Suzanne Buchholz, Reporter
Two new water bottle refill stations have been installed at Pierce College Puyallup, allowing students to do more than quench their thirst for knowledge.
The refill stations, located in the College Center and the Health Education Center, had been proposed by members of the student government. Their idea was born out of a desire to be more environmentally conscious and simultaneously help with the issue of water privatization (the process of bottling water and selling it at a higher price than necessary).
“A couple years ago, the Washington Community and Technical College Student Association decided to start an initiative to ban disposable water bottles,” Sean Cooke, director of Student Life, said.
The initiative had been in discussion for almost a year, during which the student government researched different water systems and their costs. The students themselves pitched in to cover the costs of the stations, which cost about $1,415 each.
The project was not limited to just the Puyallup campus. The faculty at Fort Steilacoom installed two refill stations on their campus at around the same time. They’d planned to be more ambitious and install at least one station per building, but ended up limiting it to only two for experimental purposes.
Students questioning how sanitary these systems are should know that they are motion-activated, which could make them a more sanitary option than the conventional water fountains on campus as there’s less of a chance of a student putting their mouth up against the spout. The water is also locally sourced.
“The water is sourced from Puyallup tap water,” Cooke said. “The system has a filter but is not chilled, though it averages about 55 degrees.”
Various students who use the stations think they are a nice addition to the campus.
“It’s just useful and handy,” student Amanda Augustine said.
Students who hadn’t used the stations but heard about them also voiced positive responses.
“I think it’s a good idea since a lot of students bring their own water bottles,” student Kealey Matyasovszky said. “It’ll be easier for them.”
So far, the systems have saved more than 1,900 plastic water bottles in the CTR and more than 2,700 bottles in the HEC.
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