Greetings, fellow water drinkers.
While Kenyon College has always been a hallowed ground where scholars flock to critically discuss the theories of the times, one question in particular has caused great philosophical torment for generations of Kenyon minds, from Philander Chase to Rutherford B. Hayes to mainly just me.
“Where is Kenyon’s best water fountain?”
Join me for weekly water reviews and controversial hot-takes on Kenyon’s finest faucets and read on as I study my first subject: the water fountain in Lower Lewis.
The Lower Lewis water fountain sits directly across from a communal microwave oven (which forever stands proudly gaping open and leaking an odor reminiscent of Kraft cheese locked in the hot trunk of Toyota Camry since 2004 [I personally would have preferred a more seasonal smell: spicy ramen soup stock]).
Upon entering a dim recessed alcove, you’ll find a sterling Versacooler Ii W/ Sports Bottle Filler from Oasis Coolers rocking a standard cabinet finish: sandstone powder coated paint on galvanized steel.
Proudly flaunting a 100 micron strainer, four anti-bacterial MD-Cu29 push pads, and boasting a delivery rate of 8.0 gallons of chilled water per hour, this is no fountain to mess with.
But what’s it taste like?
Through many years of water appraisal, I have developed a rating system to evaluate the taste of water I quaff.
I present to you…
The M.O.I.S.T. Meter, judging Mouthfeel, Operation, Intensity, Salinity, and Temperature.
Mouthfeel – After my first gulp I already noticed an astringent effect on my tongue and inner mouth, somewhat reminiscent of pool chlorine. And trust me, I’m very familiar with the taste of pool chlorine.
Operation – I very much enjoy the ambidextrous and front push pads, and the addition of bottle filler is a welcome one. However, it was mounted so low that I have to bend nearly 70º, then forcibly crane my neck upwards. If it weren’t for my Adonis flexibility, I’d be on my knees, lapping at the water.
Intensity – Subtle. This water definitely has the taste of heavily treated water (I’m looking at you 100 micron strainer!) combined with sparking memories of drinking out of 60¢ water gallon jugs in a rural Pennsylvania truck stop.
Salinity – A noticeable salty aftertaste, many minutes after first swig. The tongue is left craving for more, perhaps making this a good pairing for a rich Chateaubriand steak with Béarnaise sauce or with Cup Noodles with Wise Sour Cream and Onion chips crushed up and scattered inside.
Temperature – I was promised “chilled.” I got “bleak.”
My final judgement on the Lower Lewis water fountain is:
M(5) O(8) I(6) S(6) T(4).
29 out of a possible 50.
Certainly a contender, but not an upper echelon player.
And so the hunt continues…