Bottled water cooler

How safe is your water cooler?

Every year, more people are making the transition from drinking tap water to using water coolers or dispensers to get their daily dose of H2O under the assumption that bottled water is safer and tastes better.

Unfortunately, some major issues are developing with water coolers across the country. The underlying issue is that proper maintenance of cooler units is not being carried out.

Water is the life source for humans and living organisms. We spend a lot of money on bottled water and filters to ensure that the H20 being consumed is of quality and clean. Even though we take these extra steps to get premium quality water, it can still get contaminated in a water cooler if it is not looked after properly.

What contaminates my water?

Bacteria is able to grow and produce rapidly in places where there are high levels of moisture. Think about it, it can take several days to a week to consume a 5 gallon jug of water allowing bacteria to grow. Bottled water does not contain any residual chlorine to control the growth of bacteria, leaving it susceptible to contamination.

A microbiological study conducted by the Consumer Focus Group found contaminated water from 26% of samples taken from water coolers and fountains. A total of 87 samples taken during the study revealed that bacteria such as E-Coli, bacteria from the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and other mammals, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas (found in stagnant water), were present in the water.

As you can see, water cooler maintenance is absolutely vital to your health. The British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) recommends that bottled water coolers are appropriately sanitised every three to six months depending on which cooler you have in your office or home.

How do I maintain my water cooler?

No problems should be experienced with the routine use of machines as long as some basic rules for the sanitation of your water cooler are followed:

  • Water coolers need to be sanitised every three to six months. (Model dependent)
  • The dispensing taps should be sprayed at least once a week with an appropriate sanitising agent.
  • The outside areas of the water cooler and its drip tray should be cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Bottles should not be filled with water from a tap or any other source.
  • You should keep your bottles stored in a cool, clean and dark environment.
  • It’s suggested that you have your water cooler filters replaced every six months.
  • Checking the machine on a regular basis to ensure that it is functioning properly is highly recommended.
  • Only trained staff should be involved in the sanitation and maintenance of your water cooler.

It is recommended that you purchase a sanitation kit from your supplier which contains all the essentials to properly maintain your water cooler.  If you rent a water cooler your supplier should sanitise your cooler every 3 months.

If you are still unsure how you can effectively sanitise your water cooler, give us a call on 0845 006 3309 or pop us an email at

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The Water Delivery Company
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