WUSTL installing water bottle filling stations on Danforth, Medical campuses

Filling stations already installed in DUC, Mallinckrodt, Brookings, Farrell Learning and Teaching Center and more

WUSTL’s Department of Facilities Planning & Management, School of Medicine Facilities Management Department and Office of Sustainability have partnered on a pilot project to retrofit a number of water fountains on the Danforth and Medical campuses to allow for the easy refilling of reusable water bottles.

The filling stations are being installed to provide the WUSTL community with easy access to drinking water for use in portable, reusable containers. The university ended the sale of bottled water on the Danforth Campus in 2009.

Locations have been chosen based on estimates of student, faculty and staff foot traffic through the buildings, says Daniel Bentle, communications coordinator in the Office of Sustainability and in Facilities.

Bentle says the university will continue to add more water bottle filling stations to campus buildings based on community feedback and feasibility.

A second spigot for water bottles have been added to fountains in the Cancer Research Building and the Farrell Learning and Teaching Center on the Medical Campus and the Danforth University Center, Mallinckrodt Center, South Brookings Hall, the Women’s Building and the Village House on the Danforth Campus.

Also on the Danforth Campus’ Francis Field concession stand, a recessed water bottle filling station — which features an infrared sensor and digital counter showing “bottles saved from the landfill” — has been installed near the existing drinking fountain.

Water bottle refilling station signage
Signs containing this symbol will be posted at water bottle filling stations.

Seven more buildings on the Danforth Campus — Olin Library, Laboratory Sciences Building, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and Steinberg, Brauer, Whitaker and Eads halls — all should have water bottle filling stations installed during the spring semester, Bentle says.

More recessed water bottle filling stations, similar to the one at Francis Field, are scheduled to be installed at Monsanto Laboratory and McMillen Laboratory this spring.

WUSTL encourages suggestions from the community as to the best locations for future updates on both the Danforth and Medical campuses, Bentle says.

“I am pleased that we are installing these updates to make it even easier for the campus community to use refillable, reusable water bottles instead of bottled water,” says Deborah Howard, interim director of sustainability.

“The Washington University community has been incredibly supportive of the ban of bottled water sales on campus, even before these updates,” Howard says. “Universities and colleges from around the world have inquired about this initiative and been impressed with our accomplishment.”

Both Art Ackermann, associate vice chancellor for facilities on the Danforth Campus, and Jim Stueber, director of facilities engineering on the Medical Campus, credit students with pushing for the filling stations.

On the Medical Campus, the student subcommittee of the Medical Campus Sustainability Awareness Committee, led by Jennifer Reeves and Neil Munjal, requested spigots be added to water fountains to promote reusable water containers. On the Danforth Campus, a Student Union committee led by then–senator Tegan Bukowski, a May 2010 alumna, investigated the practicality of retrofitting water fountains.

For more information about Danforth Campus filling station locations or to suggest a location for a filling station, e-mail Bentle at dbentle@wustl.edu.