One of the most common questions we get asked here at Fresh Opportunities is “Are water coolers sanitary?” Many business owners who are considering installing them in their offices worry that they will harbour germs and bacteria. Find out more about how sanitary water coolers are and the steps that you can take to keep them safe to use below.
Why might a water cooler become unsanitary?
Water coolers have been part of most office set-ups for years. They make it easy for office workers to gain access to filtered fresh water that keeps them healthy and productive and are places where colleagues can socialise and get to know each other better, hence the term ‘water cooler moment’. However, it’s important to maintain your water cooler clean and sanitised as it could pose a risk to your team if it isn’t. Bacterial growth inside a water cooler can contaminate the liquid and cause its bacterial levels to become unacceptable. Filtered water coolers can keep harmful bacteria or substances out of your water.
Why is contaminated water dangerous? How can a cooler become contaminated?
Contaminated water can be dangerous because it can lead to illnesses including diarrhoea. If your team members become ill, they may end up forced to take time off work to recover, which can harm your business’ productivity. A water cooler can become contaminated after it’s touched with unwashed hands. Your cooler may also become contaminated if you don’t wash it out thoroughly after cleaning it with chlorine and bleach.
Heterotrophs are microorganisms which feed on carbon. Open water dispensers can draw in air from outside and allow access to heterotrophs, which can multiply once they get inside. Have you ever seen water change colour inside a water cooler? If so, this could be due to the presence of algae, which only needs water and light to grow. Green algae aren’t toxic, but they can change the way your water tastes and smells.
What can I do to keep my water cooler safe?
Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to keep your water cooler safe and prevent it from causing illnesses. Water coolers are perfectly safe to use on the whole as long as you maintain and clean them well. You are advised to carry out a thorough clean of your water cooler at least every six months. You can also encourage your staff to wash their hands thoroughly before they come into contact with your water cooler.
How to clean and sanitise your water cooler
It should only take around thirty minutes to clean and sanitise your water cooler thoroughly. Make sure you’re using clean rubber gloves and a lint-free towel or lint-free paper towel. You will also need access to a bucket that’s able to hold at least a gallon of water. Use a small amount of unscented household bleach.
Before you start cleaning out your water cooler, disconnect the power cord from the outlet. Remove the bottle from the cooler once it is empty and drain the reservoir into a bucket. If there is ice inside the reservoir, you can wait for it to melt or add hot water to speed up the process. You will then need to remove the water guard from the cooler before removing the baffle from the reservoir. You can then clean the cooler with hot water, a small amount of bleach and mild soap. Rinse these and dry everything thoroughly using the paper towels. It’s always worth reading the instructions that come with your water cooler or talking to the manufacturer to find out if there are any special steps you need to take to clean and sanitise your system.
What are the health benefits of a water cooler?
As long as you maintain your water cooler well and clean it thoroughly regularly, it can provide a host of health benefits. Staff are more likely to consume water and therefore stay hydrated throughout the day if a water cooler is available, and this can make them more productive. Staff who don’t stay hydrated during the working day are more likely to feel lethargic and unmotivated. Medical experts recommend that people consume at least 2.5 litres of water each day, which can be a tougher target to reach when they don’t have easy access to clean, fresh water. Keeping a water cooler in the office can discourage staff from consuming sugary drinks and caffeine, which can give them a short-term boost but cause a quick slump in energy levels.
Consuming a healthy amount of water during the working day can boost metabolism and aid digestion. It can make skin look more vibrant and even reduce aches and pains whilst flushing toxins out of the body. Another key benefit of adding a water cooler to the office is that it can prevent workers from excessive snacking due to the way liquid can keep hunger at bay.
Where can I find a quality water cooler?
The answer to the question “are water coolers sanitary?” is that they are as long as you clean and maintain them thoroughly on a regular basis. Now you know the answer to this query, you may be wondering where you can find quality water coolers in Lincoln. At Fresh Opportunities, we have been supplying water coolers to the businesses of Lincolnshire and beyond for many years. We are proud to be a leading supplier of plumbed-in filtered water coolers that can help you save money on bottled water and keep your team happy and productive. We also offer a maintenance service that ensures you have cover in the unlikely event of a problem. You can even opt for a 2-week free trial to test out our water coolers if you wish.
Get in touch today if you’ve been asking “are water coolers sanitary?” and are ready to find out more about our highly-rated systems. You can reach us today and find out more about our water coolers in Lincoln by calling us on 0800 998 1972 or by completing the form on our website.