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Monthly Science: Water Bottle Refill Stations

The O’Neill Center at WCSU has two sets of drinking fountains:

Water bottle refill stations

Water bottle refill stations

The bottle shape on the back of each fountain marks the sensor for its water bottle refill spout. The small rectangular block above and right of the sensor is a virtue signalling display giving the number of disposable bottles allegedly not consigned to a landfill.

The left fountain:

Water bottle refill station - left

Water bottle refill station – left

The center fountain:

Water bottle refill station - center

Water bottle refill station – center

The right fountain:

Water bottle refill station - right

Water bottle refill station – right

Which looked exactly like either a test pattern or a failed display, until I waved my hand over the senor and watched it increment to 00008889. Timing is everything!

The other trio of fountains had the same progression, so it must be a chirality thing.

I can’t say whether you should use the left fountain to avoid some germs or the right fountain for the freshest water. Not having to maneuver our bottle under the usual arch from a drinking nozzle was a big win, though, so mad props to ’em.

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  1. #1 by Keith Ward on 2018-06-01 - 20:34

    There are quite a few people out there who don’t even realize that water bottles CAN actually be refilled at all, much less take time to notice the UI on the device.

    • #2 by Ed on 2018-06-02 - 14:03

      Yeah, and then we have engineering bears like me. [grin]

  2. #3 by Olli on 2018-06-02 - 11:15

    Is WHO overdramatizing?

    “WHO launches health review after microplastics found in 90% of bottled water”
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/15/microplastics-found-in-more-than-90-of-bottled-water-study-says

    • #4 by Ed on 2018-06-02 - 14:07

      I’d say yup, definitely.

      Our tap water is as good as you’d want, but the whole-house filter still turns brown with sediment after a few months. The way I see it, if the incoming water doesn’t have plastic shreds, it’ll pick up a few on its way through the filter!

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