They’re among the world’s leading water cooler and drinking fountain manufacturers, and the reason for that is because they do everything right, but Elkay – manufactured in America – had one final hurdle to jump. They made that leap in September 2017. After an extremely detailed and lengthy – 18 month – testing process, all of their best-selling UK indoor and outdoor water coolers and bottle filling stations have been WRAS approved.
‘… Oh.’ I hear you mumble, while shaking your head blankly. ‘Umm, that’s good?’ And although you might not understand what that means, it IS good. It’s really good, and something for Elkay to be proud of. I shall tell you why!
WRAS (Water Regulation Advisory Scheme) is a system implemented to ensure that water related products used within the UK comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations or Scottish Byelaws. In other words, WRAS is the gold-standard, providing reassurance for buyers that their products won’t poison them or degrade, leaving drinkers with a mouthful of ball bearings… I may jest, but once upon a time, these things happened.
Understandably, you’d hope that all suppliers of drinking water equipment would automatically comply with WRAS standards. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There is also the assumption that a company like Elkay, which has such a glowing international reputation, would automatically comply. BUT, when it comes to safety, there’s no such thing as automatic compliance, so rigorous testing began.
On the surface, a water cooler or drinking fountain seems like a relatively simple device, but a lot goes in to making them work. To receive WRAS approval every single element – every bolt, every screw and every washer, not to mention every piece of piping and every rubber seal – needed to be tested. Rigorously.
Testing is conducted independently, by public health and safety organisation, the NSF. And they’re looking to make sure that firstly, there are no harmful toxins within the component’s make-up: no lead; no noxious plastics etc., to leach into the water supply. Secondly, they look to see how the different elements and the complete product will stand the test of time; if parts will degrade and how safe they will be if that degradation takes place – in the worse-case scenario we’re back to the mouthful of ball bearings, but they’re looking to protect against less dramatic developments too: while a mush full of metal is undeniably unpleasant, a slow build-up of bacteria could be equally so.
Elkay take their customer’s safety seriously, and they’ve always done their best to ensure that their products are the best, but with 18 months of testing under their belt, they now have the certification to prove it, not just meeting the demands of the American regulators, but of the British ones too.
MIW have worked closely with Elkay for years; we’re their leading UK distributor and we’ve always had faith in their products – we wouldn’t have stocked them if we hadn’t. Seeing them go the extra mile and accepting the extra expense necessary to get their complete range certified for the British market, really justifies that faith, and we couldn’t be more proud of the association.
Elkay’s products are used by leading architects, councils, schools and colleges, nationwide and internationally. If you would like to discuss how you could cut back on plastic waste in your organisation, with the installation of an Elkay water cooler or drinking fountain with bottle filling station, please contact MIW Water Cooler Experts: 01207 572 000.