Drinking fountains have over the years gotten a bad rap, thanks in part to years of neglect, increasingly uninviting fixtures, and failure to upgrade to new models. What followed is the gradual and silent disappearance of these once-beloved icons of public hydration.
With old-school drinking fountains falling out of favor, people have been turning to fizzy drinks and overpriced bottled water to quell their thirst.
And the consequences of the explosive consumption of bottled water are absolutely frightful, as single-use plastic bottled water is not only expensive but also terrible for the environment. What’s a viable solution?
Enter water bottle filling stations.
A brilliantly reimagined successor to the traditional water fountain, the bottle refill station is the cornerstone of the reusable water bottle movement. It’s appealing to the eye, great for our planet, and is made in heaven for the reusable water bottle – indeed the future of eco-friendly hydration!
Here are the top reasons why bottle filling stations are here to stay.
1- Bottle Filling Stations are Extra Clean and Hygienic
Most people usually assume that water from drinking fountains is dirty, germ-ridden, and unhygienic – after all, everyone is putting their mouth on or close to the nozzle. That’s why they are fading from American public places like stadiums, schools, and parks.
If you think about it, part of the reason why people shun water fountains is that some parts are touched by hands, which is how germs spread. With bottle filling stations, however, that’s a thing of the past.
Popular models like Elkay offer nifty features like touch-less, sensor-activated bottle filler that allows for complete hands-free operation. You don’t have to touch any part of the filling apparatus or your bottle, for that matter.
And thanks to recessed spouts combined with silver ion antimicrobial protection, these beauties eliminate the risk of viruses and bacteria. Not just that; these brilliant contraptions also guarantee little to no water splashing when refilling your bottle.
2- Fast and Easy to Fill Your Reusable Bottle
We all dread the thought of having to tilt your water bottle sideways to fill it at a traditional water fountain. The real problem is that you have to hold your bottle at a 45-degree angle, which leaves you with a sorry half-filled bottle.
With modern bottle filling stations, you can bid adieu to this arduous, unrewarding, and time-consuming task. If you have an Elkay refilling station in your school, workplace, or within your vicinity, you don’t even have to hold your water bottle. Simply put it down on the refilling platform and the touch-less, auto-activated spout will do the rest.
Even more exciting, Elkay and other popular brands of water filling stations assure that their products fill a conventional water bottle three times faster than a standard drinking fountain. And it’s even snappier than a traditional water bubbler.
3- It’s a Feasible Answer to the Plastic Crisis
Bottled water has divorced Americans from their once precious public drinking fountains, but the impact of increased production and use of single-use plastic on the environment is widely recognized and extensively documented.
The main driver of ever-growing plastic production is the perpetual growth in consumption and demand for single-use plastics for water bottling. Despite ongoing initiatives to curb this vice, well over one million single-use plastic bottles are bought every minute, with this number projected to jump by 20 percent by the close of 2021.
According to the Guardian, every American generates around 230 pounds of plastic trash each year. And the sad reality is that approximately 80 percent of that plastic waste (most of which are disposable bottles) will be incinerated or, even worse, end up in the landfill.
What’s even more troubling is that plastic takes thousands of years to decay, so every time it goes unrecycled, the vast majority will end up in our land and water systems. In fact, according to credible studies, if plastic leaching continues at the same pace, our oceans will have more plastic waste by weight than fish.
Thankfully, water filling stations are turning the tide as governments, businesses, and NGOs recognize the importance of embracing environmentally and socially responsible solutions to the plastic crisis.
With almost everyone on board, water bottle filling stations will not only improve access to healthy and safe water but also offer a viable solution to the single-plastic bottle apocalypse.
Even better, most of these refill stations have digitized counters that monitor and keep the record of disposable plastic water bottles removed from the equation. In turn, this serves as concrete proof of the positive impact of these water filling stations, encouraging more people and key stakeholders to jump on the reusable water bottle bandwagon.
