Drinking Water Resources

Meeting students’ water needs is vital for learning: Why water matters

Meeting student's water needs is vital for attention, memory, behavior, mood, kidney health, and disease prevention

How much water students need

Water consumption needs vary with temperature and an individual’s body size and level of activity. Food – especially fruits and vegetables – can meet part of our water needs. For young people, recommended daily water consumption (in addition to water from food) increases with age

necessary water consumption for young people shown with water cups (1 cup = 8 ounces). 5 cups for ages 4-8, 7 cups for ages 9-13, and 8 cups for ages 14-18

Recommended Daily Water Consumption for Young People (1 cup = 8 oz)

Recommended school water environment

What influences how much water students drink at school? From January to March 2020, our partners at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health visited 17 representative schools across the District. They audited every drinking water outlet (363 total); interviewed principals, building engineers, nurses, teachers, and climate staff (104 total); and observed lunch and P.E. classes (32 hours total). Through this, they identified the following school-based factors as key to encouraging students to drink water.

This table shows the recommendations for school water environments: There should be a minimum of 1 hydration station per 100 students on one floor, water temperature should be a maximum of 59 degrees Fahrenheit, water stream should be consistently strong, maintenance should be clean and accessible in outlets and bathrooms, policies and practices should be in place - for example - water bottles allowed and encouraged and water safety information is communicated


Hydration station function

  • Trouble-shooting for Elkay hydration stations
  • Filter Changing – a minimum of once per year and as needed based on indicator light. Please contact the school building engineer if the indicator light is red and the filter needs to be changed.

Promotion: Signage, reusable bottles, handouts

Every District school has an Eat Right Philly nutrition education partner. Eat Right Philly can help your staff and students develop water promotion challenges and events; lead water education; provide water-promoting posters and signs; and in some cases provide reusable water bottles for students.

Classroom Connections

Promotion: Student-created videos

Policies, practices & communication

Water safety & quality