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Water Bottle Filling Stations?

Mackenzie Pence, Editor

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If you have been inside of Keystone High School recently, you might have walked passed the water fountains. Not only did the futuristic look of the fountain throw you off, but–wait a second–you can fill your water bottles with it?

I recently interviewed Keystone High School’s Principal, Brad Wagner, to get some more information about these new water-filler stations and fountains.

Q: Where are these filling stations located?

A: Throughout the school.

Q: Are students permitted to have water bottles throughout the school day?

A: Yes.

Q: What made you decide to use these fountains with bottle filling stations in your school?

A: The stations make sense on several levels…reducing waste in the building, allowing students to hydrate throughout the school day (this can be especially important for student-athletes), etc.

Q: Have there been any problems regarding students misusing the stations?

A: None to my knowledge.

Q: Previous to installing, were students permitted to carry water bottles during school?

A: Yes.

Q: If so, have there ever been problems with kids carrying around water bottles?

A: Yes. For a brief time earlier this year, some of our students made the bad decision of using their water bottles to squirt others. The fear of losing the water bottle privilege was a sufficient deterrent to stop that behavior.

Q: Would you recommend these stations for other schools to use?

A: Yes, provided that the students in the building are willing to use them responsibly.

A water-filling station fountain seems like a stretch for Redbank, mainly because of one problem: students are not permitted to carry water bottles throughout the day.  Let’s address this issue.  This policy is a problem for many students who are involved in sports. I understand this problem personally as I would go a whole day without drinking, and then I would try to run at soccer practice and my calves would feel like they were on fire, and I would cramp up. I’m sure many athletes here at Redbank could attest to this complication.

Also, if we were allowed to carry around water bottles, students would no longer have to leave during class to go get a drink. Yes, we may go to the fountains in between class, but nothing is more awkward then trying to get a drink with books in your hands, people bumping into you, and other thirsty students waiting in line behind you. A bottle filling fountain would be much easier to manage. It’s automated- all you do is put your bottle under the sensor, and poof! Your water bottle is filled.

In addition, during lunch students have the option to buy water and other bottled drinks. These drinks either get thrown away when they are still half full, or money-conscious students chug it all in five seconds so they don’t waste their money. It would be much simpler if students were allowed to take their drinks with them. I’m sure more students would start buying drinks from the cafeteria.  Waste would also be reduced and students would be able to refill bottles at the new filling stations.

All in all, these fountains would be a great addition to Redbank Valley once the district updates the policy for carrying water in the building. It’s really healthy for students to drink water throughout the day, and students could pick up this healthy habit if they were allowed to carry water bottles around with them.

 

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