History of the Water Cooler – Where Did it All Begin?

History of the Water Cooler – Where Did it All Begin?

The humble water cooler – a device to chill (and more recently, heat) your drinking water bean as humbly as it stands as a piece of equipment today. The water cooler – from a simple block of ice dating back to the Victorian days to now being noted as one of the most important pieces of equipment that has contributed to the health and well-being of children and adults alike.

The water cooler has come a very long way indeed. About a century ago huge blocks of ice were used to chill the contents of the water cooler but this meant that the unit itself was large and extremely heavy which required the use of several men to move it.

The water cooler as we know it was first invented in the early 1906 and is credited to two men – Halsey Willard Taylor and Luther Haws. Haws patented the first drinking faucet in 1911. It is believed that the main reason behind the invention was to not only chill but to provide purified water.  Contaminated drinking water caused typhoid fever in Haws’ father who died as a result. Therefore Haws decided to invent something which would provide safer drinking water.

Water coolers have evolved along with the times and today are compact, light, energy efficient and come in a variety of models, colour and styles to suit most places. Today, many water coolers or dispensers include a heating element to provide hot water along with chilled water. These dispensers must also adhere to strict regulations, meeting health, sanitation and environmental standards.

The First Water Cooler

Early iterations of drinking fountains supplied water at room temperature, which made it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The solution was a water cooler, a dispenser that would chill water, thereby eliminating micro-organisms that could not result in disease.

Halsey Willard Taylor’s and Luther Haws’ water coolers made use of ice sourced from rivers to chill water, which also presented a problem as this open source could also have surface water. Haws would go on to patent the water faucet in 1911, and by 1938 water coolers began to make use of electricity and new laws made it possible for water to be treated more effectively, thereby reducing typhoid infections drastically.

In modern times, the water cooler is now a more preferred source of water over a variety of alternatives thanks to its cost effectiveness, portability and, of course, provision of safe drinking water for all to enjoy.

One of the first water coolers

One of the first water coolers

How Do Modern Water Coolers Prevent Bacterial Growth?

You can read our full article on this topic here – but to summarise:

Modern coolers are fitted with an internal air filtration system. This system prevents bacteria from entering your machine – negating the possibility of contaminated water, or the infiltration of unwanted contaminants into the machine itself. This system also allows for the preservation of the water – giving you the best possible taste without any unwanted odours either.

The water reservoirs housed within the cooler – for both the hot and cold water – are made from food-grade stainless steel. This material is one of the most resistant to the growth of bacteria.

Lastly, the taps located at the front of your water cooler are nano-silver impregnated; nano-silver is gaining notoriety for preventing any type of microbial growth, and this technology is being employed in all types of household equipment – such as water coolers, refrigerators and even washing machines.

Combining all of these measures, your water cooler is not only pro-active in resisting bacterial growth, but also in preserving the taste and quality of your water.

We speak only for our very own premium, purified water in this case, though :-)

Want to get your hands on an Aquacooler and our water? Click here to get in touch with us today!

AQA Sodax Plumbed-In Water Dispenser – Cost Per Day

AQA Sodax Plumbed-In Water Dispenser – Cost Per Day

Water coolers saw their introduction – albeit the first and smallest step towards the coolers we know today – as far back as over 100 years ago. The water cooler as we know it was first invented in the early 1906 and is credited to two men – Halsey Willard Taylor and Luther Haws. Haws patented the first drinking faucet in 1911. It is believed that the main reason behind the invention was to not only chill but to provide purified water.

Since then we have seen more and more advancements in the design and output of the water cooler, bringing us to today – with devices such as plumbed-in coolers like the AQA Sodax bringing hot, cold, ambient, sparkling and baby-bottle temperature water into our homes, offices and holiday homes. We know the machine is the initial capital expenditure, and the water it uses (municipal supply or the internal reservoir) is but a small cost linked to it.  But for those of us who enjoy their sparkling water daily, we sometimes overlook the most important ingredient for it – a gas canister.

Many clients only notice this cost when their canisters run out after making carbonated water day in and day out, so we decided to calculate how much of a cost it would be to the end consumer to make their favourite fizzy freshener daily, along with all the other “fancy” water types this machine makes.

Cost Per Day – Plumbed in Water Cooler

There are a few factors to consider when determining how much an appliance will cost you per day:

Electrical Usage – A cold-water-only water cooler uses 0.3 kWh per day. A hot and cold water cooler uses (on average) 2.4 kWh per day. Adding a timer to these water coolers drops the usage per day and cost per year slightly. That being said, a kettle alone uses an average of 2.4kWh daily – and has been earmarked as THE most expensive appliance to run – coming in two places ahead of the energy-sucking air conditioner! Boiling a kettle daily for each of your tea breaks – especially an office – can rack up your utility bill exorbitantly – coming in at an estimated cost of R3.41 per hour. Working on the kwh figures, a cooler (without a timer, even) will cost you the same amount to produce ice cold, boiling hot and sparkling water (in terms of energy consumption) as it would to boil a kettle throughout the day. Bear in mind the capacity a plumbed-in water cooler holds, and in comparison – a kettle looks less and less attractive.

