Recently, the two water fountains that provide water to the students of Sacred Heart School were removed from the school entirely. When asked their opinions about the water fountains being removed students were split. Some of the 8th grade students said it was a good thing the fountains were taken away because the water from them was dirty and tasted bad, while others argued that the school was forcing them to bring their own water for no reason, “I’m sad because they’re basically telling us we have to bring our own water,” –Desmond. Some students were simply confused as to why the school had done it, “I personally don’t know why they took it away.” –Carmen.

So why did Sacred Heart School do away with the two water fountains? This reporter organized an interview with the principal of Sacred Heart School, Mrs. Benner, on Friday September 29, in hopes of gaining a solid answer to this question. The interview was very enlightening, and Mrs. Benner told me that there had originally been four water fountains all installed around the 1970s, and that, one by one their equipment had slowly failed and malfunctioned. Because the fountains were so old it would have been very expensive to replace; instead the school simply took them out. This was not the only reason the fountains had been cleared away, however, there was also hygiene to consider. Because the fountains, and more importantly the pipes supplying the fountains were old, there was no way to know if the pipes had sprung leaks in the forty years since they had been installed. Mrs. Benner said that while she was not worried about water leaking into the soil around the pipes, she was worried about what may be coming into the water that some Sacred Heart students drink on a daily basis. When asked how she felt about this newly revealed information student Bianka said, “It’s disgusting.”  Maria expressed similar sentiments through the words “I honestly feel unsafe because there is a possibility that us and the younger generations have consumed something that could hurt our well-being.”

Mrs. Benner said that she hoped that students would begin to bring water from home instead of relying on the school for hydration. Sure enough, in a poll of the eighth grade, 25/26 students say they bring their own water from home. Students at Sacred Heart, however, are not allowed easily available access to their water bottles by keeping their bottles at their desks, instead must leave their water outside their homeroom class during school hours, due to frequent spills.

When asked if she had any plans to replace the fountains, Mrs. Benner said that she did not intend to at any time. Sacred Heart School students will simply have to get used to bringing their own water to school.