Water fountains drip with controversy


Caroline Vranas

Water fountains around the school vary in modernity, with some being very modern and others outdated.

Caroline Vranas, Copy Editor

Water fountains should be accessible to all students. While LHS may provide us with water fountains, are they okay for us to drink out of? Many fountains around the school are not up to date. Some have red lights on the filter indicating that the filter is out of date and therefore no longer working. Others have pieces rusting or missing entirely from the fountain. 

Most notably, the water fountain located in the field house is covered in grime. This water fountain is one of the most used in the school, with students utilizing it as a crutch during gym class. Despite this common logic, the water fountain is not well kept in the slightest. 

According to the Elkay company’s help center website when the light on the water fountain is red it means, “Filter has reached 100% of its life or been in use for 12 months.” 

Principal Eric Michaelsen said, “I’d like to have the water fountains all be top notch. I know that the Buildings and Grounds group knows about it and is working to get those fixed. I think that I’d like to see it better, but I think that they’re working on it.”

Some students are so appalled by the filth on the fountains that they won’t even use them.

Junior Charlotte Drez said, “I don’t know what germs are in the bathrooms or the water fountains, it freaks me out, what could be lurking in there.”

Many students share this opinion. In a school of 1200 students, you never know what could be found in school facilities such as water fountains, sinks or toilets. Germs run rampant around the entire school, and objects like water fountains can become breeding grounds for sickness and unhealthy germs. 

Water quality is not just an issue faced in LHS. Throughout Lemont, water quality is mediocre at best. Many homes can’t wash white clothes in the washing machine, at the risk of them turning yellow. 

Hopefully, the recently approved referendum will fix some of the aforementioned problems currently being faced, but according to Michaelsen things may not be so certain. 

Michaelsen said, “I think that the referendum is certainly not going to hurt, but I don’t know that it’s going to be a cure for everything.” 

Even if the referendum affected the school fountains, the money won’t start until around 2027, says Michaelsen. This means that by the time current freshmen are seniors, the referendum might still not have affected them. 

Overall, the school water fountains are a work in progress, but one that will hopefully be improved upon sooner rather than later.

Shown above are red filter light, bagged-up fountain, broken button, and grimey field house fountain. (Caroline Vranas)