The water cooler is the iconic gathering place for office workers. It's a place for chatting about the latest sports game or viral video, along with being a source of healthy hydration, instant food and more.
But how do you know whether you're offering employees and visitors safe water, filtered from impurities and harmful substances? A bottleless water cooler is an awesome option for many businesses.
The pitfalls of a traditional water cooler
If your business has a water cooler with five-gallon jugs of water you need to replace, you may not be getting as healthy an option for drinking water as you think. Where does the water in a five-gallon jug come from? A natural spring? A bottling plant that filters the water? An unfiltered municipal source? The water quality might not be what you think.
In addition: How long has the water been sitting in the plastic jug? Has it been subjected to sunlight? Was the air removed before the cap was put on? It can't help but make you wonder whether moisture, warmth and air equals bacteria. Yuck!
An alternative for healthy drinking water
A practical solution would be an office water cooler that filters the water just before you're going to drink it. That way, the water doesn't sit around in a jug for weeks — or even worse, months or years. You can guarantee this way that the water is refreshing, clean and bacteria-free.
You can also guarantee that the water comes out perfectly cold — chilled to the temperature you choose. If you like instant coffee, tea or soups, some models of bottleless water coolers make filtered hot water, too!
Room temperature water is also an option and perfect for watering plants, filling a carafe for making a pot of coffee, as well as cooking. It's also a great for people who are sensitive to drinking cold water.
Several types of filtration methods are available for an office water cooler. These are some of the common options:
- Standard pre-filtration and carbon: These types of filters remove sediment, chlorine, bad tastes and foul smells, such as earthy, musty and fishy odors.
- Reverse osmosis: Removes minerals, heavy metals, total dissolved solids (TDS), arsenic, fluoride and many more waterborne contaminants. Be prepared to have a drain available because the contaminants left behind are automatically diverted to a waste drain so they don't build up in the system. This is accomplished by using a part of the unprocessed water — called feed water — to carry away the rejected impurities to the drain, thus keeping the membrane clean. The flow of impurities to the drain is often referred to as reject water.
- Germicidal ultraviolet light (UV): Kills 99.9 percent of harmful bacteria in point-of-use filter systems and is FDA approved for disinfecting filtered water. UV energy at 254 nm kills 99.9 percent of various microorganisms. The UV stage is recommended for well water in rural areas, or in towns and villages that have uncertain chlorination.
A variety of designs, styles and colors of office water cooler are available such as free standing floor models and counter-top models, push button type or pull tab type. Accessories such as cup holders, leak detectors, ozone sanitizers, and cooler stands — which add 6 inches of height to the cooler — are options that make sense for some businesses.
Do you have limited storage? Countertop water coolers blend in with existing appliances and save space. They also make sense for client-facing businesses where aesthetics might be important.