CSULB invests in water bottle filling stations
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 21:09
Cal State Long Beach students may have less water bottles in their hands, thanks to the recent installation of three new water bottle filling stations on campus.
The three stations were added during the summer. Two are located outside, beside the tennis courts and Faculty Office building 3, while another is located inside the Horn Center. A fourth is in the process of being installed on the first floor of the library.
“The fountains outside are reachable 24/7,” Paul Wingco, manager of energy and substantiality at CSULB, said. He said that while the Horn Center’s station provides filtered water, the two outside fountains do not.
“Some people think that if you have a filter then it’s better, but it is mostly about a taste thing,” Wingco said.
According to Wingco, manufacturers did not offer resources for installing filters in the outdoor fountains because extreme outside temperatures would allow bacteria to grow on the fountains.
The City of Long Beach provides water for the fountains and controls the water’s temperature, Wingco said.
Installing the fountains cost approximately $31,000, and Wingco said there are plans to install more.
“You have to think of the full installation process and planning behind it,” Wingco said. “It’s glaring, but when people look at the total scope it’s reasonable.”
The fountains were funded by CSULB President F. King Alexander’s yearly budget for green technology, according to Associated Students, Inc. Senator at-Large Manuel Nieto.
The fountains are aimed at preventing the use of plastic bottles and giving students a way to refill their reusable bottles, Wingco said. He said they were built in response to the concerns of two students, Nieto and Diana Phan.
Phan said she and Nieto saw students waiting in long lines in the University Student Union to buy bottles of water, so they started talking about the issue.
“We thought, what should we do to cut costs for students and make it environmentally friendly?” Phan said. “[Alexander] was in the room at that time, so we brought it up to him, and he thought it was a good idea.”
Theresa Ibarra, a sociology major, said she likes the fountains and thinks they are worth the investment.
“Now I don’t need to have bottles everywhere or bring water from home,” she said. “Now I can just fill one bottle at school.”
Some students, like Ibarra, said they were indifferent toward whether the water was filtered.
“If you’re thirsty, you drink anything,” Ibarra said. “[Filtered water] would be better, maybe.”
Business and psychology international student Marie Volquarts said she also is not worried about the lack of filters.
“With [a] filter is better than without,” she said. “I would try drinking water without [the] filter, but I prefer with.”
Wingco said the filling station in the library should be finished within a few weeks. More fountains will be installed on campus as funding allows.