New water fountains save plastic

D.J. Shoffstall, Copy Editor

Along with all of the upgrades to UPJ campus buildings, the addition of new water fountains to allow bottle-filling use is receiving high praise from students.

Senior Lindsey Holby said the new fountain on Biddle Hall’s first floor is where she fills her bottles daily.

“The new fountains are nice,” said Holby. “I fill my bottle sometimes three times a day and it’s nice to not have to struggle with the old fountains anymore.”

She also said the water pressure of the old fountains was her problem, saying she had to tilt her bottle almost sideways to get water into it.

Student Senate President Cliff Maloney Jr. said the new fountains are a convenience in more ways than one.

“It’s a step in the green direction, which is great,” said Maloney. “The fountains have filtered water and people can use them at any time so bottles can be reused easily.

“Right now, there is one fountain in three buildings (Blackington Hall and the Sports Center, in addition to Biddle), and the plan is to install more, but that’s up to the students.”

Fountain use is to be tracked. That, along with student reaction, will be the determining factors on whether there will be more installed, according to Maloney.

Director of Physical Plant Operations Andrew Csikos said the new fountains will track bottle use only, saying there is a sensor that counts every time a bottle is filled up with water.

“The sensor counts one bottle being filled up for every 12 ounces, so sometimes it can count two times for one bottle if it is a 20-ounce size.”

Since there is only one fountain in each of the large buildings, it may take a while for students to notice they are there.

Senior Ashley Kestermont said she didn’t know there were new fountains at UPJ at first, but said after seeing what they look like and how they work, she will be using them frequently.

“I like the functionality of the new fountains, but they are hard to spot if you’re not looking for them,” said Kestermont.

“I go to class in one wing of Biddle and I leave out of the same door I came in, so, if I don’t go to any other part of Biddle, I don’t see the fountain.”

Csikos said since the fountains were put up Feb. 3 he has heard nothing but good reaction from students and the numbers from the sensors seem to show that people use them a lot.

“I went to check the Sports Center fountain sensor (Thursday), almost two weeks after they were installed, and it read it was used 680 times already.”

Right now there are no plans to add more fountains, but Csikos said if school officials plan to renovate Krebs, he will try to upgrade the old fountains.