Water fountains — they’re everywhere on campus. When faced with so many options, finding the perfect water fountain is a formidable feat. Our mission? Locate the best water fountain on NC State’s main campus.
We visited the biggest campus hubs and class buildings to assess a variety of water fountains. To determine our judgment, we primarily considered the crispness, temperature and aftertaste of the water, as well as the height and water flow of the stream. An ideal water fountain delivers a cool, refreshing sip of water and supplies a stream that arches at least three inches above the basin so it does not require the user to position their mouth extremely close to the spout.
We also took the overall experience into account; fountains with a water bottle filler provide an added convenience for users with a reusable water bottle, and a large button is crucial to provide ease of access for parched individuals in desperate need of a drink.
Thirsty? Here are the top three spots to get a drink of water.
The water fountain next to Caldwell lounge is a hidden treasure on campus. We had low expectations for this unassuming water fountain. However, it was love at first sip with this glorious Halsey Taylor water fountain.
According to the Halsey Taylor website, this water fountain projects two separate streams of water that converge to create an “abundant pyramid of water at the apex of the stream.” We have no objection to this method.
In regards to temperature, this fountain delivered an exquisite, chilled drink that’s wholly unrivaled. Although it has a small button, this fountain is mighty.
This water fountain is mounted on the wall across from a large window that overlooks the Court of North Carolina and — when it’s sunny out — bathes the fountain in resplendent gold light.
Third floor, Witherspoon Student Center
This fountain is always there for you when you need it the most. It isn’t necessarily the best water, but it is reliable. It will never be warm and it’s always shiny and clean.
This water fountain has an excellent design — it features both a long button on the front and a button on the side if that suits your fancy. It has an automatic water bottle filler so you can take a sip of Witherspoon water with you.
Climbing three flights of stairs to this fountain can be an enjoyable side quest to break up your mundane day of classes, and this fountain is well worth the walk if you are concerned about temperature or cleanliness.
Eighth floor, D.H. Hill Library
This fountain was an unexpected shining star in the search for the best fountain. It’s awkwardly placed immediately off the elevator, next to a desk and two study room windows. If you venture to this water fountain for a drink, be prepared to be keenly aware of awkward tension between yourself and anyone sitting immediately next to the fountain to study.
What this fountain lacked in ambience, it made up for in delivery. We were astonished to find that this water was somehow colder with a more consistent stream than other fountains in D.H. Hill. Although the water wasn’t as crisp as the beloved Halsey Taylor fountain, the journey to the eighth floor is worth it.
Finally, here are the water fountains to avoid.
Third floor, Dabney Hall
This fountain had the worst tasting water and was illuminated by yellow flickering lighting. We felt like we were wandering the catacombs to find this secluded, single water fountain that was mounted on a wall near a window that looked out on the Brickyard.
Although it didn’t have a water bottle filler, we noticed a shelf labeled “free” containing various chalices and cups in a nearby hallway that you could utilize to transport some water if you so desire. If you want a little sip of lukewarm water that tastes like pennies and is sourced from the Backrooms, the third floor of Dabney is the place for you.
Next to the indoor track, Carmichael Complex
Sandwiched between the indoor track and a fitness center, this water fountain is in a convenient location to quench your thirst during a taxing workout. However, it appears it’s also a convenient location for gym bros to spit into after a grueling lifting session. As long as you don’t mind looking at a little saliva while you drink, this fountain isn’t completely terrible.
Beware the stream on this water fountain. The height of the stream is unpredictable, which has the potential to splash onto a user’s face or clothes if he or she misjudges the distance necessary to take a sip. The buttons are round and offer the user no control over the strength of the stream or when the water comes out. Use with caution.
Third floor, D.H. Hill Library
This fountain not only has a bad temperature and aftertaste, but an unreliable stream as well. The user will inevitably be hit in the face by the tepid stream of water leaping up and down as they try to drink. The user will face humiliation in front of their peers and likely won’t even quench their thirst, which is too high a cost for the water it provides.