What’s in my water?

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R. Gulati

Ruhi Gulati

On Oct. 7, 2019, during a hot, sunny day reaching the upper 70s, varsity girls tennis 1 Doubles player Michelle Barnvos grabs her towel from the bench to wipe her sweaty face and reaches for her water jug, only to realize the jug is completely empty. 

She longs for ice-cold water to quench her thirst and energize her body, so she can play her absolute best against her rival, the Crystal Lake South Gators.

 Even though she knows she needs all the help she can get to win her critical match, she still refuses to drink from the high school’s water fountain.

In fact, she is not the only student that avoids drinking the school’s water. 90% of students interviewed reported that they generally drink water from home or the cafeteria and not from the water fountains.

  “The filters are never changed so you can never fill up your water bottle because the filter is either red or yellow. In the regular water fountains, you see people do different things to them throughout the day like put their mouths up to them, so it makes it unappealing to drink out of them,” Barnvos said.

Other than the filthiness, students also refuse to drink the water because of its notably disgusting taste. Some people believe that the taste comes from the fact that the school custodians do not replace the filters and instead simply change the setting from red to green.

When addressing this rumor, Associate Principal Tom Kempf neither confirmed nor denied the issue.

“If there are no filters, I could totally see that happening because I know some of those water fountains were retrofitted to existing wall spaces and the filters required a different space behind them,” Kempf said.

According to Kempf, the custodians are responsible for Huntley’s water supply; Pablo Hernandez, the main custodian, gave no response to this issue.

Whether or not the school replaces water filters or cleans the water fountains, water supply is very important to all students at Huntley High School, specifically athletes. Generally, student-athletes fill up their water bottles from the fountains by the field house; however, according to Barnvos, the water fountain by the weights room was red during the entire fall sports season.

“The tennis team had to go and fill up their water bottles outside with the water jug and never filled them up inside,” Barnvos said.

Without water, the overall performance of athletes decreases. In some cases, the absence of water can even lead to dangerous health risks, like dehydration, which is why water quality is so important.

When the school does not tend to the water fountains, they are putting athletes, as well as other students, at risk. Therefore, students at Huntley High School need more reliable water fountains, and we need them now.