Filter stations save plastic
Ali Clark | Collegio Reporter
The PSU Student Recreation Center has recently gotten five bottle-refilling stations that dispense filtered water.
Vince Daino, director of campus recreation, says he started receiving feedback asking for such stations about two years ago. He says they considered buying filtered-water stations, but at $1,200 each, the price was too high at the time.
However, Daino says he took a couple of students on a field trip to look at other campus recreation centers at nearby colleges. When they visited the University of Kansas, they saw that their recreation center had the filtered bottle-refilling stations.
“When we got back from that trip, I asked the KU guys up there to send me the contact information for the vendor,” Daino said. “I did some price checking and found them for about $500.”
The stations were finally installed at the beginning of February and the staff has gotten many positive comments from students on the change.
Daino says he hopes the stations do more than dispense filtered water. He says they should help save plastic water bottles because students can now refill them. Daino says that this way, students don’t need to buy new bottles of water every time they finish one, reducing the number of plastic bottles going into the trash.
“If you have a water fountain that doesn’t have good tasting water, you might get 50 bottles refilled,” Daino said. “But if you have good-tasting water, you might get 70, 80 or 100 bottles a day.”
There is a counter on every station that tells how many water bottles have been refilled since the stations were installed. One station has refilled more than 2,500 bottles.
Though refilling the same water bottle for a workout does save resources, Carrie Farrington, nurse practitioner at the Bryant Student Health Center, says students still have to be smart when using water bottles.
“If you’re there for a couple of hours and you fill it up four or five times, I see zero health risk with that part,” Farrington said. “The health risk only comes in if you have the same water bottle that you aren’t washing, and you’re using it day after day after day.”
Farrington says students need to make sure to wash their water bottles with soap and warm water after every day they use it, and make sure it dries between uses.
“I actually have a water bottle I use every day,” Farrington said. “I fill it up all day long, and I have zero concern with having any bacterial growth.”
However, if you drink your bottle of water halfway and leave it in the car for three days in hot weather, Farrington says there is probably going to be some bacteria growth from that.
“I really like the idea of having it,” Farrington said. “If people have a water bottle with them, and they know they can fill it up filtered at the fountain, then they’re going to be drinking a lot more water while they’re exercising, and they’re going to be a lot healthier overall.”