Water Fountains Finally Open


Kieran Murphy

One of the reopened water stations getting back to work, filling up students water bottles.

Allie Medina, Co-Editor in Chief

The water fountains have finally opened back up and are available for use all throughout Stafford County schools. Though this may seem like a simple thing, the process was actually quite complicated. 

During the Stafford School board meeting on Oct. 11, Mr. Chris Fulmer, Deputy Superintendent and Chief Operating Officer, went into detail about what exactly has gone on the past few months and why the fountains were even closed in the first place.

“Our water fountains were closed down for approximately two years or more during the shutdown and during Covid, even when we came back, just to prevent the spread. We were coming back this year, so late last spring we started planning with the maintenance staff,” Mr. Fulmer explained to the school board.

Twenty-five percent of water fountains in each school were tested throughout SCPS at first, just as a cautionary measure put forth by the maintenance team since the water fountains had not been opened for several years.

“Some come back with one or two low levels of bacteria so we wanted to keep our water fountains closed except for the ones that come back clean,” Fulmer added. So if we had them tested and they came back negative of any sort of bacteria and we did our normal flushing, we went out and opened them back up,” Mr. Fulmer went into further detail on the process.

This whole process costed $300,000 which came directly from Esser Federal Funding, a fund created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March 2020.

After the results of the 25 percent came back, something needed to be done about the other 75 percent of water fountains that had yet to be tested.

“We tested the other water fountains in the division and kept them all out of commission and covered them up until we got back the results. It’s a lengthy process,” Fulmer said.

On Oct. 12, three schools in Stafford County opened up all of their water fountains. Others continued to open up for the next few days as the results came back negative. Now, all water fountains are fully open and ready for use.