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Dec. 6, 2016

Finding the finest fountain

by Charles Lott, Online Features Editor
Sometimes the water fountains in public schools get a bad rap. They're lukewarm, covered in chewing gum, and often the water isn't as clear as water should be. But could there be a diamond in the rough? Here is a comprehensive study of all of Blair's water fountains, rated on a scale from one to five in terms of water power, temperature, cleanliness, location, and then an overall average of the four scores. Never go thirsty again.

Power is a measure of the strength of the stream coming from the fountain with one representing very weak and five representing very powerful. Temperature is at its warmest at a rating of five, and coldest when it registers a five. A cleanliness rating of five is ideal, and is based on maintenance of the fountain and proximity to undesirable features like bathrooms or trash cans. A location rating of five is also ideal, and is based on accessibility, usefulness, and crowdedness of the fountain.
This fountain received a poor location rating because it is in an isolated part of the building. Charles Lott
This fountain received a poor location rating because it is in an isolated part of the building.

Main Entrance
Power: 2
Temperature: 3
Cleanliness: 4
Location: 2
Overall rating: 2.75

The first water fountain within view as visitors enter Blair is a group of four next to the entrance to the auditorium. However, according to junior Lyla DiPaul, this fountain has a bad history. "The best water fountain definitely isn't the one by the office," claims DiPaul. "Last year there was a plant growing in it." Receiving a cleanliness rating of four, this fountain is looking a bit more spick and span of late, but with an overall rating of 2.75, there are better options.
This fountain is a fan favorite, but had chewing gum on the spout. Charles Lott
This fountain is a fan favorite, but had chewing gum on the spout.

Gym Hallway
Power: 2
Temperature: 3
Cleanliness: 1
Location: 4
Overall rating: 2.5

The gym hallway water fountain is the consensus top choice for many Blazers. According to freshman Adam Robinette, "The best one is the one across the hall from the gym. It's always the coldest." It received an average temperature score during testing, along with the lowest cleanliness score of all due to the presence of chewing gum. This fountain is sub-par, and many Blazers' heightened perception of it is likely due to its proximity to the gym and weight room, so people use it when they are at their thirstiest.
This brand-new fountain was among the best. Charles Lott
This brand-new fountain was among the best.

160's Hallway
Power: 4
Temperature: 4
Cleanliness: 2
Location: 4
Overall rating: 3.5

According to sophomore Erick Turcios, this fountain has earned its temperature rating of four. "The best water fountain is the one right next to the bathrooms by the cafeteria. This morning it was hella cold," says Turcios. It also has a powerful stream, but is located right next to the bathrooms and the SAC, which means that it often has rejected food stuck in the spout or drain, leading to a poor cleanliness rating. To this point in the survey, the 160's hallway fountain is in a class of its own.
This water fountain is often crowded, but exceptionally cold. Charles Lott
This water fountain is often crowded, but exceptionally cold.

Student Activities Center
Power: 4
Temperature: 5
Cleanliness: 1
Location: 3
Overall rating: 3.25

According to senior Aidan Young, the water fountain in the cafeteria is a solid choice. "People are sleeping on the one in the SAC. It's the coldest and the most water comes out," explains Young. We'd have to agree. This fountain was the coldest in the school, and although it's often crowded and located next to a few trashcans, it registered a 3.25 on our scale and almost unseating its nearest rival for the top spot.
This fountain was solid, but was missing its push lever. Charles Lott
This fountain was solid, but was missing its push lever.

210's Hallway
Power: 4
Temperature: 3
Cleanliness: 2
Location: 2
Overall rating: 2.75

The 210's hallway water fountain is lacking one very important feature: a button. The thing that you're supposed to push down to make water come out has been torn off, making it a mission to use. Also, it's way off in the corner of the school by the greenhouse, which makes for very inconvenient access and little use.
The water from this four-fountain grouping was a weird off-white color. Charles Lott
The water from this four-fountain grouping was a weird off-white color.

250's Hallway
Power: 2
Temperature: 1
Cleanliness: 2
Location: 3
Overall rating: 2

This group of four water fountains received the lowest rating of all. The water, when it finally came out, was white instead of the usual clear color. Also, when the lever of one fountain is pressed down, the other three are rendered useless. With the presence of an above average water fountain just a hallway away, there's really no need to stoop to the level of the 250's hallway.
This fountain received an unexpectedly high rating. Charles Lott
This fountain received an unexpectedly high rating.

260's Hallway
Power: 5
Temperature: 4
Cleanliness: 2
Location: 2
Overall rating: 3.25

This fountain was something of a surprise contender, tucked away in a corner of the school next to the men's room. However, it had the strongest waterflow of those surveyed, was admirably cold, and was docked points for cleanliness and location due solely to the presence of rust on the spout and its unnecessary proximity to another fountain. Yet another strong contender falls short of the 160's hallway fountain.
These four fountains lived up to the hype, but are secluded on the third floor. Charles Lott
These four fountains lived up to the hype, but are secluded on the third floor.

320's Hallway
Power: 4
Temperature: 3
Cleanliness: 4
Location: 2
Overall rating: 3.25

The four-fountain grouping in the 320's hallway is one of the worst kept secrets at Blair. According to senior Tia Bremmer, everybody knows that this spot is of the highest quality. "The third floor is best. That hallway is not in use much, less traffic in that area, so it's more clean." We'd have to agree with Bremmer about the cleanliness, as it registered a four on our scale, but its location is sub-par simply because it is in such an isolated part of the school, three long flights of stairs up from Blair Boulevard.
This fountain was weak and had an antiquated push-button system. Charles Lott
This fountain was weak and had an antiquated push-button system.

350's Hallway
Power: 1
Temperature: 3
Cleanliness: 4
Location: 2
Overall rating: 2.5

The water fountain in the 350's hallway is simply a waste of space. It is the weakest the school has to offer, and the temperature is average at best. Its location also has much to be desired, because it is so far away from the only other water source on the floor that students must undergo a four-hallway trek just to get a single sip.

It was a long and arduous journey, but after traversing the vast expanse of Blair's maze-like hallways, every water fountain has been found, tasted, and rated on a scale from one to five. And the winner may come as a surprise; the 160's hallway water fountain, with its above-average power, temperature, and location is an all-around solid choice, making it the best water fountain in the school.

Blair's students clearly have a lot to say about where they get their water. Most are big fans of the third floor and the gym hallway, but we recommend the 160's or 260's hallways for a change of pace. Live a little. Is it worth it to travel a bit further for a higher-quality water fountain experience? Perhaps. Decide for yourself which water fountain is the best, and let us know which one you prefer on Twitter @mbhsSCO.



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  • ok on December 7, 2016 at 3:06 PM
    dumb article
  • thirsty lad on December 9, 2016 at 9:56 PM
    imo the fountains shouldn't be docked points for location, or at least location should be weighted less... some of the fountains got unfairly low ratings just for being "out of the way," but really all these fountains are convenient when you need them. i use the 320s fountain on the regular! it's a great location for anyone with classes in the 310s-330s. agree that the 350s fountain is garbo tho
  • Calvin McGlade (View Email) on December 14, 2016 at 9:05 AM
    u took my idea. give it back
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