Office Water Services Introduction
The office water cooler-it's so iconic in our society it's almost cliche. But for convenient delivery of fresh drinking water at work there really is no substitute. Options abound for those in the market for office water service; this BuyerZone buyer's guide is designed to help you wade through your choices to find what works best for you.
The number one reason employees cite for drinking bottled water is taste. Water coolers supply instantly cold or hot water that provides greater refreshment than tap water. Water from the water cooler also makes better tea and coffee. This simple luxury is an easy and inexpensive way to boost your office morale.
There are two basic delivery systems for office water:
Bottled water is processed at at plant, then delivered to your office in jugs to be dispensed via your water cooler.
Point-of-use water coolers (also called bottleless water coolers), tap into an on-site water supply then filter it to remove impurities. Point-of-use water coolers are gaining recognition as an economic, ergonomic, and environmentally friendly alternative since there are no bottles to deliver, store, lift, or dispose of.
Bottleless water coolers also cut down on maintenance. The open reservoir where a bottle is inserted into a traditional water cooler makes water contamination a possibility. If you use bottled water it is a good idea to instruct employees to wash their hands and wipe down the bottle before exchanging an empty jug for a new one.
You will also need to clean the reservoir every 3-6 months. Bottleless water coolers eliminate this hassle by enclosing the water reservoir and using UV light to kill contaminants.
Types of Water
The United State Food and Drug Administration regulates bottled water as a packaged food product. Bottled water must adhere to strict safety and labeling regulations. For example, if water is labeled as "spring water" it must be derived from an underground formation where water naturally flows to the surface; if it is labeled "mineral water" it must contain a certain amount of naturally occurring minerals (they cannot be added by the bottler).
There are also a variety of purified, or filtered, waters on the market. Bottled water may be labeled by the filtration process used, such as "distilled water," "deionized water," or "reverse osmosis water." Point-of-use water coolers may use some of these same filtration methods, only on a smaller scale. All of these processes remove bacteria and harmful impurities, but some leave minerals and trace elements in the water that impact its taste.
Choosing an Office Water Seller
When evaluating office water service providers be sure to ask the following questions:
- What is the length of the service contract? Many sellers will ask you to sign a 1-2 year contract, while some offer the flexibility of month-to-month contract terms.
- Does the seller have more than one water solution? Some sellers only carry one kind of water, whereas, others make a variety of waters available including spring water, mineral water, filtered water, and bottleless water coolers.
- What is the sellers maintenance policy? Ask if annual preventative maintenance of your water cooler is included or if it costs extra. Similarly, find if any fees are charged for emergency maintenance and how quickly the seller responds if you have a problem.
- How often is water delivered? For bottled water you will need to schedule regular deliveries. Find out how often they occur. Every week? Every two weeks? Once per month? This will impact how many bottles you need to store on site.
- Does the seller offer any additional services? Some office water services also provide break room supplies such as coffee and tea. This could help you consolidate some of your office services.
Office Water Pricing & Tips
You can expect to pay a monthly fee for your office water service. Bottled water sellers will typically charge based on the number of bottles you use each month. You can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $6-$9 per bottle per month.
Point-of-use water coolers generally charge a monthly rental fee. Expect to pay roughly $35 per month for a point-of-use water cooler. If you use 50+ gallons of bottled water each month you could generate significant savings by switching to a bottleless solution.
Additional fees to ask your seller about include installation fees, maintenance fees, and cancellation fees. Bottled water may also be subject to delivery surcharges which cover the seller's fluctuating fuel expenses.
Office water tips
- When using bottled water, be sure to sanitize the water reservoir every 3-6 months.
- Large offices can benefit from cost savings associated with renting a point-of-use water cooler; whereas, smaller offices likely are better off with bottled water
- Both bottled and point-of-use office water services provide a safe and refreshing alternative to tap water.