Covid-19 and water fountains

The spread of the coronavirus in the UK is now a moderate risk according to the Chief Medical Officer. Below is some advice to help people continue to use water dispensers safely and keep hydrated.

Water dispensers have shared surfaces that are used by more than one person – just like door handles, desks, and worktops. That’s why it’s important that people are alert to the risks of infection and take precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus. The UK government and the NHS are issuing specific advice on preventing the spread coronavirus and people should ensure they follow the official advice.

COVID-19: infection prevention and control

Coronavirus (COVID-19) NHS advice

Common questions Coronavirus (COVID-19) – NHS


The level of scientific understanding of how the coronavirus spreads is still limited but as it appears to spread  without direct contact through coughing and sneezing, every surface should be assessed for contamination potential. This means that preventative measures are recommended for any organisation currently responsible for in-house refill stations.

  • Provide guidance on the correct method of hand washing.
  • Install signs near any drinking equipment, advising water dispenser users not to touch the tap with their mouth or the mouth of their water bottle and to clean their bottles regularly.
  • Provide adequate sanitisation facilities for people using the dispensers. Either hand gel sanitiser or hot water and soap.


Organisations with water dispensers should review cleaning processes and ensure they are fit for purpose.

  • Clean all communal areas regularly – this includes drinking fountains.
  • Maintain a hygiene monitoring system.
  • The provision of alcohol wipes and regular cleaning with food-safe antibacterial sprays will help minimise risks.
  • In the event that a person who has used the equipment is taken ill with suspected coronavirus, ensure that the equipment is professionally cleaned before further use.

At MIW, we take our responsibilities very seriously. If specific advice is issued in relation to Covid-19 and water dispensers, we will update this guidance.