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New water systems

Have you ever been thirsty, too broke to buy a water bottle or in a hurry? Thanks to efforts made on campus, Missouri Western students in this predicament will soon have a solution.

There have been a few new additions to campus water fountains. Water bottle refilling stations have been added to some water fountains, and there are plans to install more. The goal of this plan is to save students money and save plastic water bottles.

Ida Haefner, President of SGA, explained how the SGA initiated this project. 

“We had one of our Senators, Brianna Bland, go through and come up with this big contract with this company and ended up having this lady from California come out and look at our campus,” Haefner said. “She loved our campus and gave us a great deal on water bottle refilling stations.”

The project was not funded by SGA alone, however.

“We purchased five as SGA and [Director of Physical Plant] Jerry Gentry purchased the other five,” Haefner said. 

Brianna Bland, SGA Senator, explained the process that went into acquiring the water fountains for Missouri Western.

 “The water bottling stations just became an idea and from there we talked with a bunch of companies and went with a company in California,” Bland said. “The sales representative from that company flew in to look at our campus and see what would be the best options for it.” 

The new water fountains provide some great amenities for students, Bland said.

“Each of these stations show approximately how many water bottles we are saving to prevent from polluting,” Bland said. “It also helps students save from buying $4-5 water bottles at the school. They’re censored so you can just put your water bottle in and once it’s full take it out. It’s not going to overflow. It has ion pieces in it to give it a better taste and it is much more purified.” 

Bland said that the cost of the five fountains was $4,233, including installment, maintenance and warranty.

Jerry Gentry, Director of the Physical Plant, explained how Missouri Western will get the most out of the new water fountains. 

“The new ones that we are putting in have a built-in filter,” Gentry said. “They have a charcoal filter so it makes the water cleaner. What we’re doing is changing out the ones that didn’t have filters and didn’t have bottle filling stations in the buildings that have the highest amount of traffic, or where people will be working out a lot.”

Gentry said Western plans to get the fountains in 10 different buildings. Refillable stations have been installed in the Looney Complex, Popplewell Hall, Hearnes Center, Blum Union and the Baker Fitness Center. There are plans to have them installed in Potter, Murphy, Remington, Spratt and the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex.

The fountains have meters on each system that display how many bottles it has saved; with one bottle is equaling 20 ounces of water. 

Gentry said that three months from now the meters will be checked to see the total number of water bottles these systems have saved. 

“It’s a convenience for students and it’s a green initiative,” Gentry said. 

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