Just A Drip


Zoe Rodriguez, Staff Writer

In 30 years, two thirds of the globe will have water shortages. Sink water isn’t endless. Only 0.5% of all of Earth’s water is drinkable. A single dripping faucet can waste a gallon a day. If you haven’t already, you should be asking yourself how much water you waste on a daily basis. How much water do you waste on your lawn? How much water do you waste washing dishes? Taking a shower? Brushing your teeth?

Carelessness with water is everywhere at Waltham High. Step into any bathroom, and you’ll see sinks that won’t turn off, pouring water down the drain. Leaking toilets that spill pools on the floor and under the stalls. Toilets that endlessly flush, wasting gallons. Water fountains that spill out water continuously. According to the EPA, “A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.” Just a drip. Now imagine gallons upon gallons- from every bathroom. Leaking away a precious limited resource. That water runs 24/7. Even when you’ve left the high school building and forgotten about it- it’s still running.

When you add water to the list of all the other infrastructure issues, it gets overlooked. Especially since our Waltham High won’t be our Waltham High in a few years, with the building of a new school down the road. So why should we care, if we’re leaving this building anyway? 

Unlike the crumbling rotary phones, broken 70s clocks and ancient sharpeners, water waste at our school is an issue that won’t be refurbished and replaced. While all the students will move to the sparkling new school, the old building will stay standing, and it will continue to be used. Administrative staff and department heads will work here, the Regal Theatre Company will likely use the theater. Even the Dual Language School might move into the building. With less people, the infrastructure issues will be less of a problem- but the water will keep running. 

Mass water waste is a problem right now– as you read this, gallons of water are leaking down drains in Waltham High School. Here are some simple things YOU can do to stop water waste:

  • Turn off the faucet after you wash your hands. 

Yes, the old faucets can be impossible to turn off. But the running water wastes gallons, so try your best to turn it all the way off until there is no dripping. 

  • If sink water is running in the bathroom, turn it off. 

Even if it’s not you, we all notice water running. Taking the two seconds to turn off the water makes a difference.

  • If you notice a leak, report it. 

This is one of the most important steps we can take. If sinks aren’t turning off, if toilets are leaking, if water fountains are wasting water- tell someone. Your teacher, a teacher on bathroom duty, a custodian nearby. If you can’t make the small change, ask for help. 

During this strange in-between period where we’re waiting for a new building, there’s a lot we can’t fix. But our water is limited. It does run out. And you have control over it. It’s up to you to turn off that sink. It may feel like you can’t make a difference in this, but caring a little bit about the water waste in this school will give you peace of mind, and keep the water from running.