Sodax

Image Credit: mybroadband

Gas Canister – typical usage of sparkling water gas canisters is categorised by making around 5 or so cups of sparkling water per day; bear in mind that the AQA Sodax allows for customised amounts of carbon to be deposited into your water – for a choice between low, medium and high carbonation. Working on the average of 5 cups of medium carbonation, you could expect to see a gas canister last an average of one month. The price of a typical gas canister is in the region of R 650.00, so for a working month of 22 days, you pay around R 29.50 per day for your monthly sparkling water.

Filter Changes – a regular purifying filter for the AQA Sodax costs around R650.00 and last up to a year, also depending on the water supply out of which your machine feeds. Highly soiled and dirty water will likely result in a higher turnover of water filters, but with regular water and regular use – you should be able to get a “Goodyear” out of your filter. This results in a cost of around R 2.60 for your filter per day.

As we can see in this breakdown, your daily cost of water is actually minimal, if you were to compare it to the traditional methods of preparation or against the cost it would incur if it were bought from an outside supplier as bottled carbonated water.

For a quote on the AQA Sodax, click here to get in touch with us today.

  • All prices indicated are subject to change without prior notice; prices and information are true at the time of publication.

Rainwater Harvesting – Pros and Cons Explained

Rainwater Harvesting – Pros and Cons Explained

Rainwater harvesting can be a great way of avoiding rising water costs and utilising the scarce resource. However, there is always at least a little bit of cloud to every silver lining and the balance of the positives and negatives should be considered carefully before settling on investing in any such system.

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

Rain water harvesting (RWH) is a technique of collection and storage of rainwater into natural reservoirs or tanks, or the infiltration of surface water into subsurface aquifers (before it is lost as surface runoff). One method of rainwater harvesting is rooftop harvesting.

Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting

  1. Low-cost Maintenance

Once the system is all up and running, you really don’t need to invest much money in keeping it running. If you intend only to use the collected water for non-drinking purposes, you don’t even need to purify the water.

  1. Lower Water Bills

Collecting your own water means spending less on the water companies’ water. Water can be used to flush toilets, wash clothes and dishes, and to water gardens. On a bigger scale, rainwater harvesting can lead to major savings for households or small businesses.

  1. Great for Irrigation

Rainwater is not subjected to any chemicals found in ground water and therefore is ideal for irrigation as well as for watering plants in the garden.

  1. Reduces Ground Water Demand

As our population increases, so does the demand for water. While South Africa faces droughts more frequently, ground water is extracted to keep up with demand and this has led to low levels of ground water being left over.

5. Multi-Purpose

Rainwater can be used for all sorts of things from flushing toilets, to washing clothes, cars, and dishes, to keeping the garden freshly watered.

Disadvantages of Rainwater Harvesting

  1. Unreliable rainfall

Isn’t it just always the case that right when you need something it suddenly isn’t there? Rain is no different, and it can’t be relied upon to fall exactly when it’s needed.

  1. Start-Up costs

Installing a rainwater harvesting system can be costly, with systems ranging from the low hundreds to the low thousands in cost. Similarly to solar panels, costs can be recovered in 10-15 years depending upon the rainfall and the system’s sophistication.

  1. High-energy Maintenance

Rainwater harvesting tanks will take a lot of looking after, and even if this doesn’t cost much in terms of money it can become a chore. Systems can be infiltrated by rodents, algae, and insects, and can become breeding grounds for all sorts of creatures if not properly maintained.

  1. Chemical roof seepage

Some kinds of roof coverings will seep chemicals which will prove harmful to plant life if the water is used to sustain it.

  1. Storage limits

You may find that you cannot store all of the water you would like to, and this could mean having to tailor your water usage to the capacity of the tank.

 

If you are looking for an alternative source for clean, purified drinking water, fill out the form below to get in touch with us today!

 

Source credit: http://thegreenhome.co.uk/heating-renewables/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-rainwater-harvesting/

Funny Tasting Tap Water – Geosmin in South African Bulk Water Supply

Funny Tasting Tap Water – Geosmin in South African Bulk Water Supply

Despite the slight taste and odour, municipal water is absolutely safe to drink.  Over the past weeks, water consumers in several parts of the country have experienced an earthy taste and odour in their drinking water.  This taste and odour is caused by ‘Geosmin’ – originating from several of the major dams supplying the cities.  The presence of Geosmin was noted earlier in the year, and has recently reoccurred.

Municipalities continue to add powdered activated carbon dosing during the water treatment process in an attempt to absorb this compound and to reduce the unpleasant smell and taste. This situation is likely to persist until the onset of the winter rains.

The water is perfectly fit for human consumption. Continuous water quality monitoring by the City’s South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accredited laboratory has revealed elevated Geosmin concentrations, greater than 10 nanograms per litre (ng/l). In general, the human perception threshold is about 15 and 20 ng/l for Geosmin odour and taste respectively and people with a heightened sense of smell and taste would be the first to notice the presence of Geosmin in their water supply. These are extremely low concentrations and it should be noted that a nanogram is a billionth of a gram.

