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Fill Up at the MUB's HydrationStation™

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
November 3, 2010

It is estimated that Americans buy about 29 billion plastic bottles of water a year and that the majority of them end up in landfills.

What’s more, about 10 percent of the country’s oil production goes into making plastic bottles.

If you’re one of those people who would like to help turn those figures around, check out the new HydrationStation™ in the MUB. Well, don’t just check it out, use it.

The HydrationStation™ is where you can refill your water bottle with tap water that has been run through state-of-the-art filtrating to remove sediment and that chlorine taste and odor. What’s more, it’s hands-free, making it hygienically appealing as well.

Carol Tuttle, one of the MUB assistant directors, introduced UNH to the Hydration Station™ system after hearing about them while attending a student union conference last March.

Located near Theaters I and II, the HydrationStation™ was installed as part of the MUB’s commitment to sustainability. According to MaryAnne Lustgraaf, director of the MUB and Student Activities, they started with one station to see if the concept would catch on. It has.

“The HydrationStation™ has proved to be wildly popular. We see more people every day bringing their water bottles in and using it. People seem to appreciate not having to struggle to fill their water bottles in bathroom sinks or at messy and slow water fountains,” says Lustgraaf.

The plan is to add one station to each floor in the MUB as money becomes available, Lustgraaf says. Each station will cost about $3,000 including the equipment and installation. Using the plumbing from existing water fountains will help save money.

The Sustainability Academy, Healthy UNH and Dimond Library are looking to cosponsor a HydrationStation™ next to the computer area at the Dimond Library.

“Once the station is in place at the Dimond Library, we will choose other high traffic hot spots on campus and post educational signage around each station so students, faculty and staff can learn how clean, inexpensive and environmentally/socially responsible drinking tap water really is,” says Michele Chapman, special projects coordinator, Sustainability Academy. “The installation of HydrationStation™ is one step of several towards a bottled water-free campus."

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