Where did all the drinking fountains go? That’s what Councilman Tom LaBonge wants to find out as part of a City Council motion that would ask the city’s Department of Water and Power to form a plan to “upgrade, restore and bring back public water fountains.”
The councilman, who represents Los Feliz and portions of Silver Lake, said the drinking fountain serves as an alternative to sugary drinks for kids and a means of reducing the consumption of bottled water and disposal of all those plastic bottles that contribute to the city’s waste. Says the motion:
Fountains ultimately provide a public service to our residents and tourists who want to drink clean water. Restoring old drinking fountains not only serve our communities, it benefits overall public welfare as water provides a healthy alternative to high-sugared drinks both in schools and around the City. Furthermore, with less consumption of plastic water bottles,the increased use of public drinking fountains will help better the environment.
LaBonge declined to be interviewed, but spokesperson Scott Levin said that the motion would require to find parts of the city lacking water fountains The motion came about recently because the councilman said he thought the L.A. Department of Water and Power was willing to work on issues.
Without preliminary results of the study available, the council office hadn’t pinpointed areas that required more drinking fountains, but Levin said erecting water spouts in commercial and business districts were possibilities.
The motion, if adopted by the full City Council, would direct DWP to work with groups like Los Angeles-based We Tap that are dedicated to increasing access to public drinking fountains as a way to cut back on the use of plastic water bottles. Last year, DWP promoted the WeTap phone app that helps locate and report the condition of public drinking fountains.
Tony Cella is a freelance reporter who has covered crime and grime in Los Angeles, New York City and the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Click here to contact Cella with questions, comments or concerns.