TPHS water fountains desperately need maintenance

After walking around the TPHS campus in search of the perfect water fountain, I finally found it: right behind the Falcon Eatery sits a fountain with two spouts and a water bottle refill station. Many students are unaware of the collection of water fountains on campus, and the ones that they know of are placed in areas where the sun beats down on them, causing the water to come out lukewarm, sometimes even hot. And yet, the Falcon Eatery fountain is in the shade, covered by the overhang of the building.

Of the 12 water fountains that I found on my search for the perfect one, two of them did not work — one located in the gym and one in the learning commons. Six fountains were inconveniently located on the football and surrounding fields, which are far away from most classrooms and areas where students spend a lot of time.

According to the California Department of Education, many students do not use school water fountains due to poorly maintained spigots, hot running water or an insufficient number of fountains available on campus.

Although TPHS has the proper water fountain-to-student ratio — 1 fountain for every 150 students, placing the total number of fountains at approximately 18 — according to a poll of 108 TPHS students conducted by the Falconer, 70% of students reported that they do not use them. Further, roughly the same percent of students said that the stations are not properly maintained and that the water always runs hot.

Proper hydration, which is aided by convenient access to drinking water, is essential for students to maintain optimal cognitive function and overall health.

According to a 2014 study of drinking water access in California schools, “the primary source of free water access in most schools [was] perceived to be inadequate by students, parents and school staff.”

Some may argue that having accessible water fountains on campus is enough because many students bring water bottles to school. However, what happens when those bottles are emptied and the only water fountain accessible runs hot? You have two options: fill your bottle with warm water or deal with the inevitable thirst. To resolve this issue and better serve students, more water fountains and bottle refill stations must be added around TPHS in the shade.

Previous post Pro/Con: Del Mar train track relocation
Next post Order Up! $20 minimum wage ready for pick-up