The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Continuing water refill station issues, conditions concern students

The Flo Water Station in the Humanities Building on Wednesday, May 8. The station was not working properly for a while by not dispensing any water but is now currently functioning after being fixed for maintenance. (Jaylen Morgan | The Union)

Students are concerned about the safety and conditions of the water refill stations at El Camino College.

Issue with the Flo Water machines were first reported and brought up in January and again in March by 24-year-old pre-engineering major Jamal Thomas.

“I’ve been very cautious about using the Flo Water machines around campus, some have been out of order, and the machines will say not purified sometimes. I don’t want to get sick or want anyone on campus to get sick,” Thomas said.

The Flo Water machines are located in the Math Business and Allied Health Building, Student Services Building, Humanities Building, Student Activities Center and Industry Technology Education Center.

Most Flo Water machines are not cold and the water that comes out is warm or at room temperature.

An alarm also goes off when the machines are being overused, which means the water is not purified, Tyler Strohl, Associated Students Organization Student Activities adviser, said.

“The water stations are supposed to be used for regular size water bottles so people can refill them throughout their day. Students and staff members are bringing huge jugs to fill and that takes too much water out of the machines,” Strohl said.

The ASO helped bring the Flo Water Stations to campus around 2017 but the water stations might change in the future because of the ongoing issues.

There are other water stations on campus to fill bottles and containers from a brand called Elkay.

They’re not water stations like Flo Water but a water fountain with a refill station attached.

The El Camino Facilities Planning and Services division own and maintain the Elkay brand stations and only they can work on those fountains.

Flo Water is not with the El Camino district; it’s an outside company that the ASO contracted with, so only they can fix any issues with the machines.

Tyler contacts Flo Water and they send out maintenance personnel to check the machines around campus to find the problems.

“When the machines were first bought pre-pandemic, they cost $30,000 ($5,000 each). Maintenance for the machines costs around $10,000 to $12,000 per year.” Strohl said.

All the Flo Water stations on campus have signs that provide Strohl’s contact information in case there are any problems or concerns.

One area on the campus where the water station is overused is the Student Services building.

“Every few months it breaks down and the water is not purified, it’s used a lot because of how much traffic the building has,” Kelly Nguyen, neuroscience major, said.

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