'Hurst employees test new hydration system

Employees at Mercyhurst University are in for a refreshing treat this summer. Beginning Tuesday, June 4, the university will test a new hydration system that offers free, filtered water in reusable bottles.

The new Evive Station™ will be installed in Old Main at the west end of the second floor around noon Tuesday. At the same time, reusable bottles will be presented free of charge to employees.

A new concept in sustainability, employees will scan their personalized bottle at the station, or kiosk, enter their PIN, and insert the bottle into the machine, where it is cleaned by 1,500 PSI of water pressure, sanitized and filled with chilled, filtered water. (Users do not need to clean their bottles to have them filled; there is a space to just fill the bottles.)

“As a leader in sustainability among colleges and universities, Mercyhurst had been looking for an environmentally friendly option like this for quite some time,” explained sustainability officer Brittany Prischak. “In decreasing bottled water use, we also decrease the energy needed to produce and recycle plastic bottles while cutting back on the plastic waste that ends up in landfills, not to mention water sources like the Great Lakes.”

More than 1.5 million barrels of crude oil are used to produce plastic water bottles in America annually – enough to power 100,000 cars for a year, according to Evive. Eight out of every 10 plastic water bottles end up in a landfill.

Prischak said that Evive provides free, unlimited bottle cleaning and water fill-up, no matter how many times per day, week, month, or year an employee or student goes to the station. Further, the station is being installed free of charge because it is supported by advertising revenue. Each kiosk is equipped with a screen that displays the paid advertising.

Meanwhile, the bottles cost $10 apiece, but Prischak said Evive is donating the first 400 for employees to test this summer. She said the hope is to obtain a sponsor that will enable the university to provide the bottles free to all students, at the very least, to freshmen this fall.

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