Whether it’s at the office or at home, chances of the 18.9 litre water bottle dispensing clean water turning green are very high. It’s now a common occurrence and takes place once the water bottle is directly exposed to sunlight or receiving too much light from the sun. As a result of sunlight frequent penetration, algae grows, which is the green colour perceived on the bottle. Green algae is harmless and not poisonous, considering that a number of species of the algae are being studied as possible food sources due to their efficiency at trapping sunlight at a given wide area.
Pure water rarely microbe free
Even the purest water is rarely free of living organisms or microbes. By placing your water bottle in an area that’s well lit, these living organisms will start growing. The growth is what begins to make the bottle to begin turning green. At first, this can be quite alarming but the problem can easily be solved.
While green algae might not be toxic, it’s not the most striking to look at and could even affect water flavour or that of coffee made from the water. The important thing is ensuring the water bottle has been placed in the least lighted area with almost zero penetration of sunlight. At times, particularly in offices and homes with little spaces this is always a challenge. There are also homes and offices where almost every place receives a measure of sunlight, meaning that no matter what the bottle will turn green.
Perhaps what you should be concerned about is blue-green colour on your water bottle. Blue-green algae, essentially a part of cyanobacterial toxins have been found to bring about human poisoning in Australia, Europe and the Americas. It’s evidently present in drinking water supplies treated when the cyanobacterial grows in the water sources. Microystins, which are toxins within the cyanobacterial family, have been assessed globally by the World Health Organisation for risk to human health and found to promote tumours and liver injury. Also, the symbiotic type of blue-green algae has been found to be the main source of cycad toxin that has brought ALS/Parkinsonism epidemics across the South Pacific.
“Hood” the bottle
If you are sure the water bottle on the dispenser will ultimately grow algae or turn green, buy an 18.9l bottle cover. The fabric bottle cover will neatly sit on the plastic 18.9l bottle commonly used across the UK for the water dispenser. It will ensure algae growth does not take place once the bottle is left directly on the path of sunlight. The fabric cover, which is made-to-measure, slides over the water bottle blocking light from reaching the bottle and ultimately your clean water. The “hood” is attractive and hardly looks out of place while on top of the bottle.
Facts to note
Rather than be too concerned about the water bottle, beyond getting an effective fabric cover, simply practice good hygiene to avoid further bacterial contamination. When it comes to 500ml plastics our advice is, avoid using disposable bottles wherever possible, most end up in landfill and are bad for our planet, sports bottles are the way forward, choose either a pop-up spout or a flip-up in contrast with threaded mouthpieces. It’ll give bacteria a limited chance of manifesting on the place the mouth is put and they last for years!
Bottles with a wide mouth are much better if you are searching for a portable water bottle since you can dry them much easier. Wipe the mouthpiece as much as you can, in particular those who use the bottle while wearing lip balm or lipstick; it provides another growing medium.