Please Use the Water Fountain for Drinking Purposes Only

Please Use the Water Fountain for Drinking Purposes Only

Please Use the Water Fountain for Drinking Purposes Only

OK, I need some help on this one…

I understand the English wording and suppose that the Hebrew version says roughly the same thing. What I flat-out don’t understand is why such signs appear over the water fountains in the hallways outside the toilet rooms (which have, FWIW, the expected, perfectly serviceable, sinks with hot & cold running water and soap dispensers).

We were northbound on I-90 at the Clifton Park rest stop. Given the location, I’d pick French as the second language and maybe Spanish would be reasonable, but Hebrew?

Is there some mysterious ritual involving water fountain misuse that happens only in upstate New York?

Obviously, I don’t get out nearly enough…

[Update: I will ruthlessly squash ethic & religious jokes, snide remarks, and off-point speculation. Selah.]

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  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2012-12-01 - 11:54

    No speculation, but until the mid ’60s water fountains had the nozzle set up such that a well placed finger made them a fair-to-middlin’ fixed-mount squirt gun. This got engineered out over the years, but…

    • #2 by Ed on 2012-12-01 - 12:17

      a fair-to-middlin’ fixed-mount squirt gun

      Rowdy kids!

  2. #3 by RonL on 2012-12-01 - 18:57

    I don’t know if they have problems with the fountains in rest areas like they do in offices. But a common problem in offices is that people use the fountain to rinse out their coffee cups and food containers. The drains in fountains just aren’t designed to handle debris like coffee grounds and particles of food and become clogged rather easily.

    • #4 by Ed on 2012-12-01 - 20:02

      use the fountain to rinse out their coffee cups and food containers

      The water fountains are pretty much the first things you see on the way in, so you may have it. Odd: they can’t wait another 20 feet to walk around the corner into the restrooms, but … ya never know!

    • #5 by smellsofbikes on 2012-12-02 - 00:12

      I was thinking coffee grounds and chewing tobacco detritus. That used to be ubiquitous around here and it certainly makes you not want to go anywhere near it.

      • #6 by Ed on 2012-12-02 - 09:55

        chewing tobacco detritus

        Now that would be a revolting discovery…

        Even here in the sissified Northeast, though, “convenience stores” feature extensive displays of snuff & chewing tobacco, behind the counter lest kiddies take up cough manly habits.

        Gack & similar remarks…

  3. #7 by Erik on 2012-12-03 - 15:13

    Best I can come up with – maybe we’re taking the sense of this wrong… but yes, this will be pure speculation:

    UNC, for instance, is collecting stormwater runoff and/or rain gutter flows and/or graywater in some buildings and using it for toilet flushing and for outdoor irrigation. Plenty of signs up telling people “don’t drink the water” (and administered with enough snarky sarcasm to get people to actually read them).

    So perhaps this sign is, in a backwards sense, telling people that this water is drinkable, and all other sources aren’t?

    • #8 by Ed on 2012-12-03 - 15:38

      telling people that this water is drinkable

      That makes a certain perverse sense. I don’t recall seeing “Don’t drink this water” signs in the restrooms, but they may be doing some experimental recycling.

      We might go past there in the next month; I’ll take a look at the other signage and any fancy machinery out back.

  4. #9 by D. on 2012-12-05 - 13:14

    Some cultures have rituals involving washing before various activities (prayer, eating, etc). Given the unusual language choice, perhaps there’s a cultural hotspot in the area.

    At a university I used to work at, there was a similar thing occurring, where students of some (unknown) culture used one of the washrooms for ritual washing. Unfortunately, it caused significant water spillage on the floor and made the washroom virtually unusable until it was dried out. I guess in warmer climates it wouldn’t be an issue, but the cold winter months just allowed the water to linger and mildew.

    • #10 by Ed on 2012-12-05 - 13:30

      perhaps there’s a cultural hotspot in the area

      And everybody stops at that rest area just before arriving at their destination!

      I suppose we’ll never know the rest of the story…

  5. #11 by yosephdavid on 2012-12-29 - 15:17

    >>I suppose we’ll never know the rest of the story…<>students of some (unknown) culture used one of the washrooms for ritual washing. Unfortunately, it caused significant water spillage on the floor and made the washroom virtually unusable until it was dried out.<<
    Islam requires washing feet, private parts, hands, etc. before prayer. Hence massive water spillage in a place not designed for it.

    • #12 by Ed on 2012-12-29 - 20:05

      Hence massive water spillage

      I wonder how that arose from a desert culture, where water wasn’t something to be wasted…