Hydration Stations, also known as water bottle refill stations, are located in many campus buildings thanks to UConn Facility Operations. There are currently about 25 sites on campus, and the university is looking to install about 25 more within the next fiscal year. Many residence halls are retrofitted with these water bottle refill stations, making it easy for students to quickly fill up their reusable bottles on the go. There are also two stations in the Student Union, as well as one in the UConn Recreation Center. With fresh, cold water right at your fingertips, you are more likely to consume a larger amount of water, keeping yourself healthy and alert!
Hydration Stations also have a profound impact on the environment. They are equipped with a digital screen that reads exactly how many times it has been used, signifying how many plastic bottles it has replaced. The process to produce plastic bottles requires the use of finite resources such as water and oil, and gives off tons of greenhouse gases. For every liter of water sold, it takes two liters to produce. It is much more sustainable to reduce consumption, rather than recycle what you have bought.
In case you need more hydration motivation, tap water is under much stricter quality standards than those of bottled water. The UConn drinking water is frequently tested for 15 contaminants in addition to meeting the federal Environmental Protection Agency and CT Department of Public Health requirements. On the other hand, the bottled water restrictions from the Food and Drug Administration are much less stringent and are neither well enforced nor applied to every company. The decision to refill your water bottle every day at the UConn Hydration Stations can be made with true confidence!
Next time you are out and about around campus, keep an eye out for your free, clean, and convenient water. Thirsty for more? Encourage your friends to use these stations instead of spending money and resources on single-use plastic water bottles.
– Adrianna, OEP Sustainability Intern