The coronavirus pandemic has bought changes to many industries, and as the shift moves from reducing contamination and infection to prevention, we are getting increased demand for safe and hygienic touch-free or contactless technology solutions for our water coolers, fountains and taps.
Businesses are beginning to return to the workplace - but not as we know it! New challenges bring in more questions and additional procedures, but whether you’re in an office, school, hospital or care home a water cooler is still a safe, convenient and easy way to stay healthy and hydrated.
The question is what is the best touch free water dispenser? Unfortunately, not that simple to answer as every business has different needs, so it’s about getting the right solution for you - not all contactless water coolers are equal! Here’s an overview of the different types of solutions available and the benefits for your workplace.
What is a Contactless Water Cooler Dispenser?
A touch-less or hands-free water cooler, water fountain or tap ultimately provides you with fresh filtered drinking water without having to “directly make contact” with the surface of your machine. Viruses spread from contaminated surfaces and contact-less dispense eliminates the risk of bacterial contamination that can come from touching the machine, providing you with a safe, and hygienic hydration solution.
Types of Touch-Free Solutions:
Infra-red Sensors: Strategically placed Infra-red sensors can detect your hand and automatically open the water flow, and then stop the water when you remove your hand. This hands-free operation is simple and convenient, ideal for places like hospitals, schools and care homes where hygiene is of the utmost importance. Automatic shut off when a hand is no longer detected also makes infrared sensors ideal for schools and colleges because they eliminate the risk of leaving the taps running!
Foot Pedal Controls: There are different types of foot-pedal controls available, some simply retrofit onto your current water cooler. While in newer models such as the WFP9T water fountain the foot-pedal controls are built into the machine. The simple design is user-friendly and can often give more control over the type of water dispensed such as hot/cold or sparkling - perfect for offices or staff rooms where different types of water are required.
Traditional Push Paddle Taps: The simplest most economical option to touch-free water is the traditional push paddle tap. Many water dispensers including the 3000X and JAZZ water coolers, are already designed with paddle taps where you simply push your glass or bottle against the tap to dispense the water without having to touch the machine.
Do I still need a Water Cooler?
You may question if you should still be using your cooler – quite simply yes! In the UK workplaces are required to provide access to free, clean drinking water by law. Water is essential for the body's proper functioning and the more dehydrated you are, the more your concentration level deteriorates. Working efficiency reduces by 25-50% if you are just 3-4% dehydrated! Frequently drinking water stops that risk.
Having a Water Cooler/Fountain or Tap available is the simplest, most convenient and reliable way of doing this. Not only is the water filtered, but it can protect you against pathogens which can be found within tap water (If the Water Cooler uses a high Pharma filter such as a Nano-Filter or sanitisation technology like the SIPneo3) as well as eliminating the plastic waste that is produced from bottled water.
Is a Contactless Cooler my only option?
Finally, with so many options available you may wonder if you should switch. Whilst the focus has shifted to new touch free solutions because they provide an easy and convenient way to dispense water through eliminating touch contamination, you can still have a safe water supply with any water cooler, water fountain or tap. The most important thing to remember with any water cooler or dispenser is to ensure there is a procedure in place to keep the unit clean and maintained. We recommend:
Ensuring your water dispenser is within you daily cleaning schedule, and you are sanitising the taps and dispensing area with a food safe sanitising spray, such as our CCSPRAY, and also washing the drip tray and grill regularly with soap and hot water.
Establishing regular sanitising visits and Water filter exchanges with your service provider, to ensure your business is meeting the UK Water Cooler Association recommendations.
When trying to decide the best way forward for your business water supply, switching to a touch free system is ultimately the simplest, most convenient way to provide your team, clients and customers with a clean, safe water source.
But if you already have a system in place or are in a fixed contract it may not be the right time to switch. In this case simply looking to add more advanced filters or sanitisation systems, on top of keeping your cooler clean daily as well as regular hand washing your cooler will still provide you with a safe supply of water.
Still Not Sure?
If you are still not sure what hydration solution you need or just have a question please get in touch as we can help - We have been supplying leading businesses for over 25 years and quite simply we know our stuff! Our range of contactless Water Dispensers provide a variety of fresh filtered water solutions for staff, customers and visitors. We also have a dedicated team of engineers who regularly maintain, and service all equipment.
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