According to the United Nations, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity! With the exponential growth in population and unbounded water usage, it becomes imperative to find ways that help water restoration.
We need a mechanism that:
- Gets connected to any raw water source.
Purifies and disinfects the water.
- Changes the temperature of water by chilling it, heating it or turning it tepid.
- Dispenses the filtered liquid to fulfillment.
What if there was a machine that performs all the functions coherently? The nomenclature to this newfangled concept born in India is Drinking Water Stations. They are a one-stop hydration solution at private and semi-private spaces. They turn groundwater, surface water, brackish water or seawater into clean drinking water and ensure optimum public health conditions.
Drinking Water Stations use Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Ultra Violet (UV) technology as chief combatants to purify and disinfect water. The entire mechanism follows a 5-stage purification system. Sediment Filter removes the solid substances (above five microns) present in water, like sand and metals. Pre-Carbon Water Filter deals with most of the chemical contaminants found in water, like pesticides, herbicides, chlorine, lead, aluminium; and oils. The Activated Carbon Block (0.5-10 micron filtration capacity) is effective in removing particulate, taste and odour present in the water. Reverse Osmosis membrane is a semi-permeable membrane which typically only allows particles of a size smaller than .0005 microns to pass through. Thin Film Composite (TFC) rejects 95% of the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) down to .0001 microns. The rejected water that contains a significant percentage of contaminants is then piped out whereas the pure water then passes through the membrane and gets directed to a pressurized tank for storage. Water passes through Post Carbon Water Filter only when the faucet of the pressurized tank is opened. This coconut shell activated carbon provides quality improvement services to the water, by removing any colour, taste and odor that might have been left behind. UV Germ Guardian helps in killing common germs and viruses. Installing it is usually optional depending on the purity level of the backend water supply.
In India, the entire aforementioned purification process is akin to Reverse Osmosis technology. It is only partially true as Reverse Osmosis system doesn’t offer temperature variation feature that drinking water station provides. People also confuse it with water dispensers which in reality perform only the dispensing function. The third misnomer comes with comparing them with water coolers. These water coolers are equipped with dispensing and temperature variation features but lack the integrated water purification procedure.
In developed countries, the term that can be closely identified with drinking water station is Point of Use purification system. The POU systems are instrumental in purifying water at the actual ‘point’ where is to be used. The Reverse Osmosis system ensures high-quality drinking water. This mechanism purifies water from any raw source and facilitates its utilization for potable and non potable purposes.
Point of Entry water filter is also prevalent outside India. They are installed at the main water inlet connected to the house. Usually set up in front of the water heater, they deliver filtered hot and cold water to every water outlet in the house.
Other contemporary hydration solutions like Water Filling Stations are and Drinking Water Fountains perform only dispensing function but can be integrated with chilling feature and backend purification system. In essence, Drinking Water Station offers a complete solution to drinking water needs = Purifying + Chilling + Dispensing.
They provide environment-friendly refrigeration as they use RZ 134a refrigerant gas with low GWP (Global Warming Potential) and insignificant ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential). Anti-bacterial tubing and UV Germ Guardian that reduces the risk of bacteria, viruses and pathogens purifying the water up to 99.99% ensure that water purity is paramount. The flair for filtering water from any raw source comes from its high performance 5 stage purification feature. Drinking Water Stations can easily blend into semi-private spaces like airports, office spaces, gymnasiums etc. The dispensing area is suitable to accommodate bottles up to a size of 1000ml. They also have a generous drip tray capacity for collecting accidental spillage and an LED fault indicator for real-time reporting and fast servicing. They also provide a seamless integration with carbonated beverage dispensers and coffee/tea beverage machines.
Workplace Hydration Solutions
Hydrated employees are often healthy and happy, motivated and productive. Staying hydrated while working is important for employees’ efficiency. It is obligatory for an organization to provide a consistent and healthy source of beverages to the employees. Therefore, the organization needs to fit hydration into the overall workplace wellness scheme.
The point of use water treatment technologies should be well placed and approachable for all the employees in the office. Not only accessibility but hygiene is also of utmost importance. Most offices and organizations rely on plastic water bottles for providing clean and quality driven water arrangement to their employees. They stay oblivious to the fact that the bottled water bought by them in bulk inflicts inexhaustible impact to the environment. From overflowing landfills to marine pollution, from chemical leaching into water bottles to microplastics seeping into the human body, the effects of plastic bottles are biological as well as physical. Not only that, there are seasonal fluctuations in the supply of the bottled water which in turn gives rise to tracking and stock maintenance issues in the office. There is office space wastage in stacking water bottles along with the energy wastage on the cooling system. Manpower cost is also incurred in carrying and loading water bottles to the specified point of use locations.
The inaccessibility of water makes people drink other beverages like coffee, tea, sugary cold drinks etc. All drinks with caffeine in them are alleged diuretic implying that they ultimately dehydrate the body. Therefore, the employees need to be reminded to regularly drink water by keeping the hydration system at accessible places.
Drinking water station can be connected to any water source inside the offices and installed conveniently to provide high-quality water in adequate quantity. It is a duty of any organization as per Environment Protection Act, 1986 and Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 to act responsibly towards ecological sustenance and plastic waste management. The easiest and optimum way to comply with the aforesaid acts is to install drinking water station that reduces 65% carbon footprints and shrinks plastic usage.
Drinking Water Stations are suitable for places that have finite footfall. They are perfect for private and semi-private spaces. The reason is that the filters need regular maintenance and their dispensing capacity is also limited. Gymnasiums, Hospitals, Corporate offices, Airports, Hotels etc. are the most appropriate places to install drinking water stations. For outdoors, Drinking Water Fountains and Bottle Filling Stations are more useful.
Many organizations have been able to contribute to ecological sustainability by installing Drinking Water Stations. Manufacturing and incineration of plastic bottles, fuel consumption during their logistics result in huge carbon emissions when viewed at a macro level. Not only that, the entire value chain of commercial water bottles is detrimental to the environment. By saying ‘no’ to bottled water and saying ‘yes’ to point of use hydration systems, the organizations adhere to Corporate Social Responsibility rubrics. CSR or Sustainability Strategy acts as a catalyst in increasing the company’s growth rate, motivating employees and the entire span of management, enhancing shareholder’s value and kicking off the company’s all-round development. The idea of ‘Corporate Citizenship’ in today’s era is at its peak. It has become indispensable for an organization that is conscious of its goodwill to act as a responsible corporate citizen.
Economical, Healthy, green and convenient Drinking Water Stations comply with all the required certifications. They conform to the applicable laws, regulations and ethical business principles to achieve the highest level quality. The output water meets BIS 10500: 2012 standard. Apart from that, they also conform to Quality Standards, Occupational Health and Safety, Environmental Management and Energy Management standards.
Who owns the water? Our planet has bestowed on us this vital natural resource. Who is ‘us’? It’s everybody who has dwelled on Earth in the past, living in the present and generations yet to arise. Naturally, the responsibility of environmental upkeep and water conservation are on our shoulders. It starts with doing what makes our mother Earth happy.