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Water: What You Can Do

Bring Back the Water Fountain!

Girl drinking from water fountain.

EPA is working with Mayors across the country in concert with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to reinvigorate our nation's supply of public drinking fountains. We are working together to help bring back water fountains to our parks, playgrounds, school yards, city streets and town centers in order to provide access to clean, safe and healthy drinking water for people of all ages.

Mayors and cities have already signed up to work with EPA and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, committing to invest in their communities to restore our public drinking fountains and publicize the benefits of drinking safe, affordable tap water. EPA welcomes others to sign up by emailing Nizanna Bathersfield (bathersfield.nizanna@epa.gov).

Reinvigorating water fountains in cities provides a wide variety of public benefits. In addition to providing an opportunity to educate the public about the importance of safe and affordable public drinking water systems, drinking fountains provide a public service to our community members and tourists who want to drink clean water. It provides an alternative to sodas and other high-sugar drinks for children, both in schools and around town. Restoring old, broken-down drinking fountains not only serves our citizens, it furthers the historic preservation of iconic symbols of public health and welfare in our communities.

The United States has some of the highest quality tap water available in the world for a very low cost to consumers. Cities and municipalities throughout the country work very hard to provide this invaluable service, spending billions of dollars every year to build drinking water treatment and distribution systems and bring clean tap water directly into homes, schools and offices in their communities, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. This represents a major investment in the future of publicly available drinking water.  There are approximately 155,000 public water systems in the U.S. that treat, filter and deliver tap water at an average cost of 0.2 cents per gallon.

Residents pay rates that help support this work, and it is important for the public to understand the value of investing in public drinking water systems. Providing convenient access to clean, safe tap water in public water fountains is one easy way to promote that understanding.

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