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Best Practices - Five Fun Facts About Filtered Water and Drinking Fountains - What You Must Know

While touring the construction of a new building (yes, people are starting construction again!), a woman asked about the drinking fountains or the bubblers and whether they would be offering filtered water. That got me thinking about filtered water and what everyone should know. You see, in my day, decades ago, filtered water didn't exist. In fact, a filter to remove lead wasn't even available within our technology. We knew the hazards of lead but removing the lead was not a common item.

Thankfully over the decades of my life, we have evolved. We now understand the importance of hydration, we know understand how harmful some chemicals can be and we all crave pure water.

What have we learned about water? What have we changed about our drinking water here in the United States. How are we different from other countries in the world. Are we always better?

Drinking Fountain

colorful clip art of a Drinking Fountain and a person using the bubbler

colorful clip art of a Drinking Fountain and a person using the bubbler

Water Cooler-Bubblers-Drinking Fountains and Water Filler Stations

Elkay EZH20 Water Filling Station and Drinking Fountain

Elkay EZH20 Water Filling Station and Drinking Fountain

#1 Drinking Fountains-Water Coolers Can Offer Filtered Water

Drinking fountains can deliver filtered water.

Many of the drinking fountains that are filtered do not showcase on the front of the unit the high standard of excellence they deliver.

The drinking fountain shown at the right offers chilled water that is filtered and it goes one step further, it also offer an innovation of the water filler. The design of this unit provides for any shape or size of refillable water bottles. Additionally, the water filler was re-engineered to deliver the water faster-offering an economical benefit to everyone within that building.

Bottle Filling Station-Drinking Fountain Info


Knowledge is sometimes hindered by limiting terminology. In this case, there are a number of different terms for the original item that was labelled "bubbler". In the State of Wisconsin, bubbler continues to be the most common term. For those residing in Chicago and Illinois, the common term is drinking fountain. May people in the neighboring state of Illinois have never heard the term "bubbler". Same thing with different verbiage.

Various names of the drinking fountain:

  • Drinking Fountain
  • Bubbler
  • Watercooler

Misunderstanding of the Water Cooler

While visiting a large prominent hospital a couple of years ago, I was amazed that a stand alone water cooler was set up around the corner from a drinking fountain. The drinking fountain plumbed to the building's water system can be filtered in the very same manner as the stand alone water cooler system. If the medical community doesn't know the availability of filtered water within their drinking fountains, how many more don't understand the functions of our many water systems?

How many people do not know that the wall mount drinking fountains can filter water?

How many people do not know the water filling station on the drinking fountain can be retrofitted to existing drinking fountains?

#2 Filters Can Remove Lead

Water filters can remove lead. This was not always the case decades ago.

In addition to the filters working more effectively, the commercial market place now delivers various types of filters. Point of use filters right at your source of drinking water are now commonplace. Even shower head filters are now available. Whole house filtered water is no longer the best standard. By the way, when installing a whole house filtered water system, be sure to either have new plumbing or re-do the plumbing. The corrosion within the plumbing lines is another source of contamination.

#3 Filters Can Remove Fluoride

Water filters can be specified to remove fluoride. This is important information for those facilities serving the elderly. Children and infants need fluoride. Fluoride is a drug and is a necessity but for the aging seniors, there is emerging concern that seniors drinking water with fluoride might be ingesting too much fluoride.

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Europe, is a case study in fluoride. Adding fluoride is not the standard. There has been a great deal of controversy on this subject. Lost in the arguments is the choice - we do have a choice when we order our water filters to either remove fluoride or have the filter retain any fluoride provided by the water source.

"Ozone is a friend of water and air and the enemy of every pollutant in the air and/or water."


Ultraviolet (UV) light has shorter wavelengths than visible light.

Origin of the term-UV

Derived from the name's meaning "beyond violet" (from Latin ultra, "beyond"), violet being the color of the shortest wavelengths of visible light.

