Sustainable Water Filling Stations Premiere at Cornell's End of the Year Event

Facilities Management creates sustainable solutions to the water demand during Slope Day...

William Sitzabee, Interim Vice President of  Infrastructure, Properties and Planning and  Cornerstone award winner Sarah Zemanick, Director of the Cornell Campus Sustainability Office (Jason Koski / Cornell Marketing Group)
Water bottle filling station at Slope Day, 2017 (Clinton Vanwormer / Zone Facilities Manager)

Ceili Peng '18, Campus Sustainability Office, Communications Assistant, 7/28/17

There was a new addition to the slope day lineup this year, and its performance made quite a splash!

For the first time, Slope Day featured water bottle filling stations in addition to the usual bottled water distribution. Darrell Reynolds, Facilities Director of Facilities Management had the idea after volunteering in water distribution during slope day in 2016: “Having almost run out of bottled water at the end of the day, even after doubling the amount of water purchased from the previous year, I thought that there had to be a better way to provide drinking water while reducing the amount of bottled being handed out.” When presented with the idea, the Endowed Zone Sheet Metal and Plumbing crew was able to fabricate 4 prototypes. Volunteers working the water stations this year noticed that students still have a tendency to reach for the bottled water before using the water dispensers, but in areas where there was no bottled water available the filling stations were actively used. Overall it was a successful campus premiere!

Since Slope Day, the water filling stations have already made appearances at several other large events including Cornell Commencement, the Reggae Festival, and the GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance.  Facilities hope to use only the dispensed water stations without the bottled water at the gates of Slope Day next year; doing so would save $20,000 and 33,120 plastic bottles. Groups interested in using the filling stations for their own events can contact Darrell ( or Julie Parsons (, the campus events coordinator.

You can also skip the water bottles by contacting Take Back the Tap. You can borrow their water coolers for free! Find out more at Take Back the Tap.

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