2009-09-17 / Community

New school water system

By Sophia Fischer sfischer@theacorn.com

Oak Park students have a new source of water on campus. Hydration stations that allow students to refill bottles with cool, filtered water have been installed at each of the six, Oak Park school sites.

Each station is hooked up to the school’s main water source. A filtration system removes sediment, chlorine taste and odor. The system is operated by a sensor and releases water when an empty bottle is placed under the nozzle.

To encourage use of the stations, each of the schools’ parentteacher groups sold reusable stainless steel bottles during fall registration.

“The program is expected to save general fund dollars by reducing the amount of waste and recycling that needs to be hauled away from the schools,” said Julie Suarez, a district spokesperson.

Brookside and Oak Hills elementary schools each have one hydration station, but will have a second added. Oak View High School will have one system installed. Red Oak Elementary, Medea Creek Middle School and Oak Park High each have two stations. The total cost is about $20,000, paid for by the $29.4million Measure R facilities bond passed by voters last November.

Freshman Sam Bidgoli began refilling his water bottles at the high school while participating in volleyball and basketball conditioning over the summer. He continues to use the hydration system.

“The water fountain is always warm. This water is always cold,” Sam said.

In California, Oak Park is the first public school district to install the systems, Suarez said.

The nozzle, drain and other key components are treated with silver to protect against the growth of mold and mildew. The filtering cartridge lasts for 2,000 gallons before requiring replacement.

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