Water is the highest selling bottled drink on campus. Many students take water to class, and buy it on campus. There is an alternative now that there are three new drinking fountains installed in the Student Center. The most recent one was installed just last week.
The new fountains filter water and have a separate fountain for water bottles.
Ken Matthews, the Senior Director of Auxiliary Service and the Sorensen Student Center, deals with food service, the bookstore, campus connections and other auxiliaries in the Student Center.
“They have been a real hit with the university community,” Matthews said. “There has been great desire to have these from the institution.”
Matthews has been looking into buying something with a filter system for students, but wanted something with a fountain as well. Although this is the second year plastic has been included in recycling, Matthews is happy UVU can be throwing away even less bottles.
“It’s going to help our recycling and landfill,” Matthews said. “But it could hurt in our retail sales of our bottled water.”
Each drinking fountain shows how many water bottles won’t make it to a land fill. The combined number displayed on the two new fountains has nearly reached 5000. Matthews said it’s worth the extra cost of the fountain.
“Compared to a regular one, they are a bit more money,” Matthews said. “A normal one is five to six hundred dollars, and the new ones are more like nine hundred dollars but they are much more efficient.”
Many people on campus are excited about having filtered water on campus including Matthews, but he also wondered if sales would go down for bottled water.
“Water is the number one seller in our dining operations. It is the best-selling bottled drink across the board. It’s too soon to know if it has affected sales yet,” Matthews said.
Matthews is accepting of the change, because it will be saving students money.
There are currently five drinking fountains in the Student Center and all but one are scheduled to be replaced. There is a plumbing and electrical adaption process that will have to take place for each one prior to installation.
By Tiffany Thatcher
Asst. News Editor