FGHS Water Bottle Fountains Are Not An Improvement


Image via Wikimedia

Lauren Kramer, Writer

Scattered around the school, students can find water bottle refilling stations that used to be plain water drinking fountains. They were placed in the school to reduce waste and help prevent the spread of germs to students and staff that populate FGHS. The school put them in to be a positive improvement to the school drinking fountains, but their installation has only created more problems and issues.

One positive of these water bottle fountains is that they do create less of a risk for germs, especially since Covid is something that will likely be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future. They also make it easier to refill water bottles because they have a resting spot for them while they are refilled, rather than having to hold and find where the water will go in a traditional drinking fountain. Included in the top part of the fountain, there is also a tracker number that tells you how many plastic water bottles have been prevented from being wasted and created.

The downsides to our school’s water bottle fountains are the lack of availability for drinking without a water bottle and how often they appear to be cleaned. These fountains in our school have replaced traditional water fountains, making a student or teacher have to bring a water bottle or item to hold water to get water from the fountain. Our water bottle fountains also often appear unclean or misused because students often dump items to be drained, which we have seen with painting supplies and cafe drinks. 

Another downside to these fountains is that if you wish to not use them, or if you did not bring your water bottle, you are trapped in spending money for another option. If you wish for a cup at the cafe, it can cost you between $0.25-0.50 just for a small and empty plastic cup, which you can fill up with iced sink water they provide, or head to a water bottle drinking fountain. The other option is the drink vending machines scattered throughout the commons. The problem with these is that they are the most expensive option for water, with last time I checked, the price was $1.75 for a small plastic bottle of water. It is understandable that the prices of drinks in the drink dispensers are going up due to rising inflation, but the rise in the price of water seems unnecessary because it is a drink that is required to live. $1.75 may seem like a small number, but it eventually adds up to taking a large amount of money out of your wallet.

A student or teacher should not have to pay money just because they forgot their water bottle. The school believed that putting in these water bottle fountains would be enough to help prevent the spread of germs and promote cleanliness, but they have only promoted further problems for students and staff. Putting these in, they have forced the population of FGHS to bring a water bottle or be out of luck for free water. As well as not being sanitary due to students dumping liquids that don’t belong in the drain, I have also seen the computer that counts the number of plastic bottles saved cause the fountain to “glitch out” and prevent water flow out of the machine at all. The school tried to install these water bottle fountains to improve water availability and cleanliness, but have only caused a new set of problems in the process.