by Anab K '20

Investigating BSGE’s Water Quality

Even if all water fountains are created equal, their quality can change over time, and we wanted to investigate the water quality on every floor of BSGE. There are two water fountains on each floor, one tall and one shorter. We found that all the smaller fountains were of lower quality when considering three factors of temperature, murkiness, and pressure.

The first floor water fountains are an interesting case. The two fountains are in front of the security guard’s desk, excluding the one in the lunchroom, which has been out of order, as well as the cafeteria’s water cooler. The water from the smaller fountain has a colder temperature than the larger one, at 16 degrees Celsius. However, the larger one, at 17.1 degrees Celsius, has much clearer water than the smaller one. Although the small water fountain did not have really murky water, it was relatively unclear. In terms of water pressure (how much water came out of the fountain and at what speed), the larger fountain wins. It sprays water at a more forceful rate, with a larger arc of water.  If you had to make a choice between the two water fountains on the first floor, the larger water fountain would win due to its pretty cold water and much higher cleanliness than the other one.

On the second floor, the water fountains behave a little differently than those on the first floor. The larger water fountain on the second floor has a lower temperature and is clearer than the other smaller one. The larger water fountain has a temperature of 19 degrees Celsius, which tasted decent. The smaller water fountain had a temperature of 19.5 degrees Celsius. Both fountains were not the clearest, but the larger fountain seemed slightly less murky. The larger fountain also had a much higher pressure than the smaller one, considering the slight amount of water than the small water fountain provided. The larger water fountain is by far the winner on the second floor.

The third floor water fountains are similar to those of the second floor. The larger water fountain had higher pressure, lower temperature, and better clarity than the smaller one. In fact, the pressure difference was pretty astonishing, with the smaller fountain only providing a trickle compared to the the large arc of water from the larger fountain. The larger fountain seemed definitely clearer due its higher transparency than the grey water from the smaller fountain. The larger fountain was actually only barely colder, having a water temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, while the smaller fountain had a water temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. Again, the larger fountain wins in all categories.

All the different floors in BSGE seem to be similar in that the larger water fountain is simply better, and the fourth floor is no different. The larger fountain had a temperature of 19.9 degrees Celsius, while the smaller one had a similar temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. The pressures were also pretty similar. The slightly larger arc of water is not really something that would make the larger fountain more qualified than than the smaller. However, the difference between the fountains in terms of murkiness is significant. The larger fountain, while not the clearest, achieves a much higher performance than the murky water from the smaller one. Overall, as usual, the larger fountain on the fourth floor provides better quality water.

Of course, one cannot judge something based purely on statistics. Thus, the water from all of our BSGE fountains was sampled subjectively by some of of our BSGE students. The first floor larger one was labeled 1, the first floor large fountain labeled 2, the larger fountain on the second floor labeled 3, and so on. The test participants did not know which cup of water had which fountain’s water. When asked which cup of water tasted best, the first test participant, Marc Lim ’20, said, “Definitely Cup 1. I think it’s the coldest, and just tastes the best in general.” The second subject, Rayan Karim ’20, said, “Cup 2. Mad cold.” The third test participant, Rahil Ahmed ’20, said, “Either Cup 1 or Cup 2, but I think I’m gonna go with Cup 2.”  As we can see, temperature is the main factor when it comes to people’s impression of the water. However, some people may take into consideration clarity and taste when it comes to water, as we can see from Marc’s response.

Mr. Wolov, who has been an advocate for the Bacc Rag writing this article for years now, declined to share his fountain preference. “I don’t drink the water here. I’m a teacher,” he said. “I only drink filtered water from the purest springs in Fiji.”


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