2020 is going to be remembered for so many reasons. Back in January, we all thought our biggest concern was going to be Brexit. But along came the UK floods. Half of Australia burned. The Royal Family seemed to have one existential crisis after another. We’ve had race riots – with just cause. And, of course, we’ve had coronavirus – the illness that locked down the world. All of these things look set to make a lasting impact on society, but coronavirus – Covid-19 – will arguably make the most significant impression of all. It’s changed the way we socialise, the way we shop, the way we work, the way we learn, the way we live. No one has been immune to the effects of Covid-19, even if they’ve been lucky enough to avoid direct contact with the illness. And the changes are set to continue with the dawn of the contactless society.
Contactless water coolers have been around for some time now. They grew in popularity as the global waste plastic problem drove more businesses and organisations to invest in bottle filers over the traditional water cooler and drinking fountain. With the bottle filler format, touch-free became just another possibility. Useful, but not essential. But at a time when contagion is at the front of everyone’s minds, we all begin to rethink the facilities we use. And shared amenities begin to look less appealing.
A contactless water coller allows an essential service to be provided. But it removes the worry and the risk of creating a potential contamination point within your organisation. The auto sense activation means that there is no need at all for users to physically touch the equipment. So, even if one user is thoughtless enough to cough or sneeze without covering their mouth when using the water cooler, the risk of spreading any disease is minimised because other users will not need to touch the unit when refilling their bottles. And that’s why contactless is critical in the coming months and years.
While the focus, right now, is understandably on Covid-19, the adoption of a contact free approach to shared facilities makes sense for other reasons. We might all need exposure to bacteria and germs to build our immunity, but there are things that we can do without. No one benefits from the likes of norovirus. And the dreaded ‘winter vomiting bug’ is believed to cost the world in the region of £44 billion per year. That’s just one, common, transmittable bug.
If we can reduce the spread of common and costly illnesses, then everyone benefits. By removing common contagion points, we can help to do this. We’re already moving towards a cashless, contactless society. Automatic doors, lavatories, taps, and hand dryers could help. And yes, switching to amenities such as a contactless water cooler could also make a significant difference.
Of course, touchless bottle filling stations are the obvious way forward if we’re looking to help reduce contamination in shared public spaces while still providing drinking water. But it must be remembered that with adequate hygiene measures in place, touch-activated water coolers, drinking fountains and bottle fillers can still have a place. The key is in providing sanitation equipment – anti-bacterial wipes, surface spray, hand sanitiser and/or disposable gloves for users to wear.
In the longer term, however, as convenience holds sway, the contactless bottle filler is likely to become king.
The thing to remember is that there is more to contactless water coolers than reducing the spread of bacteria and disease.
• Touch-free bottle fillers are convenient.
• The design of the contactless water cooler is also more amenable to users of all abilities.
• Because they’re not being touched by an endless stream of users, they’re easier to maintain and clean.
• And with no external moving parts, the machines are less susceptible to external damage.
• Lastly, as with all bottle fillers, contactless refill points are beneficial to the environment, encouraging the continuance of the refill culture. Which is no less pressing now than it was before any of us had heard of Covid-19.
Contactless water coolers from industry leaders Elkay & Halsey Taylor are already in use up and down the country. At MIW, we’ve supplied them to businesses and organisations across the UK and Europe. We have done for years. They’ve never been a niche item because they work so well. But 2020 is the year that demand for these items is going to explode.
If you’d like more information about our range of touch-less and contactless water coolers, or any other water dispensers supplied by MIW, contact our customer service team today.