Why Go Bottleless at the Office?

5-gallon bottled water coolers are ubiquitous – most understand the need to keep hydrated with clean, delicious water. That’s changing, however, as more companies decide that bottle-less water coolers are a better option – low cost, convenient, and clean.

Low Cost: Bottled water delivery has numerous indirect costs.

Bottled water cooler costs can be high.  Some of those costs are hidden, such as the opportunity cost of spending time replacing empty bottles with heavy 5-gallon jugs from the bottle storage area. Other costs are more intuitive and are passed along the bottled water supply chain to your organization.

Consider the following costs:

1) Oil / energy required for manufacturing the plastic in water bottles
2) Maintaining bottling plants to bottle the water
3) Shipping bottled water from the plant to a distribution center
4) Fuel costs and labor for delivery trucks moving bottles

Most importantly, a typical business that switches from bottled water coolers to bottleless experiences up to 50% in direct cost savings

Reduce Security Issues

For many institutions, security is a paramount concern. By eliminating the need for frequent and/or unscheduled deliveries, bottleless water coolers reduce, or even eliminate, security concerns. Many need to restrict access to proprietary research, reduce the instances in which outsiders come in contact with staff, or to minimize the risk of any liability issues that could stem from an outsider unfamiliar with your surroundings being onsite. Quench POU coolers, for example, only require technicians to come onsite for preventive maintenance on an annual basis.

Save Time: Maintaining a supply of bottled water is labor intensive.

Handling the logistics of bottled water inventory can be time consuming. The seasonality of the consumption of water means constant vigilance over water bottle inventory, an encyclopedic knowledge of where each cooler is located, and reordering water in a timely fashion to prevent gaps in service for the workforce.  An endless water supply eliminates the need to track how much water is left in each cooler and how many bottles of water remain in storage. Invoices are a single, “all-you-can-drink” flat rate throughout the year, regardless of employee water demand.

Save Storage Space: Bottled water takes up space that could be used more productively.

Many organizations are paying several thousand dollars per month in rent. With those costs, it is imperative that office space be utilized effectively and logically. Large, 5-gallon containers of bottled water take up much-needed real estate for storage. Imagine the other ways these storage closets, hallways, and kitchenettes could be utilized.

Reduce Workplace Accidents

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, employers incurred nearly $80 billion in worker’s compensation claims and associated costs in 2008.

Lifting 42 pound, 5-gallon bottles of water is strenuous. As simple as it may sound, the vast majority of workers who replace these jugs have no training on the proper technique for such heavy lifting and are in jeopardy of suffering a workplace injury. For most businesses, asking office staff to do this manual labor adds unnecessary risk to operating costs.

Maintain a Healthy Office: Keeping an “open system” clean and sanitary is challenging.

Bottled water coolers are open systems, meaning there’s a human element: a person must replace the bottles. Naturally, this person could add germs of bacteria to the mix when handling the top of the bottle. Microbiological contaminants in the air can also come into contact with the water supply.

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) acknowledges this problem and recommends that bottled water coolers be sanitized every three months with gloves and bleach, a considerable challenge for most businesses to put into practice..

Additionally, there is growing concern about plastics that use the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) as a hardening agent. Among the health problems BPA has been linked to are: breast cancer, immune system damage, asthma, heart disease, and diabetes. Eight US states currently ban BPA in baby bottles, and Canada has gone to the lengths of declaring BPA a toxic substance. Many bottled water providers still use jugs that contain BPA that can leach out of plastic into the water supply, putting people at risk. Bottleless water coolers eliminate this concern.

The Right Water Cooler Solution for You

As with any business decision, one must consider all water solutions in order to be an informed consumer. However, when you give all of your business objectives careful consideration, the choice is clear: bottleless water coolers are the right fit.

Bottled Water Coolers
(from a delivery truck)

Bottleless Water Coolers               (from the source)


hidden costs; monthly charges vary

one monthly rate for “all you can drink”

Employee Productivity

time lost spent managing inventory

low maintenance

Office Space

cluttered by extra bottles

space only needed for coolers

Worker Safety

risk in carrying & lifting 42-pound jugs

no risk

Health Issues

contaminants such as germs, bacteria; BPA in plastic

sanitization methods active 24 hours per day

Outside Visitors

frequent office visits for bottle delivery

one preventive maintenance visit per year


Figure 1: Bottled Water Coolers vs. Bottleless Water Cooler Solutions

[1] DiPaolo, Richard. “Finding a Sound Alternative in POU Coolers.” Water Technology: The Information for Water Treatment Professionals 33.8 (2010). Water Technology Online. Aug. 2010. Web. 21 June 2011. .

For further information, call Quench USA at 1-877-699-2837 or visit the website at http://www.quenchonline.com/


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