Bottled water gas station bill passed in West Virginia
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia lawmakers have passed a bill that would give children easier access to safe drinking water.
American Heart Association leaders say they hope it will also help improve children’s health. Senate Bill 246 will give students easier access to clean, fresh water.
“Any new school construction that is a public school in West Virginia or a major renovation will have water bottle refill stations,” said Julie Warden, director of government relations for the American Heart Association.
Student Evan Hickman says drinking water throughout the school day is already a way of life for him.
“It’s hydrating and personally I think it tastes great,” Hickman said. “I play sports and it helps me get through my games.”
Student Baylee Ridgeway said he thinks water bottle filling stations could encourage him and his peers to drink more.
“It’s easier than having to bend down and fill it up and do it over and over again,” Ridgeway said. “It’s just more convenient.”
The American Heart Association hopes this will be a step towards better health.
“West Virginia often leads the country and has some of the highest rates of youth obesity,” Warden explained. “Anything we can do to make sure we focus on more water, less sugary drink consumption, is going to help with this excess weight gain.”
She said it could also be a lifesaver for students who don’t have access to clean water outside of school.
“They might fill up right before they go out and we know they’ll have at least that much water until they get back to school the next day,” Warden said.
According to the American Heart Association, water bottle refill stations would also reduce exposure to germs typically found on traditional drinking fountains.