What is the Best Water Fountain at Jesuit High School?


Jack Eckhart

Senior Abeil Melles drinks from the Upper Arrupe water fountain

Throughout the halls of Jesuit High School, there is no topic more highly debated and disagreed upon than the quality of water fountains at Jesuit High School. For those who do not know, there are 11 main water fountains at Jesuit High School and within the many thousands of square feet, there are endless opinions.

The quality of the water fountains can be attributed to the hardworking facilities team 

“We filter most of the fountains with the same grade of filter to remove chlorine, taste, and odor, sediment, rust, and scale,” said Facilities Director Jack Schmidt. “In my opinion the colder the water, the better it tastes.”

On a day filled with curiosity, I decided to walk around Jesuit High School and judge the fountains for temperature, water pressure, accessibility, and of course, taste.

Fountain #1. As you enter Jesuit High School through the Knight lobby, the first water fountain you will encounter is none other than the Knight lobby water fountain. This fountain is anything but extraordinary. There is solid water pressure, the taste is not amazing, and there is no real aftertaste. Any encounter one would have with this water fountain would be very quick as you enter the school, and there is no real thought or disappointment. What you see is what you get.

Fountain #2. As you continue walking, you decide to hook a right as you encounter the inconspicuously located Smith Gym water fountain. This is not a turn you should make if you plan on drinking any sort of quality water. Luckily, this is not a frequented location and any attempt to get adequate research on this fountain was met with such shock that the water tasted could not be consumed. 

Fountain #3. In response to this unsettling water fountain, you decide to run down Freshman Hall to encounter the next fountain. The Freshman Hall water fountain is commonly believed to be the best water fountain in all of Jesuit and, with a water temperature of 52.5 degrees, it really makes sense. The water pressure is perfect, the aftertaste is satisfying, yet not really noticeable, and you are left feeling refreshed. 

As I walked past this fountain, Sophomore Loland Fleming commented on why this fountain is his favorite: “That water is crisp. It tastes like it came from a glacier.”

Fountains #4 and #5. As you walk out of Freshman Hall, it is hard to imagine if water can get much better than the third fountain on our tour. You decide to test out the water in the two fountains on the wall in the Holman Family Student Union. It is noticeable that the fountain on the higher level has slightly better water pressure and temperature than its lower level companion. What you will come to find with these fountains and their relatives on the other side of the Lunchroom is that they clock in around 59.3 degrees Fahrenheit and 58.4 degrees Fahrenheit respectively,* which is a little bit warmer than what many drinkers may be looking for in refreshment.

Overall, these fountains have similarly decent water pressure, an unsatisfactory aftertaste, and they do take a second to cool down. That being said, if you really can’t make the whole 20 feet worth of walking to Freshman Hall, these fountains will do. 

Fountain #6. As you pass through the lunchroom to the next fountain on the tour, know that you are about to experience a piece of Jesuit High School history. According to Schmidt, “there is only one original fountain remaining on campus. It is a white porcelain/china unit that is hidden by the activities office from 1956,” said Schmidt. 

Being 66 years old, this fountain has impressive water pressure and a relatively satisfying taste. In an area such as the activities office which can seem far away, there is no need to walk far for good water. Clocking in at 62.1 degrees Fahrenheit,* this water is not as cold as the top tier of JHS fountains but disregarding the slight twang in aftertaste, this is a very impressive fountain.

Fountains #7 and #8. Now, as you walk away from a respectable token of Jesuit’s past, you quickly stop in the Elorriaga building. There are upstairs and downstairs fountains clocking in at 67.1 degrees and 65.6 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively.* If you were to choose between the two, just walk to Xavier Hall. The upstairs fountain in Elorriaga is slightly better than the one downstairs, but not worth the walk, and you will be left disappointed with the lukewarm nature of the water. However, the water pressure upstairs is much improved over its neighbor.

Fountain #9. Although your walk has taken you far, you are soon to see why the best water fountain at Jesuit is so highly debated as you enter into Sophomore Hall. The water is extremely cold with excellent water pressure and the fountain is very accessible. 

An avid supporter of the Sophomore Hall water fountain, Junior Eric Schumacher gave his opinion on why this fountain is the best: “I’ve been going to the drinking fountain in Sophomore Hall for three years now. Every day near the end of lunch, we always say the same thing, ‘let’s go drink from that sweet, succulent, Sophomore Hall water.’ When that cold water hits your taste buds, it feels like Christmas morning,” Schumacher said.

Fountains #10 and #11. In all of Jesuit, no two water fountains have more of an outlier status than the Upper and Lower Arrupe fountains. In testing, Lower Arrupe clocked in at a puzzling 60.8 degrees and Upper Arrupe clocked in at an equally puzzling 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit.* However, in the sampling, Lower Arrupe seemed to taste much colder. My advice would be that both water fountains are cold, consistent, and deserve no disrespect but Lower Arrupe is a better overall experience.

As for all locker room water fountains: Just don’t drink from those fountains. 

Here is the official list for the best overall water fountain from the 11 we tested at Jesuit High School:

  1. Freshman Hall
  2. Sophomore Hall (water dispenser isn’t as great as in Freshman Hall)
  3. Lower Arrupe
  4. Upper Arrupe
  5. Commons/Holman Center (Lower level is always worse)
  6. Knight Lobby
  7. Lunch Room (Lower level is always worse)
  8. Activities Office Water Fountain
  9. Upper Elorriaga
  10. Lower Elorriaga 
  11. Smith Gym

*Please note that all testing was variable and could easily be subject to change on any given day.