Therefore, schools are attempting to make changes, such as lowering the acceptable lead level, but there is no doubt that there is still more work. Although public places have been using water fountains since the 1800s, the health and safety of the water are in question, especially during the global health pandemic.
Businesses and schools are replacing drinking fountains with water bottle filling stations to solve this problem. They eliminate contact with the no-touch or one-touch fill options reducing the chances of bacteria spreading on the handles. In this guide, we will look at some of the reasons you should consider switching to water bottle filling stations for our business.
Problems With Traditional Water Fountains
First, before diving into the reasons why we should start replacing the traditional water fountains with water bottle filling stations, it is crucial that we look at the problems associated with water fountains. Most people have shown distrust in water fountains regarding their health and safety.
According to researchers, the number of public water fountains is fading nationally in schools, businesses, and parks. Like the old telephone booths, the days of public drinking fountains are numbered as they continue to fade away from public spaces. We believe that water from fountains is dirty and dangerous and hence we do not trust it.
Some of the common problems with traditional water fountains include the following:
- Generally, water fountains are perfect places for contaminants like germs, lead, and zinc to spread. The handles are an ideal spot to harbor germs and spread from one person to the next, which may cause diseases.
- Concerns over drinking water quality and possible disease transmission. The water from fountains is not believed to be safe for drinking, especially when the pipes are broken or damaged. This may also cause diseases when it contains contaminants like lead.
- It is generally a health hazard.
The benefit of Water Bottle Filling Stations
All the problems of traditional water-filling fountains are solved with water bottle filling stations. The following are the benefits.
Solution for Lead Contamination
Water bottle filling stations provide safe drinking water, which is the key benefit of installing them. The stations use high-performance filters that get rid of contaminants like lead and chlorine. Some manufacturers like Elkay offer filling stations that remove up to 99.3% of lead contaminants from drinking water. Filtered water bottle filling stations are more efficient and effective in removing contamination than other alternatives like pipe remediation and manual pushing out of lead from drains.
Reduce Waste Hence Eco-friendly
Since bottled water is perceived as clean and safe for drinking, it causes more environmental harm than good. People are now shifting to drinking bottled water instead of fountain water, which leads to environmental pollution as plastic bottles are thrown away every day. This is a significant ecological hazard as plastics take over 500 years to decompose.
According to the comprehensive report, it is revealed that over 90% of plastic coverage is lost due to the prevalence of disposal. If plastic leakage continues at this rate, by 2050, the weight of plastic in the ocean will be more than that of fish. Filtered water bottle filling stations are a better alternative than plastic water bottles.
The stations are turning the tide by combating the threat of plastics to the environment. While at the same time ensuring safe and clean drinking water, they reduce plastic wastage as the bottles are reused other than thrown away. Water bottle filling stations are a green solution best for the environment. Many stations act as tangible proof of their impact since they have built-in water bottle counters that track the number of plastic bottles the station saves.
It is the Law
Water bottle filling stations provide accessible water. According to the federal & state rules, schools should give free and potable water to students. In fact, schools are required to provide drinking water to students as part of the lunch program, according to USDA. Legally speaking, you have to provide accessible drinking water to employees if you own a business. Employers must provide an adequate supply of wholesome drinking water to employees under the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations of 1992.
Water bottling stations are the wave of future hydration. The health conditions affecting children in schools are caused by unhealthy—unsafe, and less accessible drinking water. Limited access to drinking water means more consumption of sugary beverages and sports drinks which promote obesity and diabetes in children. Water is positively correlated to healthy living, starting with increasing muscle efficiency and flushing out toxins.
Clean, safe, and accessible water give students a higher incentive to hydrate, promoting energy and productivity. Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act and Michelle Obama’s Water: You Are What You Drink campaign requires schools to have safe and healthy drinking water and highlight the importance of water for developing minds and bodies. Schools can easily comply with these mandates by swapping to filtered water bottling stations to give students a healthy, safe, and accessible drinking option.
