For all that their spouts resemble nothing more than a huge Roman conk, the public drinking
fountains are popular and a very common sight throughout the city - with 200 of them in
the historic centre and ten times as many elsewhere… a total of almost 2,500.
And although the waters they offer represent less than 1% of the total consumed, it’s of the
same quality, and from the same sources, as domestic tap water. Samples from the fountains
are amongst the 250,000 tested each year for the company that manages them, ACEA.
Whilst at first sight perhaps appearing wasteful, their continuous flow helps in maintaining
health and hygiene standards, since the water is in the system for less time - and stays
closer to the cool temperatures of the original source… a blessing during hot Roman summers!
Some though is recycled these days, with – for example - the overflow from those in their
properties being used by the Parks and Gardens Service being gathered for use when watering
the city’s many lawns and flowerbeds.
Photo credit: ACEA, from their leaflet on the "Nasoni"....