What Makes a Water Fountain DDA Compliant?

Do you often consider if the street furniture items in your facility are DDA compliant? It is hard to know at first glance, but a little bit of research will clear things up.

Not all drinking fountains available comply with DDA requirements, making them unfit for use in accessible areas within a facility. Astra Street Furniture has recently conducted research into what features make a water fountain DDA compliant so we can help clear things up for you!

So, firstly, similar to the situation with the placement of bins, drinking fountains that company with DDA are strategically placed in positions that do not encroach on the path of travel for pedestrians. When installing drinking fountains along walkways there must be a clear passage of at least 1000mm to meet standards.

Now although Premises Standard doesn’t specifically outline details regarding DDA compliance for water fountains, circulation or people movement around a DDA water fountain should allow direct access from both sides and the front of the unit. There is a recommended space for wheelchairs around overhanging fountains which is 1800x1500mm with a minimum of 800mm. Underneath the drinking fountain is to have a minimum clearance overhang for wheelchairs of 300mm for front approach with clear side access for a sideways approach to the drinking fountain.

Another thing that needs to be considered is the height, this is obvious right? The critical height of a DDA compliant drinking fountain should allow the person to drink at a height of approximately 800-900mm. This allows for enough room to wheel in close enough to the fountain for easy drinking.

There are two types of operating systems where some use a sensor, and some are manually operated. As you can see, Astra’s water fountains are manually operated. Manual controls should be within 300mm from the leading edge on the approach side and within a height range of 600-1100mm, but with a preferred height of 800-900mm. The manual controls require a lever handle with a minimum 45mm long or a minimum 25mm diameter pushbutton control that is activated before the button becomes level with the surrounding service at a maximum force of 20N.

Well now that you have read all that, who knew the requirements for a DDA compliant water fountain were so specific!? This just means it is easy to follow the above guidelines in the designing process and produce a water fountain that can confidently be DDA compliant.