It’s important to take a closer look at what is in your water. The growing concern of water safety has forced a conversation about the public sources, primarily our drinking fountains. The invention of water fountains happened in London of 1859. Since then, water fountains have become a staple in our society. However, recent concerns over potential contaminants has prompted Americans to wonder, are water fountains filtered? The answer? Some are filtered, but not all.
The Flint water crisis of 2014 began concerns over the safety of our public water. This crisis exposed 100,000 citizens to high levels of lead from their water sources. Following that, cities like Chicago began testing their water from public sources. What they found, however, only led to more concern over our water safety. In the Chicago Park District, the agency found that 445 out of 1,891 public outdoor fountains showed high levels of lead. These lead levels proved higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “action level” of having 15 parts per billion.
The agency also discovered that 14 out of 544 indoor fountains and sinks exceeded the federal standard for lead. These fountains are displaying an unhealthy, high amount of lead in the water, with two fountains in the Avalon Park area registering 80 times the permissible level by the EPA. Over 400,000 children utilize these water sources at their summer camps each year. As a reminder, children that are exposed to high levels of lead can have permanent learning and behavioral problems through their lifespan. The lead contamination in water will have lasting effects for decades.
What this goes to show is that many of our public water sources do not have proper filtration systems that are strong enough to filter through harmful chemicals. This lack of responsibility has contaminated our everyday water sources. Exposing children to lead should not be allowed. The reality is, is that these water systems need to have a powerful filter to ensure safe water, and many don’t.
Next steps in water fountains
Out with the old, and in with the new. A new wave of fountains moved their way into public schools, college campuses, airports, businesses and more. These new water fountains allow for a touchless experience and promote the usage of refillable bottles. These machines allow users to set their bottle on the sensor, and the fountain fills the bottle to capacity. There is an anti-microbial mouth guard to protect against the spreading of germs for those who do not carry a bottle and need a quick sip.
The design of the water fountains are great, but in this case: are water fountains filtered? Yes, these water fountains are filtered. However, the filters are known as being carbon activated; meaning that the filter only reduces taste and odor of chemicals, but is not powerful enough to actually remove bacteria, hard metals, or viruses from the water. Brita uses these water filters most frequently. The filters are a “low level” of the three-tiered filtration quality. For the most part, this filter is still providing a better drinking option than previous water fountains allowed. The problem does not stop here, though.
Looking towards the future
There are a few different options for what you can do to ensure you and your family are drinking clean and safe water.
- First, you should know what is in your city’s water. You can do this by scheduling a free water test with your local water filtration company.
- Second, consider investing in a filtered water bottle. You will always know what is in your water when you have a filtered bottle. With the right bottle, you’ll never have to worry about proper filtration in public systems.
- Third, skip the filtered water bottle and filter your water at home. You can fill up your filtered water bottle before you leave your house and take it everywhere with you. Not only is it important to get clean water, it is also important to minimize your environmental footprint. There is no need to buy a surplus of plastic water bottles; filter your water at home and use a refillable bottle.
To find out more information on how important clean water is, check out our video that can explain the benefits of a clean water source. If you haven’t invested in an at home water filter yet, visit our website and get to know our services at ONIT so we can set you up with a free water test to find out what is hiding in your water at home, and give water filtration solutions so your home can provide a healthy lifestyle.