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Do fountains waste water? The false myths to dispel

Fountains waste water

Water is our blue gold, a resource of inestimable value that we must protect every day. The drought phenomenon has in fact led all citizens to a new water awareness, but a question arises while walking around the city: do public drinking fountains waste water?

Wouldn’t it be more useful to insert a tap? And how much water do city water points consume on average?

Fountains and public drinking fountains: a virtuous cycle

Let's debunk a myth: the Nasoni of the capital, the Vedovelle of Milan, the Toret of Turin don't waste water. It may sound paradoxical, but the water flow generated by fountains and public drinking fountains helps safeguard the quality of this precious resource.

City water points play an essential role in preserving the public network: the continuous water circulation and recirculation allows maintaining old or damaged pipes active, preserves pressure and prevents water stagnation, causing germs and bacteria to proliferate. Thanks to the drinking fountains, public water stays potable, fresh and good.

A green cycle, but also an indispensable source of life: denying access to public water resources means depriving the population of an indisputable right. Thousands of local people and tourists use the water supplied by Nasoni to quench their thirst after a long walk, and thousands of poor people use fountains for cooking or washing up.

Public drinking fountains are a genuine example of civilization and a visiting card for the whole city, especially if you can find them on almost every corner. The water points help you quench your thirst after a walk in the city centre, wash the fruit, water the animals, collect the water for watering the plants, and also disincentivize plastic waste: thanks to a practical interactive map, Acea Waidy Wow makes it easy for you to find the nearest Nasoni to fill your water bottle or refill container.

Shutting down the public drinking fountains: a solution or a new problem?

Closing public drinking fountains is useless to save water. Contrary to what one might think, water points only provide 1% of public water: in our country, about a third of drinking water waste is caused by the colander water network.

According to Istat, in 2020 alone, 36.2% of the water put into the water network was wasted. The most substantial waste takes place in the final section of the water network, at the very point that brings water to consumers, due to the rather outdated pipes.

Before even knowing the numbers of waste, during the 1980s, the Municipality of Rome tried to install small wheel-shaped taps on Nasoni: the initiative failed, and the wheels didn't work or disappeared overnight.

In other words, public drinking fountains are not relevant if we're talking about water waste. On the contrary, administrations are trying to encourage their use. A city educated in the culture of water fountains avoids plastic accumulation, appreciates the value of free drinking water and makes the most of this resource on every public occasion.

The European Commission has recently introduced important innovations in the drinking water directive as well: among the goals are the installation of more public drinking fountains, the transparent diffusion of information on water resources and the continuous improvement of drinking water quality.