Hospital ER Drinking Fountain Update

Defective Drinking Fountains in Hospital ER Update
The good news: Oct. 24, I noticed both fountains turned off and two big “Out of Order” signs.
November 12, I noticed both drinking fountains working perfectly.
The bad news: It seems to have taken more than two months to get people to focus on this danger. It took a few additional weeks to get the fountains fixed and I still don't know if all the drinking fountains in this hospital work properly.

Child at Drinking Fountain
My more than forty two years of plumbing experience and writing books has made me realize that sanitary plumbing is one of the most important parts of healthcare. And, that water drinking fountains are extremely risky. Hospital drinking fountains, especially defective ones, can easily spread disease.
On August 4, 2014, I hand delivered a letter concerning defective drinking fountains in a hospital emergency room. On October 21, 2014, I noticed these fountains had the same defects I reported in August.
The facts surrounding this situation seem to illuminate a much bigger challenge. I must learn to communicate better.
It seems that my mission is to get people to focus on details concerning the dangers of unsanitary plumbing.
First, maybe focus on hospital drinking fountains across the country.If I can learn to communicate better, I think I can do a better job of facing the challenges of my mission.
Later, maybe, reconsider whether or not traditional style drinking fountains are ever safe. If proper cleaning can’t take place each time a fountain is used, the next person getting a drink is always at risk.
Defective fountains are extremely dangerous, but, even properly operating drinking fountains seem to be risky. But, first, I need to communicate better.
Everyone needs to help hospitals monitor drinking fountains. Hopefully, the CDC, health departments and other government agencies can issue warning signs to be attached at every drinking fountain. Health department inspectors, workers in hospitals and others could learn how to make sure drinking fountains work properly. Some important operational defects to watch for include: • Every spot pushed on a button should create a safe stream of water. [Note: Most people are right handed, so, the extreme right side of buttons usually wears out first.]
• The stream of water must always squirt high enough above the nozzle to keep the drinker’s lips well above the nozzle.
• Water should never squirt against the mouth-guard.
• Control buttons must always provide consistent and immediate streams of water.
If anyone for any reason suspects any suspicious; activity, material or operational problems at a drinking fountain, security should be notified as soon as possible.
If you can think of ways I could improve communication, please let me know.
Sincerely, Mike Quick

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