Origin: Drink From a Fire Hose
In 1991, a group of MIT students attached a fire hose to a water fountain thus fulfilling former MIT President Jerome Wiesner's notion that getting an education from MIT was comparable to getting a drink from a fire hose.
See Also #
Fire Hose Drinking Fountain at MIT's Interesting Hacks To Fascinate People Gallery for more details.
Fire hose at Wikipedia for a description of the history and types of fire hoses.