by Tim Burkhardt, staff writer
Pay close attention to the water fountains around campus in the upcoming months; some of them will be getting upgrades. Kara Nipper, a Wilson student and employee on the plumbing crew, applied for and received a $500 grant from the Environmental Learning Center. Plumbing Crew has used this seed grant to purchase water filters that will modify several existing fountains around the school. The hope is that this improvement will encourage students and faculty to be more willing to carry reusable beverage vessels rather than disposable plastic and paper ones.
The first filter will be installed in the FMTS building, near the plumbing shop. After that, filters will be potentially placed in Gladfelter, Morse, Ogg, and on the third floor of Jensen. The student body and faculty will be able to enjoy clean, good-tasting water without relying on the impractical, expensive, and far less sustainable Mountain Valley Spring Water brand water coolers that lurk in some of the administration buildings. Mountain Valley may be a local Asheville company, but all that water which is siphoned from a spring in the Nantahala Forest and delivered by truck to Warren Wilson, is water that could be coming from our (soon to be) freshly filtered fountains.
The water filters are on order, but have not yet arrived. According to Kara Nipper and the plumbing crew, the improved water stations should be functioning on campus some time after spring break.
Apart from the direct environmental benefits from cutting down on the use of BPA laced plastic bottles, the installation of the filters will help bolster Warren Wilson’s image as being a school that cares about the condition of our planet.