12 Jun 2019

Public water fountains safe to drink from - microbiologist

From First Up, 5:53 am on 12 June 2019

Yesterday we heard about an Auckland University study that found only 70 percent of Auckland's water fountains are drinkable and only two thirds of them were classed as clean. Tyla Goodsell-Matthews tested 282 public fountains and was assessing how drinkable the fountains were, looking at the flow and height of the water and also accessibility to the fountains.

Her assessment of how clean a water fountain is looked at levels of significant discolouration or mould within 1 centimetre of the spout and rubbish found in the fountains. When we asked around the university we had a mixed response, some people thought it was too germy and perhaps there was a risk of infection, but how worried should we be? Siouxsie Wiles is an Associate professor of molecular medicine and pathology, a microbiologist and science communicator from Auckland university and she joins me now.