A Vista school celebrated the addition of a water fountain that should make it easier for students to refill their reusable water bottles.
The so-called "hydration station" is similar to those seen in other cities and communities. Located next to a standard drinking fountain, it gives students the option of refilling a water bottle without spilling. The same task done at a conventional water fountain may involve spilling or touching the bottle to the water spout which is unsanitary.
“It’s just a convenient way for children to fill up their water bottles,” said Brent Reyes, Vista Irrigation District Water Conservation Specialist. The water district has partnered with the Vista Unified School District to install 10 new water fountains at schools.
The district had initially planned to install the stations at more than 30 schools but the cost of installation increased after one station was damaged during the pilot program. Increased reinforcement and bracing pushed the cost of each unit from an estimated $2,600 to about $12,000 to $14,000 per unit.
As a result, there will be 10 fountains installed at eight schools this school year. One was unveiled Friday at Monte Vista Elementary School on Monte Vista Road.
Student Amber Burgnette brings a water bottle to school with her and thinks the water station is cool.
“If someone doesn’t have any water they can just use a reusable one and they can just fill it up at the water station,” Burgnette said.
The hydration station design is also heralded as a way to prevent waste because it can replace bottled water purchased at the store.
“It will cut down on almost 167 bottles per student per year, which is over 90,000 bottles for the school at Monte Vista,” said Jamie Phillips with the Vista Unified School District.
Three schools were outfitted with the newly designed water fountain in the pilot project. They included Breeze Hill Elementary, Vista Innovation and Design Academy and Rancho Buena Vista High School.
In addition to the hydration stations, the Irrigation District handed out water bottles to students.