The water cooler is fast becoming a staple piece of equipment in the workplace. Just like the printers, PCs, laptops and other gizmos that make your business run, the water cooler is part of the office background that helps it tick. You want your people to be healthy and that means providing a safe working environment. And the responsibility of providing clean drinking water extends to the water cooler. Fabulously convenient, the water cooler requires little in the way of effort to maintain it and keep it working without a hitch. This is because essentially, water coolers are simple mechanisms but there is something you need to be aware of – water coolers need to be sanitised and the British Water Cooler Association suggests that this needs to happen every quarter, as a minimum.
The water in our bottled-fed coolers comes from natural and sustainable sources. That means, the water goes through the least amount of processing possible to give a pleasant taste, with water-borne minerals intact, at the point it is dispensed.
But there are enemies to water. And these enemies help to create the right conditions for water borne germs to flourish.
If you leave a pool of water in the sun, after only a short period, it will become tinged with green and algae will begin to form. This doesn’t just happen when water is exposed to air but a water bottle on a water cooler placed by a sunny window could be the perfect fertile breeding ground for some bacteria. As part of water cooler servicing, our expert engineer may suggest you move the water cooler to a more shaded spot.
Within the mechanism of the water cooler, there is heat. It doesn’t have to be a tropical heat. Just enough warmth that causes humidity in some components of the system. As water passes through when a user presses the tap to dispense water, it wipes these bacteria off the surface and into the water.
Thankfully, in minute doses, these bacteria are harmless but, if the water cooler is not sanitised on a regular basis, it could potentially cause problems.
As water passes over a surface, in most cases, it doesn’t ‘stick’. Sanitised surfaces have a coating that doesn't allow this to happen. We use this technology in our water coolers and often refer to it as a ‘fire wall’ – in other words, this coating technology prevents nasty germs and bacteria from being able to stick to a medium that allows it to grow.
But this needs replenishing from time to time which, as you would expect, is part and parcel of water cooler servicing. Because, when water pools or ‘sticks’ to a surface, no matter how small the drop of water, bacteria have the medium by which it can develop. And this can spell disaster each time a cup of water is drawn from the cooler.
Occasionally, scare stories appear in the media that warn us of the problems with filling water bottles from water coolers. The ‘germs’ around the top of the bottle are transferred from bottle to dispenser and thus, everyone shares the germs of the last user and so on.
Likewise, not everyone has the same scrupulous hand washing regimen as you and thus, taps and dispensers that are frequently used could carry some unseen and unpleasant bacteria.
The good news is, it takes nothing more than a wipe with a sanitising spray and disposable wipe and the dispenser is germ-free.
Like all other surfaces, dust and grime settle on it and, to keep it clean, it will need a wipe every now and then. We always suggest placing your water cooler in a well-ventilated area and one that is not subjected to a lot of dust and air-borne particles floating about.