Are Water Coolers Sanitary?
When you’re at work and need to wet your whistle, you can always walk over to your office’s water cooler for some refreshment. These systems do a decent job of keeping everyone in your workspace hydrated. But one question you may not have thought to ask is—are water coolers sanitary? In this blog, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the cleanliness of your water cooler and if you should be looking for a new solution.
Water coolers have been an office staple for years. They allow offices to provide safe and readily available drinking water to you and your coworkers. But the water you get from your water cooler is dirtier than you think.
Drinking water quality can plummet during transportation, storage, and handling of the container. However, the real danger is the water dispenser. Researchers found that bacteria growth in a water dispenser can contaminate drinking water and cause it to exceed acceptable bacterial levels.
From a public health point of view, this is troubling news because contaminated drinking water can affect your health. Poor sanitation can lead to illnesses like cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, and more, according to the World Health Organization. The last thing any business wants is to make their workforce sick, so finding a better solution to your water needs may be necessary.
The Common Contaminants Found in Water Coolers
A water cooler can be contaminated in a variety of ways. For example, your employees could unintentionally contaminate the machine by touching the spigot with unwashed hands. The way the cooler is contaminated can determine what type of bacterial growth occurs. Some of the most common types of water cooler contaminants include:
- Heterotrophs: Similar to yeast or molds, heterotrophs are microorganisms that feed on carbon. Traditional 5-gallon water jug dispensers can be a breeding ground for heterotrophs since they are what’s known as “open” systems. This means it’s capable of drawing in air from outside the tank. Once they are in the tank, they can feed on the rubber and seals to multiply.
- Chemical Residue: Attempting to clean your water cooler with chemicals can introduce a different kind of danger—chemical residue. While substances like chlorine and bleach can get rid of heterotrophs, they can leave unhealthy residue if not washed out thoroughly enough.
- Algae: If you notice that the water is changing colors, the cause could be algae. Water and light are the only two things algae needs to grow. As a result, your water cooler is the perfect environment for algae. While green algae is non-toxic, it can affect the smell and taste of the water.
Are Water Coolers Safe?
Although water cooler dispensers can be magnets for bacteria, they are generally safe to use. However, that’s only the case as long as you do the work and keep them well maintained. If you don’t know how often water dispensers should be cleaned, that probably means you’re not cleaning yours often enough. It’s recommended that you do a thorough cleaning at least every six months.
Is There a Better Way To Dispense Water?
Water coolers aren’t exactly a hands-off solution. They require a fair amount of your attention to avoid bacteria contamination. If this sounds inconvenient, there’s another way you can keep your employees hydrated without the hassle.
Instead of getting a water cooler, invest in a filtered water dispenser. A filtered water dispenser can eliminate most of the contamination concerns that come with a typical water cooler. At Superior Office Solutions, we can help you find the filtered water system your office needs.
The systems we offer provide automatic sanitation so you don’t have to worry about the sanitization process. To provide extra protection, our systems have a built-in purification process to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. And with 24/7 monitoring, the dispenser checks water and filter quality and notifies you when a change is needed.
Start Drinking Cleaner Water
Are you tired of wondering if your water cooler is sanitary? Contact Superior Office Solutions to find a better way to make water available to your office. We have a selection of water dispensers that are designed to keep the water you drink clean and safe.
Get in touch today to learn more.
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Superior Office Solutions has been adding a personal touch to the office equipment leasing industry since 1999. With four convenient locations in the tri-state area, we provide world-class equipment and unbeatable service to over 4,000 customers.