What Makes a Water Fountain DDA Compliant?
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
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.