H2O on the go: water made more convenient

The need to fill up a water bottle traditionally via water fountain will soon be replaced with a much easier Refill Station system. Iris 900, Pierce College, Woodland Hills. 3/5/2019, photo by Joshua Bleiweiss.

Searching for a water fountain to refill your reusable water bottle is about to become easier with new additions to campus.

Six water bottle filling stations will be installed this spring semester throughout the whole Pierce College campus.

Director of Facilities Paul Nieman said the cost for the six water bottle filling stations was around $150,000, which outbid competitors.

”We bid it out and the contractor will be buying what we specify, and we will be putting it in,” said Nieman.

Nieman said the water bottle filling stations will be here this semester just if the time elapsed between order and delivery on the units for the water bottle filling stations are not long.

“The task order will be issued this week so if that happens then I can get going here and start getting them scheduled to get these installed,” Nieman said.

The water bottle filling stations will be installed where several drinking fountains are currently installed. There will be two types of stations, one for inside the buildings and one for outside.

“Inside the buildings, it’s a retrofit that goes above where the drinking fountain is,” said Nieman. “The one that goes outside we actually have to replace and redo the work a little bit to put the exterior one.”

Nieman said there will be three water bottle stations inside the Admission and Records, Business and Performing Arts buildings. The stations in the Performing Arts building will be by the elevator and the bottom level where the costume and makeup labs are.  

The two drinking fountains in the courtyard area by the library and resource center will be removed and replaced by the water bottle filling station.

“We’re taking those drinking fountains out and putting in the filling stations,” said Nieman. Those will be a combination and they’ll have two drinking fountains, one regular height and one for American Disability Association accessibility and the water bottle filling station will be on it as well.”

The availability for the water bottle filling stations will be the same as the drinking fountains. If it is inside the building, it’s available to use if the building is open. The stations that are outside would be available only while the campus is open.

“It’s free like getting water at a drinking fountain,” said Nieman. “We’re not providing water bottles though. No cost and anybody can use it.”

Nieman said the maintenance is low.

According to Nieman, originally the idea was brought by the past president, Kathleen Burke.

“It’s really hard to try to fill a water bottle up a drinking fountain spigot. I really wouldn’t want to do that. So it was a great idea,” said Nieman.

Student Ximena Nunez said she usually doesn’t like drinking from the fountains, but she would bring her Hydro Flask when the water bottle filling stations are ready for use.

“I think it’s a great resource to have for our students and faculty to have on campus,” said Chairman of the Chemistry Department Sara Harvey.