During my childhood days, we stock up on our drinking water in our refrigerator. Four or five pitchers at any given time and is refilled upon consumption. This was during the time when we just get our drinking water straight from the faucet. Nowadays, we have the water cooler dispenser to provide us potable drinking water.
Before we had the water cooler dispenser that we have today, there was the water fountain or the drinking fountain. I remember during my elementary days in the 70’s we have this drinking fountain in our school playground. During that time it was just a means to get your dose of potable water. In offices and fast-food chains in the 80’s were the cold drinking fountains that have their own refrigeration. A separate filtration unit is in place to make sure that it will dispense potable water.
Right now, the water cooler dispenser has become more versatile with the addition of the hot water valve. Users are now able to dispense both hot and cold water depending on their need. Water dispenser units come with a built in reservoir that stores hot and cold water so that both are available upon a press of the lever.
The stand alone water cooler dispenser which is tapped to a water supply is still there but users are now more inclined to use the gravity-type dispensers with its 5 gallon containers. This is due to its cost saving feature which eliminated the use of a separate filtering system Instead of doing the filtering, consumers now rely on water vendors to provide for “treated” water in containers. Depending on the agreement, empty containers are recycled to be re-filled for future orders and are exchanged for full ones. Another reason for this is for control purposes. Companies are more and more becoming expense conscious. Water deliveries can now be accounted for and documented.
Of course, the technology of the water cooler dispenser continues to evolve.
With the consumer being more demanding especially in the area of food safety, the water cooler dispenser is undergoing innovations in terms of the delivery of treated water via ultraviolet exposure. With this system in place, the water cooler dispenser can be tapped to any water source and be assured that the dispensed water is free of any disease causing parasites.
Another innovation is the inclusion of a self cleaning function. A water cooler dispenser can also act as a contaminant for disease causing bacteria. You may have treated water but if your water cooler dispenser is not properly maintained bacterial growth is of high risk. The technology uses hot water as the medium of disinfection. Simple soaping will not disinfect. Besides, soaping is limited to the exterior of the unit. Those which need disinfecting are the various water paths that are impossible to be reached by hand.