4- Water Filling Stations Can Be Placed Anywhere
The water refilling station craze is picking up all over the globe. People love the convenience, ease of use, and water safety. All that you have to bring is your reusable water bottle and a big smile, and you’re on your way to a breezy water refill.
Money-saving and eco-friendly credentials aside, water bottle refill stations can be installed pretty much anywhere. Already you can find them in shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, bars, coffee stores, and in an assortment of public spaces, from public fountains to water ATMs.
Whether you’re a student, tourist, employee, or just a passer-by, you can easily spot water filling stations and more are being installed every day. Not sure where to find them? Lucky for you, there’s a growing list of apps that help you find the nearest water filling station, including mymizu, Closca, Refill, and RefillMyBottle — just to mention a few.
5- Better Tasting, Healthier Filtered Water
Although most water supplies in major cities and municipalities are generally safe and healthy, some people are too finicky about drinking tap water. Besides, the taste is a big reason why some people choose to ditch tap water for bottled plastic water.
The good news is that the modern watering filling stations, including Elkay-type models, are fitted with state-of-the-art, high-performance cooling systems and advanced water filters. The standard NSF-certified filters built into Elkay models screen for a variety of stuff like lead, particulate Class I, odor, taste, and aesthetic chlorine.
By removing these usual suspects that make waste unsavory and may cause harm to your health, water filling stations make healthier, cleaner, and tastier water accessible to everyone. The setup also incorporates a sensor that shows when the filter is supposed to be replaced, ensuring that the station consistently delivers chilled and refreshing water.
6- Driven by the Popularity of Reusable Water Bottles
The last decade or so has seen a sharp rise in the popularity of reusable water bottles. Some pundits say it has created a trendy reputation much akin to the avocado toast among millennials, drive-in movies in the 1950s, and the shoulder pads in the 1980s.
Reusable water bottles are here to stay, partly thanks to their eco-friendly, style, and functional credentials. There are of course a ton of other reasons why reusable water bottles have become so popular.
- They’re super stylish – Snazzy reusable bottles like Kool8 feature a sleek, modern design that can add oomph and pizzazz to your style and everyday life. Besides, you can take your pick from a wide array of fancy colors and design styles, so there’s something for everybody.
- They eliminate the health dangers of plastic from the equation – unlike single-use plastics, reusable water bottles are free from BPA, antimony, arsenic, styrene, microplastics, and other phthalates that can do a number on your health.
- They are an eco-warrior’s BFF – Not only are they good for your style and health, but these bottles are also better for the environment. It leads to less plastic waste, uses less fossil fuel to produce, and results in less carbon emission. And is less likely to end up in the landfills (or the ocean).
- Encourages proactive hydration – Staying properly hydrated makes you feel good, regulates body temperature, and improves brain function.
- More uses beyond water – Another reason for the explosive popularity of stainless steel bottles is that you can use them to keep anything cold or hold for longer. Talk about your favorite soups, tea, coffee, and even snacks.
To make a long story short, water filling stations are the future of hydration because more and more people are embracing reusable water bottles.
7- Water Cooler Moments
Social interaction is an unseen benefit of water filling stations and one of the reasons why they will remain popular long after the plastic waste monster has been conquered. Research has shown that water cooler moments can boost productivity, increase social cohesion, and create a higher sense of community.
8- Saves Money
Tap water in major US cities costs an average of $0.004 per gallon, according to a recent study from the American Water Works Association.
On the other hand, bottled water costs an average of $9.50 per gallon, making it 300x more expensive than tap water. Let’s not forget that most plastic bottles are typically disposed of when they are still partially filled.
In stark contrast, most reusable water bottles cost around $20. And, if you refill yours every day, it can save you oodles of money across its lifespan.
Wrapping up … the future of hydration is here
A reliable, stylish, and cost-effective upgrade to the disfavored water fountain is finally here. With an eco-friendly design, hands-free operating, water filtration system, and a key-and-lock compatibility with reusable water bottles, the future is surely filled with water filling stations.