains saying that that the “water pressure is low”.  

What’s most likely to get people sick is if the public water supply is contaminated or not regulated. According to safety standards set in place by the Centers for Disease Control or CDC.

Community water systems under the CDC go through a series of filtration treatment. Including Coagulation and Flocculation which introduces chemicals with positive charge into water causing any dirt to bind to these chemicals.

Afterward the dirt clumps sink to the bottom of the water which is then sent through filters, later chlorine is added to kill any remaining bacteria, parasite or viruses. 

Public fountains can provide aid to those that are willing to trust them, when considering drinking from one use it correctly and keep hegene in mind.