The student-generated news site of Mount Saint Joseph Academy

The Campanile

The student-generated news site of Mount Saint Joseph Academy

The Campanile

The student-generated news site of Mount Saint Joseph Academy

The Campanile

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Wondering what’s in your water?

Filters, Lead and Stanleys, Oh My!
Mia Moss
The red light shines on the water filter in the downstairs hallway bathroom.The light made students feel uncertain about the water quality, but Mr. Petrucci reassured that it is safe. Since this photo, the filter has been replaced.

Have you ever noticed when the status bar on a water fountain turns red? What does this mean? What are the risks of drinking water from a public fountain? The risks of drinking water at all? Is even my Stanley safe?

A report conducted by Women for a Healthy Environment, found that out of 61% of Pennsylvania school district schools, 98% found lead in their water. While this is an alarming statistic, and legal action is being taken to make changes, the water from water fountains is generally safe. It comes from the same source as drinking water, and is tested to meet federal standards. There are no risks of disease from the water itself, the problem lies with the pipes and the fountain.

“This one [the filter] is designed to reduce lead particles, and Chlorine. It also reduces odors and discoloration,”Mr. Guy Petrucci, Facilities Manager, said while unboxing new filters for the Mount water fountain.

The spout to drink from is a safe bet, even if a toddler is to drool all over it, the spout is constantly rinsed with fresh running water. However, the bowl underneath it may be crawling with saliva and bacteria that isn’t washed away.

There can also be problems with the pipes transporting the water, as they are neglected in schools and not changed as often as needed. Old pipes can be contaminated with chemicals or toxins that run the risk of leaking into the water.

Mr. Petrucci opens a new box of water filters as he prepares to replace the one in the first floor bathroom.

But here’s the $1 million question; is my own water safe to drink? The trendy Stanley cup may be a cute purchase, but should you be concerned for your health after buying it?

Stanley cups are vacuum sealed with a lead solder, if the paint or cover comes off it needs to be thrown away. The water inside the Stanley itself won’t come into contact with any toxic metals, but if the circular cover comes off, the user can easily be exposed to lead. Lead poisoning, while not as common as it was in the 18th century, is a serious health concern, and can cause heart disease and brain damage.

Tamara Rubin became a passionate activist after her son was exposed to lead during a home renovation and suffered brain damage as a result. Rubin sent Consumer Report tips based on lead testing, which led to a product recall.

She used the same $3500 spectrometer employed by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test for the presence of metals. She tested several Stanley tumblers after the protective cover at the bottom came off and found lead.

Many argue that Stanley should do without lead in the manufacturing process completely. Brands like Hydroflask have found ways to make water bottles without using lead, so why can’t Stanley?

When asked if they were concerned about this discovery, some Mounties were indifferent.

“I really like my Stanley, it’s like an emotional support water bottle. I feel very attached to it, it’s hot pink. ”Mary-Francis Potterjoy ‘24 said.

Even after she was told that lead is used in the manufacturing process, she said she didn’t care and would still use the Stanley.

However, on the other hand,  multiple Mounties interviewed for this story were shocked by the discovery and claimed they would be making the switch to a different water bottle.

“You know, I’m telling you, one day in the near future, we’re all going to drop dead because of this lead.” Jill Marcolina ‘25 said.

So should I never use my Stanley cup again? That is not necessarily true. While there is risk in anything, the protective cover is vacuum sealed, and is not likely to come off with normal use. It’s suggested not to fidget too much with the cover.. If you find yourself especially worried, tools like at-home lead testers analyze the drinkability of the water.

So now that we know the risks of drinking contaminated water, what’s up with the red dot on the Mount water fountains? Are they trying to kill us all?!

While the red dot may seem alarming, the water will not harm you. Drinking from a fountain with yellow or red light is no different from tap water. Water is essential to keeping your body functioning properly, anyone who hasn’t been poisoned by lead yet will tell you how important it is to drink plenty of water!

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About the Contributor
Mia Moss
Mia Moss, Staff Artist
Mia is a junior who’s excited to share her passions with the Campanile. In her free time she enjoys drawing, being apart of the Mennis team, reading novels,  and buying boba for her friends. She can not wait to put her work out there!
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