Under ideal circumstances, fire hydrants are rarely used. But an industrial design graduate from ÉCAL in Switzerland has designed a hydrant that serves as a water fountain when it's not putting out blazes, Fast Company reports.
Dimitri Nassisi's Drinking Hydrant doubles as a source of drinkable water for both people and their dogs. The pipes release water at two different pressures: fire-fighting strength and a gentler stream for drinking. Pushing the black switch on top of the blue fountain in one direction shoots out water that pedestrians can drink right there, and pushing it the other way activates a different faucet meant for filling water bottles.
There's also a water dish built in to the bottom of the structure: Overflow from the spout fills the bowl so pets can drink from it. And should the hydrant ever need to be used for its original purpose, a nozzle on the side makes it easy for firefighters to access.
Nassisi came up with the redesigned fire hydrant after taking his dog for a walk one day. He noticed that while there weren't many public places to refill a water bottle, fire hydrants were everywhere. He designed the Drinking Hydrant for his thesis project at the Swiss design school École cantonale d'art de Lausanne.
Across the globe, people are buying roughly a million plastic bottles per minute, and throwing 91 percent of them in the garbage (or on the ground). Reusable bottles are one proposed solution to this problem, but numbers for their usage also look grim: According to a UK survey, only 36 percent of people regularly carry a reusable water bottle with them, while the majority of respondents said they wish free tap water was more accessible.
[h/t Fast Company]