#4 Water Can be Purified with Reverse Osmosis UV or Ozone

Filtered water is different from purified water.

Water can be purified by:

  • UV
  • Reverse Osmosis
  • Ozonation

Filtering removes those items the carbon filter can catch. Purification is a process where the mocules are purified, in the case of UV and ozone, they actually kill the harmful cells. UV kills everything in its path of light, ozone kills everything in the segment of the water that it comes in contact with. Ozone is a little more comprehensive than UV, some particles may be missed outside of the scope of UV. Both offer excellent purifcation for drinking water.

Ozone is Not A Negative for Water

When the weatherman reports the weather often they detail the ozone. This has given ozone a bad name. Sources in the industry advise me that pollution cannot be measured. For the weather report, the "ozone level" reported is the amount of ozone that is fighting the chemicals.

Ozone is cell lysing-Mother Nature's way of purification.

Water bottling companies have authorization to use ozonation for purification of bottled water. It is the ozonation that is completely chemical free-leaving no residual chemicals.

Ozone has a limited life. Just as the smell of ozone after a thunderstorm quickly dissipates, so too does the strength of the ozone working to kill cells-called in technical terms cell lysing.

Ozone is the friend of water and the enemy of any pollutants - air and water.

Ozone is a negative for pollution because it means a higher level of ozonation but to increased pollutants in the air.

UV Disinfecting Drinking Water

"UV radiation can be an effective viricide and bactericide. Disinfection using UV radiation is commonly used in wastewater treatment applications and is finding an increased usage in drinking water treatment. Many bottlers of spring water use UV disinfection equipment to sterilize their water. Solar water disinfection is the process of using PET bottles and sunlight to disinfect water.

New York City has approved the construction of a 2-billion-US-gallon-per-day (7,600,000 m3/d) ultraviolet drinking water disinfection facility.[41] There are also several facilities under construction and several in operation that treat waste water with several stages of filters, hydrogen peroxide, and UV light to bring the water up to drinking standards. One such facility exists in Orange County, California.[42][43] NASA has examined the use of this technology, using titanium dioxide as catalyst, for breaking down harmful products in spacecraft waste water.[44]

Different Methods to Process Purified Water

There are several different methods to process and purify drinking water. Bottled water is now commonly ozonated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates these terms and bottled water standards and has allowed ozonation to be one method.

Purifiedwater is water that has been produced through the methods of either reverse osmosis, deionization, ozonation, distillation or other methods that meet specific industry standards such as NSF, FDA and USP.

A Disinfectant is a product which completely destroys all specific test organisms in 10 minutes under conditions of the AOAC Use Dilution Test.

A Sanitizer is a product which destroys 99.999% of specified test bacteria in 30 seconds under conditions of the Official Detergent Sanitizer Test (sometimes called Weber & Black Test).

#5 Filtered Water is Not Sanitized and/or Purified Water

Filtered water is not sanitized water. What does this mean? It means filters can remove the majority of contaminates but filtered water cannot sanitize on its own. Reverse osmosis and ozone can sanitize.

Filtering and Sanitizing/Purification Are Not the Same

Filtered water is different from sanitized water. Sanitized water is not necessarily filtered water.

Ozonated water alone is not necessarily good tasting-it might be safe and sanitized but it has not been filtered.

Layered ozonated water is the combination of both-sanitized water plus filtered water. Remember ozonated water is not always also filtered water, all too often you are missing the important step of filtering the water.

Reverse osmosis systems, on the other hand, are almost always inclusive of filtering.

Spigot for Drinking Water on Wood Post

Spigot for Drinking Water on Wood Post

Spigot for Drinking Water on Wood Post

Future of Filtered Water is Bright

The future of filtered water is very bright. We have the technology to do it right. We have made significant progress in perfecting the technology. We now have options such as removing lead and/or removing fluoride and we even have the option of sanitizing at the point of use.