Better Tasting Water
The taste of water is a significant factor in determining people’s options. Filtered water bottle filling stations are equipped with high-performance cooling systems and filters that eliminate all the culprits of unpleasant tasting water. They are also known to deliver chilled water regardless of where they are placed, whether indoors or outdoors. It is, therefore, the smart choice for better tasting and chilled water.
Switching Out Existing Water Fountains With Bottle Fill Stations
A filtered water bottle filling station is an easy replacement for the old-style water fountain. It, therefore, makes the switch a wise and better option. Besides being the better and smart option, it is wise. There are available grants for schools to get your school on board with swapping out the old drinking fountain for the water bottle filling station.
If your budget is limited, you may consider retro-fit water bottle fillers for your business. You don’t have to completely replace a newer/well-running fountain with a Retro-Fit kit. Different manufacturers like Elkay offer retro-fit kits that can turn recently installed drinking fountains into combo units complete with hands-free water bottle filling stations.
The retro-fit water bottle fillers utilize the existing filtration and refrigeration if it’s already on board and run off the fountain’s current water supply. This is a more accessible and more affordable option for making the switch. However, swapping out your drinking fountain with a new bottle filling station remains the best option. While this is a durable option, a retro-fitted option doesn’t last long and doesn’t come with a magnificent warranty.
Best Brands of Water Bottle Filling Stations
Water bottle filling stations have their benefits, but before selecting the filling station for your school or business, you must look at the pros and cons of each.
The Three best types of filling stations to consider
Elkay EZH20 Bottle Filling Station With Integral SwirlFlo
This type is suitable for busy places with huge traffic, such as schools and businesses, as it is designed with two drinking fountains. Besides being a bottle filler, this brand is equipped with coolers to give better-tasting water. This Elkay brand made of stainless steel comes at the top as it is easy to use.
It gives a hands-free experience since its sensor-activated to fill your bottle with water. Using its exclusive green ticker feature, it shows you how you’ve impacted the environment with the number of plastic bottles you’ve saved. It has a 1.1 GPM flow rate and easily dispenses clean water that is safe for drinking with reduced splashing. Its plastic components are made with silver iron to offer microbial protection to resist mold growth.
- Hands-free operation.
- Eliminates contaminants like chlorine, lead, odor and bad taste
- Dispenses clean filtered water
- The heavy-duty stainless steel frame is hence suitable for public places with heavy traffic like schools.
- Certified by NSF for healthier water
- It is costly compared to other brands
Halsey Taylor HTHB HydroBoost Bottle Filler
This brand is equipped with a patented Halsey Taylor bubbler that is resistant to vandal and averts splashing. It comes with a stainless steel design with chrome-plated trays that are resistant to stain. It is a unit that fills users’ bottles quickly to save time with its 1.5 GPM fill rate. It is sensor-activated to shut off when the bottle is taken away from the sensor as it responds to movements.
- Sensor activated hence a hands-free operation
- Dispenses clean filtered water
- A great option for public places like schools and businesses
- It can be mounted on the wall
- It allows you to see the number of plastic waste saved on the LED screen.
- Quite expensive
Elkay EZH20 Enhanced Bottle Filling Station
This improved Elkay design is equipped with a filtration system that is advanced to eliminate harmful substances such as contaminants and chemicals. It is an excellent option for both outdoor and indoor installation. Its vandal resistance makes it suitable for public spaces with massive traffic.
- You can acquire a more ADA-compliant bi-level setup.
- Certified by NSF
- Quite expensive
Switching to water bottle filling stations would result in budget savings, increase the health of students, and promote sustainable practices. However, it may be quite expensive to swap to install the filling stations, but it is a worthy investment. A few benefits of installing water dispensers in schools or offices are protecting the environment and having clean, accessible water. These filling stations are the best addition to your school or office to help ensure clean and healthier drinking water.