Are the Water Fountains at School Safe?


Mr. Crisafi

When students return to school, they will not be allowed to drink from the water fountains, such as this one in the eighth-grade hallway.

Maintaining hydration is one of the most vital actions one can do to stay healthy (and alive!). Being conscientious of this, TBS has a number of water fountains scattered about the campus. With many people using these fountains as a source of hydration to both drink from and fill up their reusable water bottles from home, the fountains’ filters need to be changed regularly.  So is the water students are drinking actually safe?

“The drinking water (Seacoast Utility Authority) which is run through the Elkay filter system is completely safe for human consumption,” wrote TBS Director of Facilities Mr. Jim Adle in an email to The Neersyde

Each fountain is equipped with an indicator light: green if the filter is clean, red if it needs to be replaced. 

“The filters are monitored by the [fountain’s] system according to how much water (in gallons) has been dispensed,” wrote Adle.  

Due to the regular use of the fountains, the filters get changed and cleaned quickly. “I think that our school has very good sanitation and the cleaning workers do a very good job,” said eighth grader Nathan Andersen, who uses the school water fountains on a daily basis.

There is also an eco-friendly aspect of the TBS water fountains. 

“The bottle filler feature allows the student to refill a container which minimizes the use of disposable plastic bottles,” Adle said. 

This can help with the global and environmental issues and concerns as it cuts down on the use of disposable plastic water bottles. 

“This is our way of helping with the very significant world-wide problem with plastic,” wrote Head of Middle School Mr. Charles Hagy in an email.

However, the surfaces of the fountain are still a factor when it comes to cleanliness and sanitation. Eighth-grade student Atticus Fasnakis-Nosal said, “[Someone] could be sick and put food in [the water fountain], or touch the water piece with their mouth.”

According to, “Germs can [be] spread through indirect contact if people touch something with germs already on it, and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth.” With the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world right now, this becomes even more of a concern. While school is currently closed due to the pandemic, students have no need to worry about the fountains, but that doesn’t mean that the administration won’t put plans in place to reduce the risk of spreading germs when school resumes either this year or next. 

“[The] water fountains are wiped down several times a day, per our protocol we put in place before campus was closed in March,” wrote Hagy. “This protocol would continue when we return.  I believe our water fountains will still be used, but to refill water bottles, not to drink out of directly by students.”