Everything you need to know about Contactless Water Dispensers

The Covid-19 pandemic has ushered in what most people are now referring to as a ‘new normal’. A normality where we’re all hyper-aware of hygiene and cleanliness. Where standing too close to another person is considered far beyond rude. And where shared facilities can be a cause for anxiety rather than viewed as a convenience. This latter point raises several difficulties for employers.

As a business owner, there are certain basic amenities that you’re legally obliged to provide for your colleagues. Access to drinking water being one of them. How do you do that without creating a potential contamination point? With contactless water dispensers.

What is a contactless water dispenser?

Water dispensers – coolers, drinking fountains and bottle fillers – come in a variety of forms. Most of them involve contact of some kind; the pushing of a trigger to release the valve holding the water. Some have a quick, one-touch activation. Others require contact throughout the water dispensing process. Contactless bottle fillers are operated via a sensor.

Much like a hand dryer or automatic door, the units can detect when a drinking vessel is placed within the refill zone. Water is released, usually with a maximum flow time to avoid abuse and potential overflow, and users get to enjoy their water without making any physical contact with the device. This dramatically reduces any potential risk of contamination – whether from a virus like Covid-19, bacterial infections or the common cold.

 

What are the benefits of contactless water coolers?

The primary benefit of automatic, touch-free water dispensers is that they quickly and cleanly dispense water without the need for direct user interaction. But they do come with a few additional selling points.
 

  • They’re easier to clean because most of the surface area is flat.
  • Many contactless water dispensers are less easy to damage. Because there are fewer external moving parts, there are fewer options for vandals. Likewise, sensor operation is commonly twinned with automatic shut-off, so deliberate flooding is nigh-on impossible. Although, realistically, that’s also the case with touch-operated refill points too.
  • And, importantly, contactless bottle fillers and the like can be more easily accessible to users with physical impairments. Or people who simply have their hands full with other things – be that office files or shopping bags and children.
How to keep your water dispensers clean and hygienic

Of course, the thing to remember about any virus or bacteria is that its spread can be prevented through adequate sanitisation. And external hygiene is as important for contactless bottle fillers as it is for push-button models. So, it’s good practice to keep all of your communal drinking equipment as clean as possible.

  • Maintain a regular sanitisation schedule, whereby all external surfaces – including taps, trays and dispenser casing – are cleaned with antibacterial solution.
  • If you – or your team – are concerned about cross-contamination, consider providing a supply of antibacterial wipes alongside your watercooler. This allows users to clean all surfaces that they’re likely to touch before use.
  • And don’t forget standard maintenance. Stay on top of any necessary filter changes. Be aware of any elements of your water dispensers that may need occasional upgrading, such as chiller units. If you’re working with MIW on a turnkey rental agreement, we’ll deal with all of this for you as standard. But if you’ve purchased a unit without a maintenance contract, you must make sure that these issues are adequately managed.
Is there anything else that can be done to enhance the hygiene of water dispensers?

Apart from regular maintenance and sanitisation, the only additional measure you can take to enhance the hygiene levels of drinking equipment is to invest in a unit with UV filtration.

It’s important to stress that this is not something that will help reduce the spread of viruses such as Covid-19. But it does tackle potential waterborne bacteria and viruses. Removing 99.99% of bacteria – such as E. coli, giardia, cryptosporidium and legionella – from the water stream, UV sterilisers damage the bacteria at a cellular level, rendering them harmless.

Contactless water coolers can be a great addition to any business or organisation. Hospitals favour them because they provide much-needed drinking water while reducing the risk of virus and bacterial spread. They’re also quick and easy to use, relatively low maintenance and durable. But they’re not the only viable hydration solution on the market. So, if you’d like to learn more about contactless water dispensers and the other available options, the MIW team would be delighted to help.

If you have any questions about contactless bottle fillers, water coolers or drinking fountains, contact the MIW Water Cooler Experts team today. We’d be happy to help in any way we can.

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