So,UI mulls water filtration on campus

Unfiltered water will soon be a thing of the past at the University of Iowa.

Over the summer, officials installed new water filtration equipment in some dorm buildings, including Burge, Currier, Daum, & Hillcrest.

UI Student Government leaders & officials from the Office of Sustainability will meet next week to discuss designs to put in additional equipment that would give students the choice of having filtered or unfiltered water.

different filtration systems will be thought about at the meeting, UISG Sustainability Initiatives Director Kelsey Zlevor said. of those options, the Elkay EZH2O bottle fillers, allows students to fill their own containers with filtered water.

The UI sophomore said Elkay bottle filler runs from $2,100 to $2,700, and installation costs.

“It is significantly pricey, so that’s why they must have lots of discussion over it,”they said.

The Elkay bottle fillers are pricey because they feature motion-sensor expertise & a digital counter tallying the number of 20-ounce disposable plastic bottles not producing waste. The Elkay fountain in the Currier lounge has helped eliminate waste from over one,700 disposable plastic bottles.

Some Currier residents are employing the new expertise.

“I literally walk out of my way to go to those water fountains & fill up my water bottles,” said UI sophomore Ariel Pierson.”They are simple to make use of, & the water tastes better.”
Steve Smith, an Elkay representative in Texas, said a large incentive for having the Elkay bottle fillers at universities is to prevent excess plastic waste.

“Basically, you’re going to save plastics from going to landfills,” they said. “A lot of [universities] are going to [filters] for the going-green initiative.”

“[Retro fitting] would be simpler & a lot cheaper,” Zlevor said.

The second option, a less pricey that the Elkay, is a retro fitting, which entails attaching a gooseneck-shaped tool to the faucet of common water fountains, allowing students to select for themselves in the event that they need filtered or unfiltered water with the simple flip of a switch. The cost for this tool, though largely cheaper than Elkay, has not been determined.

Dorms, major academic buildings, including the Pappajohn Business Building, & buildings on the Pentacrest are targeted areas for new fountains. The number of fountains installed depends on equipment & installation cost. It is likely that both filtration systems will make a greater appearance on campus this school year, Zlevor said.

Although retro fitting appears to be the way the group is headed, it is looking to put in at least a few more Elkay bottle fillers, Zlevor said.

“Even though [plastic bottles] finish up in recycling, that’s still waste whether it’s recyclable or not,” they said. “[Either device] would benefit us because students as individuals would be more aware of how much waste they use.”

They noted that either filtration technique would ultimately divert lots of plastic from the recycling technique & educate students on how much waste plastic bottles produce.

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