I've been ordering the auto-ship refills for quite a while, and decided today, to check out the reviews. Whatever source I read in the beginning, also said water should flow in through the white side, and out through the black, so I've been using them backwards for months.
Maybe my next shipment will work better - although, I love these fountains! I have one for my rescue cats, and one for my dog, and it makes my life much easier!!