Lead contamination of public drinking fountains

It has been reported this week that high levels of lead have been detected in the public drinking fountains in Victoria’s Geelong. 

The local council have proceeded in shutting down 40 fountains and began conducting tests on over 140 fountains around the rural city. There have however, been assurances from Barwon Water that the contamination is not affecting the wider municipal water supply.

Unfortunately, despite any assurances by the council and Barwon Water, there is no indication of how long the lead contamination has actually been occurring for, with levels detected above the safe limit of 0.01mh per litre.

Lead can commonly be found to contaminate water when used from old infrastructure including taps and pipes that may have corroded. This can also be seen in many older houses and is worth having checked out by a plumber, to ensure that pipes have not corroded and need to be replaced. It appears that the current contamination is most likely due to the old fountain taps corroding from stagnant water and lack of use. 

There is obviously growing concern regarding the safety of bottled water also, after recent revelations from the World Health Organisation (WHO) announcing that 90+ percent of bottled water brands contain high levels of micro-plastics. Many people are looking for safer, more eco friendly options and returning to good old tap water. However, is our public & municipal tap water up to scratch?

There is every chance that this is not simply a one off occurrence and that many other municipalities in Victoria and interstate may have similar undiscovered issues with their public water resources, as recently seen in Perth with The Children's Hospital.

Here at Waters Co, we obviously like to filter all of our municipal tap water on a daily basis, not just to make the tap water more palatable and remove known contaminants, but to ensure it is safe in cases of additional reported contamination outbreaks, be they heavy metals or bacteria/micro biological.

The fact is, we can never really know what contaminants are present in our drinking water from day to day. The best way to ensure you are drinking the cleanest water available is to have access to a quality water filter wherever you are. At home it is easy to have one of our jugs or bench top systems on hand, but when you are out and about, we recommend you take one of our personal water filter bottles, the Waterman. 


The Waterman is a 600ml personal filter that can be used anywhere on the go, to fill from public drinking fountains or taps. It is the safest way to ensure that wherever you are, you can drink water safely.  


Public drinking fountains are a great community asset, especially saving the public from having to purchase expensive and environmentally damaging bottled water or soft drinks. The council and water departments do their best to treat the water to make it safe for human consumption. However, the treatment chemicals and potential contamination risks can still make the water quality less than ideal. 

Make sure you have good quality drinking water with you, wherever you go. Check out the Waterman here:

Waterman 600ml Portable filter alkaliser