Drinking Fountains and Public Health: Improving National Water Infrastructure to Rebuild Trust and Ensure Access

Published: February 2017

Authors: Rapichan Phurisamban and Peter Gleick

Pages: 18



Concerns over drinking water quality and possible disease transmission, as well as widely-publicized water contamination incidents, have contributed to a decline in the number of publicly available water fountains. Yet many people rely on drinking fountains for cheap, accessible, and safe municipal water.

This report finds limited causal evidence linking illness and the use of drinking fountains. The risk of fountain water contamination can be reduced or eliminated altogether through improved maintenance and cleaning of water infrastructure, or updating and replacing old water infrastructure, among other measures outlined in this report.