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New water fountain helps green efforts

September 17, 2012 Latest Print Print
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In the Main Building on campus, in between the Security Office and the coffee shop there are two water fountains. One of those water fountains is a normal one while the other is a small part in OCCC’s ongoing attempt to go green.

The water fountain is an Elkay EZH2O bottle filling station.

The station allows thirsty patrons an easier way to fill up their personal water bottles by using motion sensor technology.

A user places the water bottle in the designated area and the fountain fills the bottle with a quick and steady stream, three times faster than a standard drinking fountain, according to the Elkay product guide.

 

The filling station also has a counter estimating the number of plastic water bottles “saved” from landfills during its use.

At the time of writing, the filling station has saved over 5,000 16-ounce bottles from landfills.

Facilities Management bought five of the water fountains originally, with the first one installed in their office area as an experiment.

The second was installed in the Main Building by the security office, and a third installed in late August in the College Union, said Facilities Assistant Director Chris Snow.

“We are getting a huge favorable response from people, and we are anticipating more being installed in the future,” Snow said.

Snow said two more are set to be installed soon — one on the first floor of the Arts and Humanities building and the other on the first floor of the library.

The fountains cost $700 apiece, but come with perks, Snow said.

“The … cool thing is they are filtered, which the other water fountains are not, so it’s like getting filtered bottled water,” he said.

Snow said the filling stations also are touchless and therefore more sanitary; one only needs to place the bottle in the fill zone and the fountain fills it up.

Snow said he hopes the college will have the money to install more of the fountains or possibly retrofit some of the older fountains on campus, which would be cheaper.

Snow said the filling stations are not a part in the school’s official green initiative. Instead, the idea was pitched to them by the vendor.

“When they pitched it, it looked like something economically friendly for everyone involved,” Snow said.

To contact Mitchell Richards, email staffwriter4@occc.edu.

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