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Hamilton to open all water fountains after public push

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Hamilton to open all water fountains after public push

Toronto will turn on all of its water fountains, and now Hamilton will too.

The City of Hamilton said that over the next week, it will begin turning on all 100 of its water fountains. This is an expansion of an initial plan to only turn on bottle-filling stations. The change of plans comes after advocacy from an ad hoc citizens’ group named Downtown Sparrow, which has been mapping which bottle-filling stations are active through collaboration with the city. At its last update, it said 24 bottle-filling stations were available.

Public health units have been concerned about the risk of COVID-19 spread with standard fountains which involve a person putting their mouth close to the spout. Signs asking people to only fill up a drinking container were posted at drinking fountains in Hamilton in 2020 after the first wave of COVID-19 faded in Ontario.

The city says it will clean all fountains daily, and reaffirming that people in need of hydration for themselves or their children and pets should use refillable cups or bottles instead of drinking directly from a fountain. They should also sanitize their hands as quickly as possible.

Toronto announced this week it will turn on all 700 of its drinking fountains. Its initial plan called for only turning on only 200.

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