Water taps with drinking water

It seems to me that we have two ways of saying exactly the same thing

  1. man_made=water_tap amenity=drinking_water
  2. man_made=water_tap drinking_water=yes

Only the first one shows on most maps. Going by the wiki, this is the correct method to tag a water tap with drinking water.

The second method is used by a preset in iD and by StreetComplete. As a result, about 5,000 taps have been tagged as man_made=water_tap and drinking_water=yes but do not have amenity=drinking_water. They don’t tend to show on maps, confusing mappers.

What do we think about this?

Is the tagging fine and maps should consider showing man_made=water_tap with drinking_water=yes similar to amenity=drinking_water?

Is it a bad idea to tag like this and the preset should be man_made=water_tap amenity=drinking_water instead of man_made=water_tap drinking_water=yes?


Long made my own custom preset in JOSM combining all the questions asked to include StreetComplete, querying what the form of the waterpoint is… no 24/7 running offered by this app where countless here are and keep running even in high summer. The JOSM standard preset tags amenity=drinking_water as well, no man_made=*


Me thinks this is OSM typical. :wink:

Both taggings are documented in the Wiki.

Concerning Rendering you could add requests in the renderers issue list.

To illustrate this, I’ve created a map on Umap that displays either “man_made=water_tap” or “amenity=drinking_water” tagged POIs.
As you can see on the map, there are some POIs that are tagged “man_made=water_tap” (in yellow) and although they really are water taps, OpenStreetMap won’t display a water tap icon for them. So I guess that’s the reason some water taps aren’t showing up in OpenStreetMap, because of this tagging ambiguity…

Actually not “OpenStreetMap”, but “one particular map made from OSM data”.


I would not say that alternative tagging is bad but I think I slightly prefer this one.

Actually, changing this sits on one of my “ideas to try doing as a hobby entertainment”.

I would consider man_made=water_tap amenity=drinking_water as marginally better.

(if people agree/disagree this thread may be a good place to express it)


I think they are two different things. man_made watertap is a water tap (in a cemetery, at a sports field and others) if water flows here that is drinkable, drinking_water yes can be added. This poi is built as a water tap and supplies drinking water. The other is amenity drinking_water and was made as a drinking fountain (for people). It can also be structurally a water tap, but first and foremost it is a drinking fountain. Unfortunately, one is often used interchangeably here.

Amenities like toilets, representing a near universal concept of a place where someone go to relieves themselves and then proceeds cleans and or sanitizing after themselves according. Most cultures can easily translate the concept into a recognized place containing the necessary tools.

There is no obvious place to find drinking water. Even with multiple sources of water, there is no guarantee that any are usable for anything more than washing. Drinking water implies that the source it is safe for human consumption at least according to local standards. You have to place at least place the drinking_water=yes key on a particular source.

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For context: man_made=water_tap amenity=drinking_water appears 18 434 times in the data, and man_made=water_tap drinking_water=yes appears 7 571 times.

It’s just not OSM Carto though: of the layers on openstreetmap.org, CyclOSM is the only one that shows a water_tap with drinking_water=yes.

I created this forum post because I wanted help deciding whether we should flag this as an issue to the preset developers (consider changing the preset to the more common tagging) or the renderers (consider showing the alternative tagging, if you want your map to show everywhere that drinking water can be found).

The current situation is it shows on a map if you tag it as a source of drinking water that is also a tap, but doesn’t show on a map if you tag it as a tap that supplies drinking water. This seems less than ideal.

The views in this thread so far seem to be mixed. One person says change the renderers, one person says change the presets, and one person says all is fine, they actually mean two different things…


I think for practical purposes, we should tag in more and more detail in order of importance:

  1. That there is publicly available water here (for instance amenity=water)

  2. That it is drinkable or not (drinking_water=yes/no)

  3. What it looks like (maybe water=tap/bubbler/spring/pump/well/...)

I think for practical purposes, we should tag in more and more detail in order of importance:

  1. That there is publicly available water here (for instance amenity=water)

  2. That it is drinkable or not (drinking_water=yes/no)

  3. What it looks like (maybe water=tap/bubbler/spring/pump/well/...)

I think we already tag things here in order of importance, hence the tag amenity=drinking_water with its 305k instances, compared to 146k drinking_water key uses of which 54% are yes and 43% no.

