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Kentucky (3% Latino) has become the first state to require water bottle filling stations for all newly constructed schools and school remodel projects, according to a Voices for Healthy Kids report.
The new rule, signed into law by the governor on April 9, 2019, requires at least two water bottle filling stations per new school.
It also requires one water bottle filling station or drinking water fountain for every 75 students projected to attend the new school, as well as regular maintenance of both stations and fountains.
“More than 650,000 Kentucky public school students will have better access to hydration,” according to Voices for Healthy Kids.
Kentucky Water Quality
Water bottle filling stations increase the amount of water students are drinking, providing equitable access to clean drinking water throughout the day. This offers the chance for better health and hydration.
The state of Kentucky, specifically small counties, have been plagued with contaminated drinking water.
In fact, 53% of its population gets its water from utilities with at least one violation of federal safety regulations, The Courier Journal reports.
“We take it for granted that when we turn on our kitchen tap, the water will be safe and healthy, but we have a long way to go before that is a reality across our country,” Erik Olson, health program director at National Resources Defense Council and a report co-author, told The Courier Journal.
At least 22 states failed to protect students from water contamination, specifically lead, according to a study by the Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund.
Although Kentucky was not one of the 32 states evaluated, only two of the evaluated states got a “B” rating.
Why Water Bottle Fountains?
Water bottle filling stations are more than just clean, filtered water.
In addition to hydration, water bottle filling stations assist in cutting down sugary beverage consumption as well as eliminating plastic waste. This helps promote a healthy weight and a healthy mind, and saves money!
A San Antonio fifth helped her school get a water bottle fountain at her school.
Praxina Guerra worked together with her teacher, Cathy Lopez, to raise support and raise funds. Together, their school in South San Antonio Independent School District added a water bottle fountain.
“In class we’re always saying make sure you drink water,” said Lopez, who said more students can access water throughout the day.
Get a Water Bottle Fountain at Your School
Want a water bottle filling station at your school?
Sign up for Salud America!‘s Water Bottle Fountain Action Pack where you’ll get:
- Customized, click-to-send emails, graphics & resources to initiate the change
- One-on-one support from an Action Pack Coach
- Ads on Facebook
- Promotion of your efforts to 100,000+ change-makers