A project done by a 13 year old brought him some brief national fame. He found that the school drinking fountains were not very clean…in fact, the toilets were cleaner! He cultured sample from both, and found the drinking water sample to be teeming with more diversity, and quantity of bacteria.
The most notable risks from drinking from a water fountain include: Viruses, bacteria, the quality of water, and whether the water fountain meets all the government established safety guidelines.
At the start of 20th century, researches found that the vertical flow of a water fountain was causing an epidemic of illnesses. They then took action and made vertical flow spouts illegal. They also enacted a series of laws and regulations in regards to the cleanliness and quality of public water fountains.
Then the next danger was the lead poisoning…which resulted in the governmetn stepping in again controlling what the pipes for water-fountains were made of.
I would not say they are the safest of places, but millions of people use them around the United States and no recent epidemics have been found to occur or be facilitated by water fountains.
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