Why students refuse to use school water fountains in regional Australia?

Andrea Goncher, A Hollier, B Barkworth, E Zanotto, J. Thompson, Lala Senevirathna

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review



Senevirathna, STMLD.
Goncher, A., Hollier, A., Barkworth, B., Zanotto, E., Thompson, J. Why student refuse to use school water fountains in regional Australia?


There is a huge research gap in regional Australia to understand school water usage and availability. Students and teachers identified that the current school water fountains are rarely used by students, which results in students purchasing bottled water from the school canteen. A systematic investigation was carried out to identify reasons for not using school water fountains which includes both qualitative and quantitative techniques. An initial qualitative pilot study was undertaken whereby 13 high school students were given the opportunity to express their concerns with current water fountains in their school. The results were used to establish a quantitative survey, which was conducted with 475 students from two regional Australian high schools using an online survey platform. This study identified water as the most commonly consumed liquid in the school and 85% of students used bottled water. 30% of the students never used the school fountains. Water temperature was identified as the main reason (21%) to refuse school fountains followed by bad design of fountains (18%), suspecting water quality (17%), bad taste (16%), poor maintenance 14% and water wasting 14%. Seventy-five percent of students identified clean and hygienic water with acceptable primary and secondary (taste, odour, colour and temperature) water quality standards as a main selection criteria for new water fountains to be installed in school. Other main selection criteria identified in the survey included design improvement to facilitate bottle filling (70%), robust design with minimum maintenance (64%) and meaningful discharge of wastewater (36%). This investigation identified the factors that discourage the use of existing school water fountains and the expected modifications to make them more attractive and useful.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event11th International Conference in Challenges in Environmental Science and Engineering: CESE 2018 - The Sukosol , Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: 04 Nov 201808 Nov 2018


Conference11th International Conference in Challenges in Environmental Science and Engineering
OtherThe 2018 International Conference on the "Challenges in Environmental Science and Engineering" (CESE-2018) will take place in Bangkok, Thailand. This is the 11th international conference in the CESE series. Researchers, policy-makers, academics, students and the broader community active in contributing solutions to the myriad of environmental questions that are posed to ensure sustainability, are welcome to meet in Bangkok to share their knowledge and visions for the future.
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