Access to drinking water is a necessity of life.
Most modern societies provide a water supply to all residents. However, the quality of the water supply may not always be desirable or even taste good.
Tap water, although mostly regulated and therefore not dangerous to drink, usually contains minerals and particles that make the odor, color, and taste less desirable to drinkers.
The desire for better tasting water has led many people to choose other options rather than drinking water from a faucet. Having a water dispenser is a valuable option for having convenient access to good-tasting drinking water.
There are multiple types of water dispensing systems; the two most common are bottled water dispensers and point-of-use dispensers. Both options have varying pros and cons.
Bottled Water Dispensers
Bottled water dispensers are a popular choice for water coolers in office and home settings. They are typically tall dispensers that work with 2-, 3-, or 5-gallon water bottles to deliver water to drinkers.
The bottled water is usually placed upside down on top of the dispenser, but there are also “bottom-loading dispensers” that use a pump to take water from a bottle that has been place right side up at the base of the dispenser.
- Bottled water dispensers typically require little maintenance in the filtering dispenser itself.
- Bottled water dispensers come in a variety of options that range from very low in cost to models that are more costly. The water dispenser itself is typically very cost effective.
- The bottled water is typically pre-filtered, high quality, clean tasting water.
- The bottled water dispensers are easy to use and convenient to place.
- Most choose to use a water bottle service that is relatively low cost and delivers fresh bottled water on a regular basis, takes away the old bottles, and maintains the dispenser- with bottle service, the bottled water dispenser is convenient because the user doesn’t usually need to perform any maintenance besides filling the dispenser with the bottled water.
- Some bottled water dispensers are outfitted with an option to heat and cool water. This adds convenience to users who wish to have immediate access to cold or hot water.
- Bottled water dispensers are very easy to use.
- Some bottled water dispensers are outfitted with an option to heat and cool water. This adds convenience to users who wish to have immediate access to cold hot water.
Cons: The cons of a bottled water dispenser are mostly related to convenience
- Bottled water dispensers require bottled water. Without the bottled water, there is no water supply for the dispenser. This can be inconvenient to those that do not wish to have bottle service, as picking up, recycling, and refilling are all necessary aspects of owning a bottled water dispenser.
- The cost of having bottle service may be inconvenient to some, along with the cost of having to constantly replace the bottled water.
- Bottled water dispensers use plastic water bottles as the water supply, plastic is a major contributor to damaging the environment so bottled water dispensers are not typically considered environmentally friendly.
- Bottled water dispensers that heat and cool water can be loud.
Point-of-use of dispensers work the same way as bottled water dispensers. However, point-of-use dispensers do not use bottles of water as its water supply. Instead, point-of-use water dispensers hook directly into the main water supply. This provides constant access to water.
Pros: Point-of-use dispensers have many positive aspects.
- Because point-of-use water dispensers hook directly into the main water supply, it provides a more convenient access to water than bottled water dispensers.
- There is no need to change heavy bottles because the water supply is constant.
- Most point-of-use dispensers have a filtering system installed, so the water is more aesthetically pleasing to the drinker, providing better smelling, looking, and tasting water than regular tap water.
- Because point-of-use water dispensers do not require a bottle of water to supply water, it is a more environmentally friendly option than bottled water dispensers.
- Because point-of-use dispensers hook directly to the main water supply, there is no associated cost with purchasing bottles of water on a regular basis.
- Point-of-use dispensers are very easy to use.
Cons: Point-of-use dispensers also have its fair share of cons
- Point-of-use dispensers typically require more maintenance. They may have replaceable filters that require regular maintenance to ensure it is functioning properly.
- Point-of-use dispensers are typically maintained by the operator. Unlike bottled water dispensers that may have a bottle service to perform the regular inspections on the dispenser, it is up to the operator to do so.
- Point-of-use dispensers can be loud, especially those that require electricity to heat and cool the water.
- Point-of-use water dispensers are typically more costly on the front end to purchase than bottled water dispensers. There can also be some additional costs associated with hooking the dispenser into the main water supply.
- The placement of a point-of-use dispenser depends on access to the main water supply.
Both point-of-use and bottled water dispensers perform similar functions and provide convenient access to drinking water. Depending on the users preference in cost, maintenance, and performance either type of dispenser may be more suitable for their application.