Photo Caption: The Elkay EZH20 fountain, left is installed on the third floor of OU’s Baker Center. It tracks the bottles it’s saved.
The Elkay EZH20 fountain produces filtered water and has a tracker that informs users of the current total number of water bottles conserved since its installation during winter break.
Located on the third floor of Baker, the water fountain features a standard drinking spout as well as a space for users to refill their personal water bottles
The new fountain is another effort to maintain a sustainable university, according to an OU official.
“People are pretty savvy about staying hydrated… and also the idea that you’re potentially saving water bottles from the landfill,” said Sujit Chemburkar, executive director of event services at Baker Center.
The water fountain is located next to OU’s student organization offices because Chemburkar said it’s a central location where he can receive feedback from students. So far, he said, he has heard only positive remarks.
OU junior Allison Wichie said she appreciates the new fountain.
“I always carry around a reusable water bottle so to know that it’s twice the effect that it’s recycling the bottles is kind of cool,” Wichie said.
She also likes the fact that filling a water bottle is easier using the bottle-filling station compared to an average spout. The Elkay EZH20 allows the user to place a bottle upright to the fountain instead of tilting it sideways. A laser beam alerts the automatic fountain to turn on when a bottle is held at the spout.
“It has a laser beam to turn it off and on so you don’t have to touch anything and it’s hygienic in that way,” Chemburkar said.
The water fountain cost $2,300, according to Chemburkar, which came out of OU students’ fees for Baker. The filter has to be replaced, which is an ongoing cost, Chemburkar said.
Wichie said she wasn’t aware that she paid a portion of the fountain.
“I guess… I’m not so upset at it as if it was being used toward something stupid. It’s coming out of my fees but at least I utilized it,” she said.
Chemburkar initially discovered the unique fountain in a trade magazine and thought it would be a good fit for OU’s campus. It has been a good investment, he said.
“I’m on the sustainability council, and I have a passion for that. (The fountain) also seems like a good use of resources,” he said.