Water Fountain Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on February 20, 2011

in Everyday Etiquette

everyday waterfountain etiquette

As the craze for bottled water and its eight hundred variations has taken over the general public, it is rare to see a water fountain in public.  It is even more rare that you will find yourself needing to use one.  On the other hand, the true etiquette master knows how to do everything right, so, just in case you are ever thirsty one day and are without your bottle of mountain fresh Evian, you better read our water fountain etiquette so you are in the know!

  1. While waiting in line for your turn, do not crowd the person in front of you.  Give them room to get their drink and back up without stepping on your feet.
  2. It is nearly impossible to drink from a water fountain without slurping a little bit.  This is understood and socially acceptable.  Having said that, keep your slurping to a minimum.
  3. If you are filling up a giant water bottle and the person behind you is only coming in for a sip or two, it is polite to let them go first. This is a huge issue at the gym.
  4. Just because you are at the water fountain without a bottle to fill up does not give you the right to spend all day there.  Try to limit your visit to around ten seconds. It may not seem like long, but, it’s eons for the person waiting behind you!
  5. Do not ever, ever let your lips touch the actual nozzle. Not only is that spreading germs to those that come after you, but, you will be picking up germs from those that came before you!
  6. The water fountain is not a place for you to gargle. Do that at home.
  7. Do not spit in the water fountain: either as a result of rinsing your mouth out or because you have hocked up something gross.  Spitting in public is not ok in the first place – doing it into a water fountain is just disgusting.
  8. Do not dispose of your gum in the water fountain.
  9. Drinking fountains are not the place to rinse out your cups or wash your hands. The proper place to do that is this new invention called a “sink”.  Ask around and people will point you in the right direction.
  10. If you are using a water fountain and there is another one right next to it, position yourself so you are not blocking the water fountain you are not using.

Photo: stock.xchng/mark jones

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jennifer C. Warren September 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Disposing of chewing gum and water fountain use also quite challagneing. Excellent recommendations.

Jennifer C. Warren
Bryce Mbanefo
Jordan Mbanefo
Ella Mbanefo

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