Is the Water from Public Drinking Fountains Safe?
Each day thousands of people rely on public fountains for safe drinking water, including the homeless, tourists, commuters and those exercising. In recent years, questions have arisen concerning public fountain water quality. Is this water safe to drink and is the local government maintaining the water quality?
Lead contamination, chlorine and waterborne diseases are consistently making headlines. In 2017, for example, water fountains in Lincolnwood, Illinois had to be shut off, due to lead contamination in the water (1).
History of Public Water Fountains
Water is the most important element on
earth, and is essential for life. However the provision of safe and healthy
drinking water has been a challenge over the centuries, and continues to be so
in this day and age. While the public fountain is truly a representation of
human progress—as technology has allowed free water to reach millions—today many
people believe that public fountains are dangerous, dirty and poorly
The first drinking fountain was unveiled in London in 1859. A large crowd gathered to watch the spectacle. Before that year, however, the poor were drinking from the sewage-infested Thames River, while the rich were buying their water from the countryside. It was a time of cholera, typhoid and hepatitis (2).
Has much has changed since then?
From Waterborne Diseases To Chlorinated Water
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research,
half of the decline in urban deaths around the 1900s can be accredited to the
production of safer drinking water. So how was this safer water created? The chemical
chlorine was added to water to kill harmful pathogens, which are disease-causing viruses, bacteria
and protozoa. This reduced the rate of deaths from waterborne diseases.
Chlorinated water is still being used today to make water safe, including in
public drinking fountains.
The addition of chlorine was revolutionary at the time, but research now shows that years of drinking chlorinated water can cause adverse health effects. One study concluded that there is a positive relationship between drinking chlorinated water and bladder and rectal cancer in humans (3). The health effects of chlorinated water on infants, fetuses and children are even more serious. This type of water can cause respiratory problems, including the development of lower respiratory tract infections and asthma (4). Chlorinated water can also cause irritant dermatitis of the skin (5) as well as heart problems, which can result in the underdevelopment of the brain, skull and scalp in infants (6).
From Chlorinated Water to Alkaline Water
Given all of the above, don’t
trust your local government to monitor and control the quality of public water
to your satisfaction. Instead, look after yourself and your family by using a
water bottle filter, like the Power Stick, when you fill up at the public fountain. Submerge the Power Stick in your bottle of water and it will reduce
chlorine levels by almost 99%, add essential minerals, raise pH levels and
reduce damaging oxidation.
The water used in public fountains is usually the same as that coming out of your taps at home. So take control of the water quality in your house by investing in an alkaline filtration system. Santevia’s Gravity Water System and alkaline water pitchers are able to remove up to 99% of the heavy metals and chlorine from your tap water. Santevia filters add in lost minerals like calcium and magnesium, and will reduce herbicides, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, trihalomethanes, organic chemicals, while also raising the pH of your water.
Santevia’s Gravity Water System also offers a fluoride filter with activated alumina that will filter up to 99% of the fluoride in your water. This alkaline water filter will also eliminate rust, sediments, bacteria, parasites, microplastics, chlorine, herbicides, mold, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, tri-halomethanes, heavy metals, organic chemicals, particulates, odours and tastes. Plus it oxygenates the water and adds calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and raises pH levels.
Water is the most important element and a basic need of life. Don't rely on the government to look after your most basic need. With an alkaline filter, you will be able to provide healthier water for your whole family to enjoy.