Most operators lease a water filtration system to the location and charge them a rental fee per month. “It’s a good revenue model,” added Nelson.
Nelson sees fixed pressure water reducing valves as the next trend in new technology for the water industry. “Insurance claims (after a water leak) are going up and up,” said Nelson. Especially in high rise buildings where the water pressure is likely to fluctuate, there is a possibility of the pressure breaking a filter or splitting a line. Nelson remembers when those claims were to clean carpets or fix baseboards, but now water can damage expensive servers or high-end copy machines. “We’re going to work at NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association) to focus on best practices, and the potential for liability,” said Nelson. “I know pressure regulators are going to be a required part of any installation going into a high rise.”
Bottleless offers an option
There’s an opportunity for new bottleless water coolers, which save the end user money, hassle and still provide top quality drinking water, according to Bob Cooper, co-owner of ZeeCooper & Co., LLC. “It’s much more cost effective versus bottled water coolers,” he said. It also allows the operator to guarantee certain filtration standards.
Units that allow multiple filters give operators diverse choices. Cooper noted filters can be chosen based on their rating; how fine a particulate they filter; and what the filters remove, such as chlorine taste, odors, and particulates such as lime scale or parasites like giardia cysts and cryptosporidium.
Besides the savings in 5-gallon bottle fees, delivery fees and the storage problems, going bottleless can actually make water free to locations. According to Cooper, some offices don’t pay for water usage. This means a plumbed-in water cooler will only cost the location for service and filters. Coupled with the fact that the connection processes for coolers have become easier to perform, offering a bottleless water cooler makes a perfect add-on service for operators.
Because many operators already look at water as an add-on, Cooper sees the price of the cooler units as important. He’s found the price difference between an inexpensive and expensive model tends to be its “bells and whistles.” “The big one is a digital read out,” said Cooper. The digital read out shows the end user what the temperature of the water in the cooler is. While this is a nice feature, operators have an increase in service calls when the end user sees minor temperature changes. Cooper had an operator who didn’t want the digital read out because it was too much information. Customers would call him for service anytime the numbers didn’t seem right, regardless of whether the water was still cold or not.
Water filter technology has come a long way. Many customers want the peace of mind that comes with a water service program.
For more information, contact:
Apiqe, 203-226-2717, www.apiqe.com
Everpure, LLC, 630-307-3000, www.everpure.com
Hydro Life Inc., 800-626-7130, www.hydrolife.com
KoolTek, 877-Kool-Tek, www.kooltekcoolers.com
Omnipure Filter Co., 800-398-0833, www.omnipure.com