While it may be fun, swimming in a public fountain presents a health risk, the city’s Public Health Department said. The water undergoes vigorous treatment, the same as drinking water, but once in the fountain, “it’s essentially like a pool, but without all of the treatment chemicals to make it safe.” The department discourages swimming in fountains.
Cryptosporidium and giardia are two main illnesses of concern, according to Health Department spokesperson James Garrow, as they are the “most common causes of recreational water illness” in the country. Both are spread by swallowing contaminated water and cause diarrhea.
By TyLisa C. Johnson and Lucia Geng