Somewhere in the back of my mind, I'm sure I remember a device called a drinking fountain which could be found in parks and at the side of the road.  This strange-looking piece of apparatus could be used to procure liquid refreshment at the tweak of a handle.  What a novel idea .... and wouldn't it be good if we had those these days in parks, the countryside, well-used walking, running and cycle paths?  What do people think?  Has the water fountain had its day and should it be revived or am I just not hardcore enough and should stop whinging and run miles and miles until I am a dehydrated husk?

In the meantime, I continue to use my uncomfortable water-carrying running belt.



  • Fine idea, except they'd more than likely be smashed to bits, or have some other unspeakable act done to them, by some ner-do-wells.
  • I would guess that mostly they've been removed as the local yoof probably vandalise them.

    They have them round my way, though, in the country parks. They also have a bowl for dogs to drink from.

     I guess the chavs don't go there - bit too healthy, that outdoors.  And no chippy.

  • I remember those! Last time I saw one working was when I was in school. Unfortunately that was a fair few years ago ... OK, I admit it - it was in the last millenium!! Even if youths looking for new ways to gain another ASBO could be kept off them you'd probably find they wouldn't work, as the nozzles would be caked with the impurities in the water. You're probably better off with your belt

  • I think the problem with this is that you have lots of annoying disease carriers who will waste the water.

    This may land up costing the council more money, which in turn will cost the tax payer money and somehow land up damaging the environment more so that global warming goes nuts and the world gets decent summers.

    I am in  image

  • Hey PO image - what are annoying disease carriers.

    Do you have drinking fountains in SA?  There are loads in Aus and you find them in the middle of nowhere.

    Welshman - the Councils should have a duty to keep the fountains maintained, after all water is a basic human need.  Don't you think?

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    There's one on the grass  outside  the Louvre in Paris, but yeah, over here they'd just get vandalized.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Greenwich obviously has a better class of council (and yoof) because I've happily been using a couple of water fountains in the park all summer. But yeah, you don't see many around generally.  Wouldn't be surprised if a lot of councils used 'elf & safety as an excuse for not supplying them.
  • Parky think the reason they all disappeared was because of hepatitis. If someone drinks from it and touches or spits on the fountain they can infect everybody else who drinks from it. This is why pubs can get done for reusing glasses from the same person in steed of washing them, because of the liquid in the glass touches the nossle anyone else who get's beer from the pump in question might get hepatitis if the person who drank from the glass had it. remember kids science is fun.image
  • Disease Carriers are in every country!

    We erm...we don't have fountains out here. 

    We totally belive in tunnelling into the ground and finding your own f***ing water, you wimp!!


  • It's a shame some people seem almost resigned to the fact that water fountains would get vandalised.  There are 3 I know of in the city I live in and they have been consistently operational for years.  I have also managed to get the Council to agree to look into reinstating one which is located in an area where there are a lot of runners + putting one in my local park, which is surrounded by woods and fields where people walk and run.  So some success.

    I'm optimistic that people's attitudes are changing and that the actions of a few tw*ts won't be allowed to impact on the public who pay for and use local services.

  • I expect councils are also worried about getting sued by people who catch a disease from a water fountain which has previously been used by a disease-carrier!

    On the ones in our parks there is a bit that squirts upwards, for humans, and  tap that you press down on for the water for dogs.

    I only ever use the dogs' tap - humans carry far more germs!

    Parklife - someone beat you to it!

  • Most people should be aware of that though - I never touch the lip of the fountains! 

    In Hyde Park, there was a tap in the middle of a route I used to run and I always dangled my head around it and tried to swallow the water with my abnormally large mouth

  • was it this one PO?


  • At my schools there were always drinking fountains and I can't remember any of us kids getting anything.  Maybe that's because we hadn't heard of diseases and couldn't get paranoid that we were contracting them!
  • Its a nice idea - but councils are closing libraries round here and sacking lollipop ladies.

    We used to have them in the good old days, but now I cant see them coming back. And anyway - theres only a couple of months a year that I could do with water when I'm out.
  • I'm definately in.  I've been think this for a while myself but have just never vocalised it.  Should reduce the numnber of plastic bottles that are used too. But I guess the purveyers of these vastly overpriced bottles of mineral water would complain.

  • My OH lives in Malvern and there are fountains that dispense mineral water from a natural spring. Its exactly the same stuff that you can get in bottles but is free. The queen drinks the bottled stuff and if its good enough for her, its good enough for me!
  • Funny, I've been thinking the same recently.  Water fountains are common in other countries (e.g. parts of the US), and are such a social good.  It seems to me that it is all part of the general cr*pness of life: people can't make money out of drinking fountains I suppose, so they can't be worth putting in.  On another (related) subject, I spent nearly twenty pounds on fish and chips in a restaurant on Felixstowe sea front: I asked for a glass of tap water, was refused but was told they'd sell me a bottle.  Utterly cr*p:  the fish and chip shop at Felixstowe Ferry is the same price and a hundred times nicer.  Glad to do my little bit to put rubbish enterpises like that out of business.
  • If I go into a restaurant that states that they don't serve tap water I always make sure I ask for it, just to make a point that some people might actually want tap water and not a bottle of water that had to be manufactured, transported and disposed of.  I don't usually get one but I also make sure I never go back to those restuarants.
  • Thanks for the tip Matt.  *Makes mental note if ever visits Felixstowe to avoid posh tap-dodging restaurant.*

    On the subject of restaurants, I arrived back in town after a 10-mile run on a v hot day, having drunk my bottle of water and zoomed into a restaurant to request a glass of water.  The member of staff was v obliging and went to get some cold filtered water from the fridge out at the back, rather than from the tap right by the bar.  How nice.  The restaurant was Lockside in Bristol.

  • Lets put a tax on bottled water to pay for water fountains. Even at 1p a bottle it would raise millions.
  • James, your suggestion fills me with Joy. image
  • If they ever say that they don' thave tap water, you should go to the toilet, release some hostages and come back screaming that they should REALLY pay their water bill
  • That idea stinks! image
  • There's plenty of water fountains in Richmond Park - means I don't have to bother carrying water on my long runs image
  • Parklife wrote (see)
    That idea stinks! image

    Only when eating prunes

  • Not sure if it's been mentioned but City of London is looking at bringing back drinking water fountains to combat the plague of plastic bottles. Many of the replies talk about the health risks and about them being vandalised. I think the design of them so that the water squirts upwards helps to reduce disease transmission (unless you want to lick the spout of course!). Don't know what the solution to the vandalism is but don't think this is a reason not to have them.

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    There are two in Hyde Park actually and one in St James as well - I use them all the time and dont suffer any ill effects image

    I also use the dog tap to wet my legs when they get hot on long runs image

  • There's a dog tap?  I've never even heard of those.  What a good idea! 
  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    Well there are two actually! Ones at the top of the hill on the wide path as you come down sort of opposite the statue of victoria (gosh thats scary in the dark!) and the other is at the bottom of the hill before you round the corner to the loos - they are very useful to run on your hot muscles on hot days when you are 16 miles in image

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