New water bottle filling stations added around WLU campus


Emma Beatty

A water bottle station located in the basement of the Student Union.

After having public water fountains turned off due to COVID-19, West Liberty University has added sanitary water bottle filling stations around campus thanks to a donation from Southwestern Energy. The sizable donation of $20,000 has allowed for a total of 16 stations to be in WLU’s public buildings. Bottle filling is beneficial due to the cut down on pollution and the availability to clean, fresh water. They are also touchless, which will allow them to comply with COVID-19 guidelines.

According to Healthy Human, one out of every six plastic bottles are recycled which adds up to 2 million tons of water bottles in landfills every year. They also report that it takes three times the amount of water a bottle can hold to make one singular plastic bottle. Using a reusable bottle with the filling stations can greatly reduce the amount of waste created. Another issue with bottled water is that it is not always as regulated and tested as tap water. As much as people like to think it is “safer,” the water could still contain contaminants from the plastic such as bisphenol A (BPA). BPA can cause certain health concerns such as heart and reproductive issues.

Hydration is very important to staying healthy. Drinking the recommended eight cups (eight ounces) a day can help increase energy, promote heart function and aid in weight loss. For students, staying hydrated is even more crucial as it can help improve memory and focus.

Students have begun sharing their thoughts about these new additions to campus. Creed Kidney, a freshman, commented, “I am super excited about them! I carry a huge water bottle with me every day, so it will be nice to be able to fill it up outside of my room. I also love it because it encourages people to use refillable containers instead of immediately disposable plastic ones.” The stations will greatly reduce the plastic footprint produced by students, staff, and faculty on campus.

Haley Blakemore, a sophomore, said, “Personally, I think that this is a great idea. Water bottle filling stations are perfect for colleges. However, I believe that instead of fixing something, they added something else. Water on West Liberty is not drinkable. Yes, there are water fountains, but we need water in our rooms.” Water on campus does seem to be unreliable. On any given day, a small accident can cause a water line break that takes away water for the whole campus. Other times, the water can have a foggy appearance or odor to it.

Overall, the stations will be a valuable addition to campus as they can help reduce waste and give students access to cold, clean water.

For more information, contact the author, Emma Beatty, at [email protected] or Maureen Zambito at [email protected].