South Water Fountains: Ranked


Ezra Gearhart

South senior Eddie Anderson getting hydrated at a first floor bubbler in the commons.

Ezra Gearhart, Staff Writer

For those of us who are not quite smart enough to carry a water bottle around, water fountains are a daily requirement. A pit stop before class or a refreshing break from geometry can be a lifesaver. And usually our water fountain demand satisfies itself with the nearest bubbler, whatever is the most convenient, but we rarely zoom out and take a look at the water fountains themselves. Some people have a favorite, but which water fountain is truly the best? I took it upon myself to discover the answer to this question. 

In order to do this, I decided to rank every water fountain in the school. To create the best possible rankings in a subject that is inherently subjective, e.g. the taste of a given fountain, I created a grading system based on 7 different categories. Taste is the most important factor, accounting for 30% of the total score. Temperature made up 20% of the weight, and 20% was cleanliness, which I have to say South’s water fountains did not excel at. 10% was the flow of the water, 10% was the clarity, and 10% was the location and accessibility of the fountain. For the mathematically inclined of you, you may have noticed by now that I listed 6 categories that add up to 100%, and yet I promised 7. This is true. I added an extra credit category for notable features that did not fall into my rubric. These bonus points were mainly allocated to fountains with water bottle accessibility, but also for special cases noted below. 

Pi chart demonstrating how each of the categories is weighted on the water fountain rankings. (Ezra Gearhart)

The top 3 fountains are all hydro-stations, with the 3rd best one in the southwest corner of the third floor. It was well rated, but tragically lost a handful of points to being somewhat unclean and being in the middle of a crowded hallway. The #2 spot is South teacher Macy Ashby’s favorite, located on the second floor in the back of the english and social studies area. It was cleaner than the 3rd floor fountain, however it was located in an even more dense hallway making using it during passing time a major hazard. The number one spot is the hydro-station on the first floor in the commons. This ultimate fountain was relatively clean, and extremely accessible at the edge of the commons. It’s well used by many South students during lunch, and Education Support Professional Alex Endeshaw’s favorite because it is in a common space filled with people he can talk to. 

Some other notable mentions were the fountain at the back of the math hallway, which has a knob to turn the water on. I gave it an extra 5 points for being super cool. The worst rated water fountain in the school, (which is probably very subjective because how ‘bad’ a water fountain is is harder to quantify than how ‘good’ it is), is the one in the southwest corner of the third floor. It has 2 fountains side by side, and forces you to stand somewhat in the middle of a hallway. It had decent taste and temperature, but fell short in accessibility, was extremely unclean, and one of the two fountains had awful flow. In order to drink from it you practically had to make out with the spout. 

While most of these fountains were tolerable and some even enjoyable, in all honesty I recommend rethinking your H20 sipping habits. I’ve started carrying around a water bottle if that says anything.