As consumers learn about corrosive piping, gain an understanding of the differences between filtering and sanitizing, and demand a higher standard of drinking water, we have the ability to improve the health of our family, the health of our community.

Drinking Fountain

drinking fountain

drinking fountain

Test Your Knowledge - Take Our Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Can drinking fountains/bubblers offer filtered water?
    • Yes, it is possible
    • No, we don't have the technology as yet
  2. Can filters remove lead from the drinking water?
    • Yes
    • No, we don't have the technology as yet
  3. Can filters remove fluoride from the drinking water?
    • Yes
    • No, we do not have the technology as yet
  4. Filtered water and sanitized water are the same thing
    • True
    • False
  5. Ozone like pollution is bad for the drinking water
    • True
    • False
  6. Bottle Filling Stations can be added to any drinking fountain
    • True
    • False
  7. Ozonated water always includes filtered water
    • True
    • False
  8. UV stands for
    • ultraviolet light
    • universal violation
  9. Reverse Osmosis systems usually include sanitizing and filtering
    • True
    • False
  10. Many people prefer point of use systems for drinking water because of corrosive piping
    • True
    • False
  11. Purified water can be achieved through uv, reverse osmosis, ozonation.
    • True
    • False

Answer Key

  1. Yes, it is possible
  2. Yes
  3. Yes
  4. False
  5. False
  6. True
  7. False
  8. ultraviolet light
  9. True
  10. True
  11. True

Fun Facts About Filtered Water Quiz

I hope I have broadened your understanding of filtered water. If you wish to test your knowledge, please feel free to take our quick quiz.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2011 Ken Kline


Ken Kline (author) from USA on January 02, 2016:

Hi Mohshari,

I appreciate your comment especially since the majority of the populace holds this opinion.

Ozone is what actually is activated to fight pollution. Ozone is the number one water treatment choice because it disinfects from the inside out - cell lysing.

The reason the air pollution is calculated with ozone levels is because we cannot measure the millions of pollutants we put in the air but we can readily measure the activation of ozone that tries to clean the air.

Ozone is natural - this is what we spell after a thunderstorm - it is a very distinctive smell.

Before computers, mankind was unable to "control" ozone and thus the myth of ozone being dangerous was started. Anything you cannot control is dangerous. With computer technology, we can regulate ozone and many companies from around the world now offer controlled ozone offering the very best disinfectant.

Ozone will keep soft water tanks cleaner because of its high-level bacteria disinfection, ozone will keep vegetable and fruits lasting longer because it naturally kills bacteria that ages our food. Ozone will not cure anything - it only kills bacteria in the same manner that lighting cleans the atmosphere.

Thank you so much for highlighting the many misconceptions about ozone.

Mohshari on December 14, 2015:

I'm afraid you have been misinformed. Ozone at ground level could be dangerous. Breathing in ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, particularly for children and the elderly and those that have lug diseases such as asthma. It is also harmful to vegetation and ecosystems. It is also one of the major contributors to photochemical smog.

Also pollution can be measured.

Ozonation is a good water treatment technique. But ozone at ground level or ozone that is reported by weather stations is done so for a reason and that reason is that ozone could be harmful to both people and the environment.

Ken Kline (author) from USA on September 26, 2011:

Linda Glaser,

I am honored that you stopped by! Thank you! I hope you found this information helpful. Water quality is often misunderstood and yet the knowledge is out there just not communicated very often or very well. Sadly, water companies are selling not informing. The information about corrosive pipes, the fact that water fountains can deliver filtered water that is sanitized with UV or ozone is important information that we need for our daily lives.

Linda Glaser on September 22, 2011:

Very enlightening.

Credence2 from Florida (Space Coast) on September 12, 2011:

AC, the agency that I worked for within the Federal Government had programs to challenge the public to invent a more efficient water filtration system, the target was ususally salt in water. The design was to be able to handle large quantities at minimal costs. I was proud to be associated with the effort. Nice article, Cred2

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