Anti-microbial copper makes for safer water fountains

Filed in News, Sustainability by on April 3, 2014

Researchers from Emory University recently gave a clean bill of health to Hartsfield-Jackson’s water fountains and water-bottle filling stations, confirming that the anti-microbial copper used in the fixtures has reduced surface bacteria by more than 80 percent.

1404Water-fountain1Over recent months, the Airport replaced or retrofitted all 104 of its water fountains throughout the Domestic Terminal and Concourses T through E. Although the formerly stainless steel fountains haven’t changed much in appearance, their new surfaces are made from a high-tech alloy containing 60 percent copper and 40 percent nickel, which is naturally effective in repelling microbes that make people sick. An added feature of the fountains is that, like the faucets found in airport restrooms, they have touch-free operation.

Hartsfield-Jackson was able to have the new fountains installed at a fraction of their regular cost after Oasis Fountains and Hussey Copper – the companies that developed the new fixtures – designated the Airport as the pilot site for their products, explains Doug Strachan, Innovations Manager for the DOA.

Hussey even commissioned the health study, which was carried out by Dr. Amy Kirby of the Center for Global Safe Water, a division of Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health.

Strachan also says that the new water-bottle filling stations, which were installed for the benefit of airline passengers, haven’t had a noticeable impact on sales of bottled water at Airport shops.

More than 50 new fountains will soon be installed throughout the Concourse F and the areas controlled by Customs and Border Protection.

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