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Outdoor water fountains (the lack thereof)

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Outdoor water fountains (the lack thereof)

Old 07-21-19, 06:25 AM
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road292
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Outdoor water fountains (the lack thereof)

Has anyone else noticed that outdoor water fountains (as in the things you drink from, not the ones you throw a coin into) seem to be a dying breed these days? The 3 or 4 schools I ride by regularly seem to have none, nor does the local college (SUNY Purchase, just north of NYC). The schools my kids attended also have none now, even though these same schools had outdoor fountains maybe 10 years ago.

Is this an actual trend? If so, what's the rationale for removing outdoor water fountains? It sure makes it a PITA to refill water bottles.
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Old 07-21-19, 06:38 AM
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I've noticed the same thing. I've been riding in the same area here for almost 30 years and the number of water fountains has gone down. We have large parks with playgrounds and ball fields with no drinking water available, and I've been known to stop in the public bathrooms at these parks to fill up my water bottles in the sinks. Gotta do what you gotta do.

Why? My guess is that they're too expensive to install and maintain.
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Old 07-21-19, 06:42 AM
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I've had good luck getting water for my bottles at dog parks.

I think the reason for the shortage of playground water fountains is because kids don't play much any more.
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Old 07-21-19, 06:43 AM
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Yep, and it's particularly annoying to me. Live in a rural area and about 2 years ago a park commision was forced on us and we started being taxed for several parks in the valley. Now when I had kids in sports our fees took care of the parks. Once my kids grew up I did not use the parks at all but now have to pay for them. I did realize about two years ago that I could use them for refilling waterbottles at least on my long rides. Then last year one park removed the water fountain. This year another was had it's fountain turned off all year. So annoying in my book and I'm still angry about being taxed to subsidize others recreation.
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Old 07-21-19, 06:48 AM
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Another generation or so and the term "public" may only apply in historical context. I'm lucky to have some country stores where I ride, but if they are closed....
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Old 07-21-19, 06:51 AM
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Wussy millennials afraid of germs...
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Old 07-21-19, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
So annoying in my book and I'm still angry about being taxed to subsidize others recreation.
Could be why there are no fountains. They cost money to install and maintain and people are no longer willing to pay for things that benefit the commons if they see no personal benefit.
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Old 07-21-19, 06:58 AM
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Oh yeah? Try finding a phone booth.

I still see drinking fountains where I always saw drinking fountains: public schools and parks. If y'all were encountering them in other places in the past, that's a new one to me.

My kid's schools all still have water fountains, but this is SoCal: the schools are all fenced in, and the water fountains are shut off unless school is in session.

There are drinking fountains dotted along the Pacific Electric Trail, running through Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, etc, and they are of the magical variety. No matter how hot it is outside, the water is hotter. I got water so hot out of one of those fountains, it took a good 20 minutes to cool down to the ambient temperature, around 90º. I could have made tea with it. It was not refreshing.

One of my favorite things that are sadly also disappearing? Drive-thru dairies. Can grab a bottle of water without even getting off the bike.
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Old 07-21-19, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Could be why there are no fountains. They cost money to install and maintain and people are no longer willing to pay for things that benefit the commons if they see no personal benefit.
Did you miss the part where I said they are taxing all of us for it? The picked up a huge increase in revenue that has never been there. So why are "services" dropping now?

I won't even go into how little they charge all the races and other events that are held at these parks.
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Old 07-21-19, 08:55 AM
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For our Wisconsinites on the forum the OP is reffering to "bubblers".

I knew every park, forest preserve, gas station with drinking fountains on my cycling routes. But its been years since I could depend on those.

