Little Red Light

All across Liberty red filter lights are blinking on the drinking fountains indicating that the filter needs to be changed


Megan Geisler

Halsey Taylor’s water bottle refill stations can be found in every hallway at Liberty High School.

LHStoday interviewed administrative staff on Thursday Oct. 7 about the issue of the red filter status on water fountains. As of the publication of this article (Oct. 8), the issue has been rectified. All water fountains in Liberty now don a green filter status.

As you stroll down the hallways of Liberty, it is likely you might make a pit stop at the water fountains. But when you pull out your water bottle to fill it, you notice: On almost every single drinking fountain the red filter light is on. 

According to a representative at Halsey Taylor (the water fountain manufacturer), “Once the filter light has come on 100% of the filter has been used and it needs to be replaced as soon as possible.” 

Yes, absolutely. The water is always safe.”

— Dr. Kiesel, Vice Principal

Only one small problem. This red light has been on for weeks since the beginning of the school year, with no replacement in sight; and the longer this red light is on the harsher the water becomes.

This has caused a major concern amongst students and staff, as they are now worried about the quality of their water. According to a recent poll that went out to 260 students and teachers here at Liberty, 59% of people completely avoid the drinking fountain because of this red light. Another 21% say they will only use it sometimes.

“It makes me feel like the water isn’t good for you to drink,” freshman Anabelle Hargrove said. “And it tastes gross.” 

In addition to the red light, students have reported a weird taste in their water and even on occasion, water that isn’t quite cold enough.

Not every student feels this way though. Sophomore Landon Woodson is not at all concerned about the water here at school. 

“Usually at my house the filter light is on and we don’t really care, so it’s fine here at Liberty,” Woodson said. According to the survey previously mentioned, Woodson is not alone in thinking this. Approximately 20% of people here at Liberty don’t care about this red filter light and still drink the water anyways.

59.2% of Liberty students say that they would not use a water fountain with a red filter status. (Megan Geisler)

So it all comes down to one question: Is this water safe for us to drink or are the concerns of many students and teachers well deserved?

According to our vice principal Dr. Kiesel, “Yes, absolutely. The water is always safe.” Kiesel assured that the water is in fact safe to drink and that the administrative and maintenance staff are aware of the problem. A work order has even been put in to get all of the fountains fixed.  “Our maintenance department that services all 17 buildings in the district and 17,000 students in the district will get to it as soon as they can.” 

These new water bottle stations were are a fairly new addition to most Wentzville School District buildings. They ensure that water you are drinking is 100% safe, and free of any harmful chemicals or bacteria. In fact, the Halsey Taylor Drinking fountains located here at our school are well known for being not only safe and clean but also environmentally friendly. 

While you fill up your water bottle you may notice a counter in the top right corner. According to Halsey Taylor, this “Green Counter” informs users of a number of 20 oz. plastic water bottles saved from waste.” This is a part of their efforts to make the world a greener place.