University of Nevada, Reno - Touch-Free Water Filler Case Study


Reno, NV


The student union is an integral part of any university’s educational environment, providing services and programs for the student body community. Traditionally considered the “living room” of the campus, today’s student unions are gathering places offering an informal location to further foster and enrich the unity of the campus. Taking all this into consideration, the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) transformed their existing student union into a 167,000 square-foot, four-story, environmentally-friendly facility offering the campus and community a new “front door” to the University.


The new UNR Joe Crowley Student Union wanted to duplicate the time-honored tradition of a central gathering spot inside the student union that would further enhance the brand new building and help support their sustainability efforts.


When researching traditional community gathering locations, Chuck Price, Director of the Joe Crowley Student Union, came across the concept of the conventional watering hole. For thousands of years, watering-holes were recognized as the location to not only collect water but to share information, catch up on news and socialize with neighbors and friends. Price chose to honor that tradition and install the evolutionary Hydration Station™ which would act as the student union’s “water well”. Brita® Hydration Station® dispenses filtered water through a touch-free, hygienic unit for filling your reusable bottle thereby encouraging users to reduce bottled water use.


“We call it The Nevada Well,” states Price “The Best Water on Campus!” In addition, each Brita® Hydration Station® can help reduce as many as 36,000 standard 16.9 oz. bottles each year. Surrounding the Brita® Hydration Station® is a hand-painted mural depicting a traditional stone water-well and several native Nevada items to further foster the community water-well experience. To introduce the unit to the 16,681 students, the Joe Crowley Student Union staff sponsored an Earth Day event distributing t-shirts and reusable bottles and presented the movie “Tapped” to increase awareness of the benefits of using multi-use bottles. “It’s great, I love it!” exclaimed a fourth-year student at the event.


The Brita® Hydration Station® is a touch-free, hygienic, water dispenser that allows users to enjoy the benefits of healthier*, great-tasting water away-from-home without the waste and cost of bottled water. The unit hooks up to a municipal water line and uses an advance filtration system to reduce lead, chlorine taste and odor, and remove 99.99% of cysts. The BRITA trademark and logo are registered trademarks of Brita LP and are used under license by Haws Corporation®.


*Certified to reduce Lead & Cysts. Substances reduced may not be in all users’ water.