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The Student News Site of Darien High School


The Student News Site of Darien High School


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To Drink or Not To Drink

Should we be alarmed by yellow filters?
Neirad staff
Is that ezH20 filter doing what it should be doing when it’s reading orange?

At DHS, we are lucky enough to have top of the line water fountains. Our many Elkay filtered drinking fountains are scattered in convenient locations around the school. But, an unforeseen issue has arisen as these fountains give us visual indicators of the filtering status of our drinking water. Perhaps ignorance truly is bliss.

As many of you may have noticed, for the majority of our first semester all of the water fountain filters in the school, besides the two next to the cafeteria, had yellow filter statuses. Slowly, the delicious water we used to so mindlessly drink is becoming contaminated. Members of the DHS community have now had to ask themselves unique questions when they feel parched: Should I risk drinking this water? Should I walk all the way to the cafeteria? Should I finally start bringing a water bottle? What does a yellow filter even mean?

We asked students and teachers at DHS if they have been drinking from water fountains with a yellow filter. Senior Aadi Pai claims that only when he is “extremely thirsty” will he drink from a fountain with a yellow filter. On the other hand, Sophomore Cassy Medrano says that she would never drink from the yellow filter because she “does not want to get sick from any bacteria.”

Math teacher Mr. Coppock upset at the lack of clean water next to his office. Here at DHS, we are very privileged to have access to these water fountains. The usual price of just one Elkay is $2,378. This high price raises questions about the accessibility of filtered water, especially in public institutions.

Junior Caitlin Kelly explains that she’ll always “buy water from the cafeteria and pour it into [her] water bottle” regardless of filter status. She “may not even fill [her] water bottle up if the filter is green!” She also observed that “on the third floor, the water [she] gets from the water fountain is sometimes foggy,” which repels her from all the school water fountains.

First-years Ingrid Cavanna and Lizzy Sullivan both agree with Pai, saying that unless they were “really thirsty” they would “probably not [drink the water of a yellow filter] because it is just kind of gross.”

Mr. Kopac, head custodian here at DHS,  answered some of our burning questions.

Who changes the filters? 

“The BOE plumber.”

Do the water filters get replaced when at red or at yellow?

“Just like a traffic light, yellow is a warning that the filter will be ready to replace soon.”

Is yellow filter water safe to drink? 

“Yellow light is safe to drink.  Even if it is red, the filter is still in place, filtering the water better than a fountain without one.”

Well DHS, it turns out that we may have been overreacting. Nonetheless, our skeptical natures will likely cause many of us to continue to side eye the red and yellow filter statuses.

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About the Contributors
Katie Cavolo
Katie Cavolo, Journalist and Newscaster
Katie Cavolo is a senior at Darien High School who began writing for Neirad in 2022. You can find her dancing ballet as a member of the Darien Arts Center Senior Company, leading DHS's Current Literary Magazine as Co Editor in Chief, or hanging out with her friends and family. Katie loves writing, reading, watching movies, and listening to music. Her favorite bands are The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Her favorite childhood movies are The Parent Trap and Ella Enchanted.
Rithwika is a senior who started writing for Neirad in 2023. She loves writing about current events, pop culture, and events at DHS. Outside of writing, she does dance, karate, and likes listening to music.

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