Story: Sewage, water and waste

Drinking fountain (3rd of 3)

Drinking fountain

Public drinking fountains were common in early New Zealand towns. This one in Waihī around 1910 was a memorial fountain with gas lights above it, dedicated to former Prime Minister Richard John Seddon. Before town water supplies were established, public drinking fountains, often sourcing water from springs, provided water on tap. The earliest ones had heavy metal cups attached by a chain – but the public health risks of drinking from a common cup were soon realised and they were dispensed with.

Using this item

Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero
Reference: 35-R2201
Photograph by Frederick George Radcliffe

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Christine Dann, 'Sewage, water and waste - Water supply', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 June 2022)

Story by Christine Dann, published 11 Mar 2010