Forest Preserves used to have wells with a hand pump. It was a good work out just filling your bottle. And sometimes I'd question the drinkability of some of them. In the city of Chicago parks would have drinking fountains running constantly. "Old time" gas stations, especially Clark stations had refrigerated water fountains. Those were the best. But I can remember filling up in the service area of gas stations. Usually a filthy utility sink. But that saved the day on many occasions.
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Old 07-21-19, 09:01 AM
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"Money's tight, nothing free; won't somebody come and rescue me!"
Stevie Ray Vaughn

Services are for billionaires on welfare, nowadays

Seemed, in France, those pumps were everywhere just for the purpose of the people....
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Old 07-21-19, 09:10 AM
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Does anyone even drink tap water these days?
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Old 07-21-19, 09:21 AM
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Every park, playground, school and church in my area has drinking water(usually refrigerated).
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Old 07-21-19, 09:23 AM
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A state park that is local to me still has a drinking fountain at the rest room area, that actually works! So I fill up there if I need to on my loop, or make a point to go by there. However, I don't think the township park has one any longer. It is a trend, I believe to the big bottled water trend of the last few decades, but also a cost cutting measure so they can spend money on less practical things.
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Old 07-21-19, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
Does anyone even drink tap water these days?
I do. NYC and its suburbs to the north have some of the best quality and tasting tap water in the country (one of the few positive things one can point to about the area...). Very few people have water delivered to their homes, for example, in contrast to when I lived out in the San Jose, CA area several years ago.

That's part of why the lack of drinking fountains is puzzling, as it's not as if no one would want to drink the tap water that came out of them.
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Old 07-21-19, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Oh yeah? Try finding a phone booth.
I saw at least two in Montana last month. This is one of them. Took it in 2017 when I was there the first time.

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Old 07-21-19, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I saw at least two in Montana last month. This is one of them. Took it in 2017 when I was there the first time.
I mean, it's a fair effort, but that's 1,300 miles away. I'm pretty sure I can find a couple drinking fountains before I hit a phone booth. This is SoCal. We don't even have the pedestal-mounted payphones anymore. You can see an occasional empty carcass, or the telltale "four bolts stickin' out of the ground."
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Old 07-21-19, 10:56 AM
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I feel like there are fewer working fountains than 10 years ago, but I don't have any data and could be wrong.
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Old 07-21-19, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
Does anyone even drink tap water these days?
Of course. Why wouldn't you? Unless you live in Detroit.
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Old 07-21-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
Does anyone even drink tap water these days?
I certainly do when I have a choice. Nothing good about bottled water except availability.
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Old 07-21-19, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I mean, it's a fair effort, but that's 1,300 miles away.
Worthington State Forest in NJ.

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Old 07-21-19, 11:46 AM
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You're goin' the wrong way! New Jersey is 2,900 miles away!
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Old 07-21-19, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
You're goin' the wrong way! New Jersey is 2,900 miles away!
Not from me it isn't. I can walk to NJ.

In all seriousness...A lot of people can take things for granted. The campground where that phone booth is has Internet because it was connected a long time ago. The new owners told me that because they are just outside the limits of the closest town it takes 5 years to get new Internet service. Lack of "infrastructure."
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Old 07-21-19, 12:21 PM
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We have a good amount of water fountains around the Atlanta metro. Only problem is that they get turned off in the winter and then sometimes never turned back on again - this seems to be an affliction especially effecting Gwinnett and Fulton counties this year. I can't imagine why as the budgets for both counties are continually increasing, fountain water can't be responsible for that much operating cost?
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Old 07-21-19, 01:05 PM
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I refill at a McDonald's on my routine ride. Cold water right from the soda machine. Feel awkward walking in there covered in sweat and probably stink too but no one has said anything to me yet

On one of my trail rides I pass a little league field. One of the buildings has an outside sink that is on except for in the winter. My bottles do not fit very well but good boutfor about 1/2 full. The park service has pumps with iodine treated water along the C&O trail. I've only had to use them twice for drinking water, used them a lot to put over my head. It's "ground water cold" but it's tinted brown and has a metal taste. Better than nothing. Most larger grocery and retail stores have them but unconvieneantly located in the back. The W&OD trail in northern VA has a lot within site of the trail. I think I've seen some of those cool bike repair stands on that trail too, the ones with the tools on cables.
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