Miami University is going green(er). With recycling receptacles and biodegradable plastic ware, the campus is taking steps towards an eco-friendly future. The newest addition to Miami’s campus is water filtration fountains with spouts designed specifically to fill water bottles. There are several around campus – Shriver Center and Stoddard Hall to name a few – and many more will be popping up as the year progresses.
David Prytherch, geography professor and Miami’s sustainability coordinator, said he is excited about the new initiative. Shriver is a pilot project, selected for its high traffic and visibility on campus, according to Prytherch. Along with Shriver, the new fountains are located in Stoddard and Elliott Residence Halls.
Other residence halls are equipped with retrofit models that are bottle-friendly. According to Marijo Nootz, the senior director for Shriver Center, the retrofit models do not contain a filtration system, but do have a bottle-refill station to make refilling water bottles easier.
First-year Brandon Thomas said that the filtration stations in Shriver fill his reusable water bottle very quickly and are convenient.
“The water tastes better, too,” Thomas said.
Nootz explained that the filtration fountains in Shriver represent the new standard for water fountains on Miami’s campus. Any new construction, such as The Armstrong Student Center and Maple Street Market, or remodeling, such as The Miami Inn and Marcum Conference Center, will have the new filtration water stations, she said.
According to Prytherch, the student group Green Oxford led an initiative called “Take Back the Tap” which secured a Brita “Filter for Good” grant that supports bottled water alternatives.
The new filtration fountains cost $550 each to purchase and
install. The models in Shriver Center were paid for using the Brita grant, according to Nootz.
The fountains represent collaboration between various Miami groups, Prytherch said.
“Green Oxford and HDRBS (Housing, Dining, Recreation and Business Services) collaborated to install one for the general public in Shriver Center,” Pytherch said.
While Miami students already have access to clean tap water, the filter system drinking fountains offer additional filtering that serves as an alternative to single-use bottled water, according to Prytherch.
“Re-using bottles is much more sustainable than single-use bottled water,” Pytherch said.
Sophomore Elizabeth Ward said she is excited about the new water fountains, because she uses the fountain daily in her residence hall to fill up old water bottles.
“I will definitely just refill instead of buying water bottles all the time like I did last year,” she said.
Nootz said she personally frequents the new fountains.
“I use it every day,” she said.
According to Prytherch, the filtration systems demonstrate how teamwork is making Miami more eco-friendly.
“This is a great example of students, staff and faculty collaborating to make Miami more sustainable,” Pytherch said.