11 Jun 2019

Only 70 % of Auckland public water fountains drinkable, clean

From First Up, 5:55 am on 11 June 2019

An Auckland University student has found only 70 percent of the city's water fountains are drinkable and only two thirds of them were classed as clean.

Tyla Goodsell-Matthews tested 282 public fountains around Auckland and spoke to about how she assessed accessibility and cleanliness of the fountains.

Her findings come as the Auckland's public health system is teaming up with the council in a programme that will encourage people to choose tap water over sweetened and fizzy drinks.

The 'Wai Programme' will see an increase to public water fountains around the city and includes the Auckland DHB, Counties Manukau Health, ARPHS, Auckland Transport and Watercare among its partners. 

When assessing how drinkable the fountains were, Ms Goodsell-Matthews looked at the flow and height of the water and also accessibility to the fountains. 

Her assessment of how clean a water fountain looked at no significant discolouration or mould within 1cm of the spout and no rubbish found in the fountains.

She also found that a number of public areas did not have water fountains.

The 'Wai Progamme's key partners are addressing her findings which will be used to inform future infrastucture activities.

Videographer Claire Eastham-Farrelly and Indira Stewart went down to Auckland University yesterday afternoon to find out how often the students are using public water fountains. Watch their video report here: