When you’re out and about looking for a free drink, you probably look for a water fountain. Water is the most consumed beverage in the U.S. – and we can see why! It’s not only refreshing, but also has many health benefits. This thirst quenching drink has not always been so accessible, and water fountains have evolved quite a bit over time.
Water Fountains Have Existed for Thousands of Years
Having access to water fountains dates back to ancient civilizations in Greece. They built systems that brought in water from springs and rivers, giving the community a place to fill jugs with water. Yet it was not until the 19th century that anyone thought of building a water fountain for individual use. The very first public drinking fountain was built in 1859 in London. Not to be outdone, New York City built one a few months later.
Drinking Fountains: Now with Cups!
For the first 50 years, water fountains consisted of a spigot that sent out a stream of water, and a metal cup to collect it with. Can you imagine drinking out of the same cup as everyone else? Health professionals advocated for a new design that was more sanitary. The new designs shot water straight into the air, but this did not work either! Too many people put their mouths right on the spigot. In the 1920s engineers came up with the design we see today, which has water coming out at an angle and a mouth guard over the spigot.
Bringing Water Filling Stations into Schools
One of the most recent advancements to drinking fountains is the water filling station. These are traditional fountains that have a place to fill up a water bottle. There are a number of benefits of placing these water filling stations in schools. The Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation is working with the Healthy Beverage Partnership to bring water filling stations to schools. The goal is to encourage children to drink more water, and less sugary juice. Replacing sugary drinks with water can prevent tooth decay, obesity and type II diabetes.
The first of these water station installations, located in Pueblo schools, has had great success. In a school-wide survey, 68% of students reported that they find themselves drinking more water. Want to see a water filling station in your child’s school? Contact us for more information on how you can make it happen!
Cheryl Lyons is the Social Media Specialist at Amélie Company, the local Denver advertising and marketing agency that works with Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation.