Features

Student Investigation: Which Water Fountain Reigns Supreme?

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The Taste Testers – Nick Palacorolla and John Torroella

This month, two of my friends and I set out on a mission to find the best water fountains at Mount Saint Joseph.  Juniors John “The Cuban Missile” Torroella and Nick “Big Daddy Nick” Palacorolla served as the water judges. After narrowing down our top candidates, they taste tested each one.  Based on a poll conducted via social media, we narrowed down the criteria for judging water fountain supremacy.

https://twitter.com/MSJQuill/status/991674285587562496

The three main criteria for judging were taste, temperature, and water pressure. Each factor was rated on a scale of one to ten, and the three scores were averaged for an overall score. We also decided to test the pH of the fountains using a digital pH probe.  A pH lower than seven is considered acidic, and a pH greater than seven is considered basic.  Pure water has a pH of seven, but the pH drinking water generally falls between 6.5 to 8.5.

Library Fountain

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“This is my personal favorite, and it is in a good location.” – A previously thirsty St. Joe student

Nick: Temperature: 9, Taste: 9, Water Pressure: 7

John: Temperature: 9, Taste: 9, Water Pressure: 8

pH: 7.76

Overall: 8.5 The fountain near the library is probably the best tasting one at the school. This fact, paired with its convenient location make it a serious candidate for being the best fountain on campus.

2nd Floor of Founders Hall (Near Bathrooms)

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“This is one of my favorites, but it sprays up in your face.” – A blinded St. Joe junior

Nick: Temperature: 9, Taste: 7, Water Pressure: 8

John: Temperature: 9, Taste: 6.5, Water Pressure: 6 “It’s way too high.”

pH: 7.84

Overall: 7.58 This fountain has an extremely high spray.  It has the highest water pressure at MSJ, but it’s a little too high to be used comfortably.

Fine Arts Center (Near Box Office)

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“Pretty average” – A parched freshman on his way to Mr. Breen’s class after a pitstop

Nick: Temperature: 9, Taste: 7, Water Pressure: 6

John: Temperature: 9.5, Taste: 7, Water Pressure: 6.8

pH: 7.68

Overall: 7.55 Pretty average fountain.  Not the best tasting, but the water is decently cold.

Fine Arts Center (Near Piano Lab)

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Looking for some stellar water? You’re gonna have to go out of your way to find it!

Nick: Temperature: 10, Taste: 8.5, Water Pressure: 8

John: Temperature: 10 “Coldest one at St. Joe.”, Taste: 8.5, Water Pressure: 8

pH: 7.57

Overall: 8.83 This water fountain is most definitely the coldest one on campus. However, for many students it’s out of the way. Although the water is ice cold, it’s a bit of a hassle to get to it.

Smith Center (Top Floor Near Bathrooms)

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“Best water on campus!” – An athlete running late to workouts

Nick: Temperature: 8, Taste: 7, Water Pressure: 10

John: Temperature: 8.5, Taste: 8, Water Pressure: 9.5 “It’s like perfect.”

pH: 7.59

Overall: 8.5 This fountain is probably the best one in the athletic facilities.  With a good balance of taste and temperature and nearly perfect water pressure, the water fountain at the top floor of the Smith Center is a serious contender.

St. Joseph’s Hall (Near Studies Office)

Nick: Temperature: 8.5, Taste: 8, Water Pressure: 8

John: Temperature: 8, Taste: 7 “Lowkey flat”, Water Pressure: 8

pH: 7.67

Overall: 7.92 Pretty average water fountain overall.  There is an emergency defibrillator attached to the wall right above the fountain that students could accidentally hit their heads on (see video below).  This might be the most dangerous water fountain at MSJ! 

Based on the overall scores, the top three water fountains at MSJ are the piano lab fountain, the fountain near the library, and the top floor Smith Center fountain. Each one has their own strengths and weaknesses, so which one is best is still up for debate.

The pH probe showed that all of the fountains that we tested were basic.  However, the probe’s readings were slightly sporadic during the testing day, so the data may have a minor margin of error.

Ease of access to good drinking water is important to students and faculty. For this reason, we support the installation of water bottle refilling stations. These refilling stations can be mounted onto existing fountains, making it more cost effective. Installing water bottle refilling stations around campus could make it easier to get cold, tasty water throughout the day.