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Water fountains go high-tech in California schools

Turlock High School uses water coolers that are also bottle filling stations.

In today’s rapidly changing world, even school water fountains are going high-tech: Since the start of the 2010 school year, many Central Valley, Calif., students have wet their whistles—and filled their glasses, bottles, and containers—at state-of-the-art drinking fountains that provide chilled and filtered water.

The “hydration stations” are the result of state and federal laws that require free, fresh water to be provided at schools wherever meals are served or eaten.

At Turlock High School in Turlock, Calif., the water fountains sit under a large “H2O” sign and provide a traditional drinking fountain and a hands-free filling station.

When students prop an empty bottle underneath, a motion-activated sensor starts a stream of crisp, clean water.

“I use it eight to nine times a day,” said Turlock High senior and football player Trevor Wheeland, 17. “It’s easy to use and fill up and stay hydrated.”

(Next page: More details about the hydration stations)

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