Water that is not drinkable is much less of an amenity.

I would also not expect “water” as a key to describe fountain types, “fountain” seems better. The water key is extensively used for the specification of (mostly natural) water bodies: https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/water#values
as is perfectly in line with natural=water (99.5% combinations with natural)


Just for reference, we had an extended discussion about fountains and taps relatively recently (with several posters who also participated in this thread):

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Today passed this one on Largo Madonna. I know the word in various languages, and in one it would translate to I suppose drinking fountain, but StreetComplete is not offering this as an option what type like this is… SC comes with an ‘other’ option to leave a note. Nee. It runs 24/7, like many here do in fountain form or a metal tube straight or bend of maybe 10-15cm out of a stone wall flowing into watering places, a trough idea. BTW 24/7 is not on offer either i.e. ‘running’, at least these are 2 ‘models’ I leave unanswered.

the one in the picture I’d tag with amenity=drinking_water fountain=bubbler

I’m also often in doubt with these kind of drinking water sources:

They are called çeşme in Turkish (from Persian) and languages from the Ottoman empire, and can be found in village squares, mountains, parks, etc. They are as common as named park benches in Britain and are often named after the donator who established them. People often prefer their water to tap water, and go their to fill up their bottles.
The water is from a natural source, usually free flowing (no tap to stop the flow) and sometimes dry up in summer (I then tag them intermittent=yes). They sometimes feed a trough for animal watering (amenity=watering_place). They look most like to picture for “other” in SC, so that’s what I reply to that quest. But it would be nice to have a separate category for them.

generally the first one is fountain=drinking, but if you have some recurring types you could document them and have more specific types. I’d also add trough=yes to this.

I’ve flagged this as an issue for the presets: iD tagging schema and for StreetComplete

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I’d say that drinking_water=yes is used as a property (secondary) tag on bigger things that have other primary use.

E.g. much like:

  • amenity=fuel might have property tag of compressed_air=yes (instead of having separately micromapped position of every amenity=compressed_air available there)

so may for example

  • amenity=toilets (or tourism=camp_site etc.) have property tag of drinking_water=yes (instead of having several separately micromapped amenity=drinking_water - one at every sink).

(another use of that tag is of course drinking_water=no, used in cases where one might expect water to be drinkable, but it is in fact not and would cause health problems if consumed).

On the other hand, amenity=drinking_water is the primary (feature) tag, to be used when that is the primary (or sole) purpose of that amenity.

Given that primary purpose of man_made=water_tap is in vast majority of cases AFAIK indeed to provide human-drinkable water, and it is a small point and not a large area, I agree it is preferred to tag it with amenity=drinking_water instead of drinking_water=yes.

Der Hauptzweck eines man_made=water_tab kann auch ein ganz anderer sein. Ein Wasserhahn an einem Sportplatz wird wohl in erster Linie deshalb dort sein um beispielsweise den Rasen zu gießen, ein Wasserhahn an einem Friedhof ist ebenfalls dazu gedacht Wasser zum gießen zu liefern. Das diese Wasserhähne zusätzlich Trinkwasser liefert ist eine gute Sache. Dies sollte aber mit drinking_water=yes gekennzeichnet werden.
Alles andere ist Sache des renderes dies auf der Karte entsprechend darzustellen.


We can distinguish in theory between taps that are mainly built as sources of drinking water and taps that are mainly meant for something else, where the water just happens to be drinkable. I guess the question is whether mappers have generally made this distinction in practice, or have people just typed “water” into iD and selected the first preset that looked about right? Do we want to make this distinction as a community? How common are publicly accessible taps where the water happens to be drinkable but that aren’t mainly for providing drinking water?

Looking around with the help of Overpass, there are quite a few examples of man_made=water_tap drinking_water=yes where you can tell that they probably weren’t put there to provide drinking water (e.g. because they are in cemeteries), but there are also a lot of taps that are probably there to provide drinking water (e.g. they’re in an urban park next to public toilets), so if we want to make this semantic distinction then these have been “mistagged” and should be changed to amenity=drinking_water

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