Ottawa mayor Jim Watson said he will pressure the city's new trade centre to install drinking fountains, which should be "a given" for a public facility.

On Wednesday, CBC Ottawa reported the CE Centre did not have any drinking fountains, meaning the only available water for guests is lukewarm faucet water from bathroom taps, or water purchased from vending machines at a cost of $3 for a 500 millilitre bottle.

The trade show centre near the Ottawa airport was built through a public-private partnership with the city contributing about $8.5 million to the project.

It is considered a city facility but is operated by the private company which built it, the Shenkman Corporation.

Management at the CE Centre said the lack of drinking fountains was an oversight, but installing some now is not a priority.

Watson, when asked for comment, said he would follow up with CE Centre president Kevin McCrann.

"I'll certainly follow through, though I don't know what leverage we have aside from moral persuasion... we have to sort of push them in that direction," said Watson.

"But one would think that a public facility like that would have drinking fountains as a given and if we can encourage them to do that. I think that would be a goodwill gesture," said Watson.

Watson said installing the drinking fountains at the CE Centre would also help promote Ottawa's tap water to thousands of tourists.

With files from the CBC's Giacomo Panico