Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Free and Clean Water Bottle Filling Station

Don't fill the landfill, fill your re-usable water bottle!
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
  [vote for,

Many US public buildings in years past had bubblers or water fountains. Over the past couple decades these have fallen out of use and sit dry as a bone, rarely used because, well, they are frankly pretty ucky with all of the germs floating around out there.

In current use are vending machines and plastic water dispensers that create tons of waste and are a hassle (finding coins or bills and feeding them in, or changing those pesky jugs that weigh a ton).

The Clean and Free Water Bottle Filling Station can be installed in the space where the old water fountains are or used to be. These are generally already plumbed and have electricity wired to them so the switch is easy.

The new units will utilize whatever water source the building does, but the water will be ultra filtered to remove impurities and to improve taste. Unfortunately, to save cost and to keep the units energy efficient, it is not feasible to chill the water unless an efficient cooling mechanism could be used, however water coming from underground pipes or a well system in many areas already comes out fairly cool if not cold. And rarely is a full bottle of water consumed immediately anyway, so users are likely accustomed to room temperature.

If the thought of non-bottled water worries you, remember that many commercial bottlers are simply filling from the tap anyway, so customers are paying for tap water from New Jersey or somewhere - who knows! What a rip-off.

If the organization purchasing the unit needs to recoup cost they could offer the service for a fee and have a way to vend the fresh water. They could also sell re-usable stainless steel water bottles at the facility with the organizations logo to re-coup cost.

These units are ideal for many institutions such as schools to provide free or economically priced hydration to those in the building. Many institutions have a fountain in each hall, so many per building, or every so many feet. This is desirable for the Free and Clear Water Bottle Filling Station as well so that all occupants have easy access.

The stainless steel units are durable and will last for decades. They are also easy to sanitize and come with a mechanism for sanitation between uses which involves a door closing over the area where you would place your bottle for filling - after use so that it can be steam cleaned safely out of reach of users.

Get your water clean and free at a Free and Clear Water Bottle Filling Station!

CamVentor, Apr 26 2010

here you go... http://www.hydra-chill.com/news.htm
chilled as well - a pre-olympics innovation. [po, Apr 26 2010]

Oasis Filtered Water Dispensers http://www.coolerdi...olers-4965-prd1.htm
I installed literally tens of thousands of these units in American offices, plants and institutions in the last century. They provided high-quality filtered hot and cold water, pretty much as described above, except that they were not self-sanitizing between uses. However, human lips never touch the spigots; users can fill a sanitary paper cup, their own mug, or other container of their choice (like a thermos bottle or coffee carafe). [jurist, Apr 28 2010]


       //tap water from New Jersey or somewhere//   

       Ugh! New Jersey? What an absolutely ghastly suggestion.   

       But seriously, is this idea just a filtered water fountain, or something more?
DrWorm, Apr 26 2010

       I'm sure Boris introduced this idea to London very recently.
po, Apr 26 2010

       I'm sure it passed by him.
po, Apr 26 2010

       I think the basis of this idea is to refit water fountains so that they could be bottle fillers and that is a good idea. As they probably do in the link, adding in a small fee for a RO filter system is also good. (+)
MisterQED, Apr 26 2010

       Many commercial offices have replaced water coolers that use bottled water with ones that use filtered tap water. It's cheaper than bottled, and saves energy, but it's not free. The water itself costs something, and the filters need periodic replacement.
MechE, Apr 26 2010

       the idea that water fountians are "icky" is entirely a social construct. If you take bacteria cultures of water fountains in the US you would find that most would pass all the reqresuite standards for impurities and bacteria. The ones that didn't most likely have an issue with the water coming Into the facility.   

       The cheapest way to solve this would be to filter the water coming into the building and leave the drinking fountains as is. But it's all in our minds that tap water is somehow bad tasting and icky.   

       not to mention bottled water has lower standards of purity and is often dirtier than tap water in most districts.   

       Why fix what isn't broken?
metarinka, Apr 26 2010

       The last gym I went to had some water bottle filling stations. They're just like regular water fountains, but with a u-shaped thin pipe rather than the regular fountain-like spout. I find them a bit annoying, actually, I think a regular water spout could have been used just as well for either of the water consuming types, whereas the u-shaped spout really doesn't work well for thirsty people without bottles (i.e., me.)   

       I would say this is widely known to exist, but guess it's regional?
jutta, Apr 27 2010

       Twobob's-worth: Apparently, Rome's covered in them: Fountains.
Dub, Apr 27 2010

       No, Ian, this was single use; there were two basins next to each other, though, one bottle, one human. But the switched construction makes sense, too.
jutta, Apr 27 2010

       The steam sanitization feature that [CamVentor] describes is new, and an improvement over most existing office and institutional water cooling and heating filtration devices. Unfortunately, the danger that the steam sanitization feature represents to the casual user of the equipment is probably enough to prohibit its use in unattended public places by OSHA, UL, and most civic Departments of Building and Safety.
jurist, Apr 28 2010


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