What is Geosmin?

Geosmin and MIB (2-Methyl-iso-Borneol) are naturally occurring compounds found in surface waters (rivers and dams) as organic molecules produced by blue-green algae. Bright sun, warm temperatures and nutrients result in ideal growing conditions for the algae. The compounds are produced inside the algae cells and are only released when the algae die.

Why is Geosmin Released?

Apart from the sunlight and raised temperatures, algae require nutrients to grow and some of the dams have suffered from upstream negative environmental impacts that have raised the nutrient levels, which support these algal blooms. This phenomenon usually only occurs once a year for a few weeks during the summer months, but has again reoccurred this year.

What Does Geosmin Smell Of?

Both Geosmin and MIB are typically earthy or musty in character and are sometimes described as smelling of Carbaspray or fresh green mielies (corn). These odours can be very persistent and although the algae are removed, the organic compounds, Geosmin and MIB are not removed by conventional water treatment processes. It requires treatment with activated carbon to reduce the smell to below threshold levels.

How is Geosmin Removed From Tap Water?

Yes, Cape Town follows universal best practice, which is to treat the water with powdered activated carbon. The very tiny organic molecules are absorbed by the carbon particles and the carbon is then removed from the water. It is not possible to remove all molecules, but the aim is to maintain the concentration below the normal human taste and smell threshold level.

While Cape Town and some parts of Gauteng have encountered this occurrence, municipal bodies have aimed to reassure us that the presence of Geosmin is not harmful to our health in any way.

If you are looking for a healthy, clean and safe alternative to municipal water for drinking purposes, fill out the form below to get in touch with us today!

Bulk Water Treatment South Africa – How is Our Tap Water Processed?

Bulk Water Treatment South Africa – How is Our Tap Water Processed?

Water is made up of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom (H2O).  When a lot of these H2Os join together – they form water.  When water falls on the earth’s surface from the clouds, a lot of substances dissolve in the water, such as silt, minerals, bacteria, etc.  Water is the train that moves along the tracks and the passengers are these substances that get on and off the train.  By the time water enters the dams it has many passengers, both good and bad to humans.

There is silt and minerals from the land.  There are germs (bacteria) that may cause people to get sick if they enter the human body.  It is for this reason that the dirty water needs to be cleaned before it is supplied to taps. This cleaning process is called water purification.   Rand Water is the company that cleans (purifies) the dirty water for Gauteng.

The Vaal, Klip and Wilge Rivers naturally flow into the Vaal Dam, which has a catchment area of 38 000 km2.   Rand Water draws raw water for purification (cleaning) from the Vaal Dam via an intake tower.  This raw water is then transported via canals and pipelines to Rand Water’s two purification stations in Vereeniging.

How is Tap Water Treated Before it Gets to Us?

Bulk water treatment occurs in 4 steps:

  • Screening

When raw water first arrives at a purification station it passes through metal bars or screens.  These screens trap large water plants, water animals, sticks, leaves & litter, but allows the rest of the water to pass through.

  • Coagulation and Flocculation

Now the raw water enters a spiral flocculator where slaked lime is added.  The raw water contains sand, silt and clay particles that have small negative electric charges that repel each other.  The water moves around very quickly so that there is good contact between the slaked lime and the particles.  The slaked lime neutralises these electric charges and causes the particles to attract to each other. This process is called coagulation.  A further chemical, sodium silicate, is added to assist the process.

As the water moves around the spiral flocculator the sand, silt and clay particles, as well as some small water plants and animals, germs, and all the bad minerals, “stick together” to form floc.  This is called flocculation. Water moves very quickly in the middle of the spiral flocculator whilst on the outside it moves slower making it much easier for the objects to stick together.

  • Sedimentation

The water, together with the floc, now flows slowly into a large sedimentation tank where the floc settles to the bottom of the tank.  This is called sedimentation.

The floc at the bottom of the tank is now called sludge and is sucked out by desludging bridges and sent to a sludge deposit site.   The top of the water in the tank is now much cleaner.  This clean water flows over the side of the sedimentation tank into the carbonation tank.

  • Carbonation

When water leaves the sedimentation tank it has a pH of about 10.5 because of the lime that was added in the spiral flocculator.  This high pH (alkaline) makes the water feel and taste soapy.  In order to make the water less alkaline (a lower pH), carbon dioxide is bubbled through the water.  This is called carbonation.  The pH of the water is now between 8.0 and 8.4.  This makes the water taste and feel much better.  The water is kept at this pH level because it causes Calcium Carbonate to deposit inside the pipes which forms a protective layer for the pipes.

While tap water is deemed safe to drink, it might be considered unsavoury and less-than-perfect by many users. For this reason, we strongly recommend at least one type of filtration method be employed before drinking any tap water. Boiling assists in removing bacteria, but to improve taste 0- further measures such a filtration or reverse osmosis may be beneficial.

To get your hands on premium, purified water with none of the harsh chemicals present in tap water, get in touch with us by filling out the form below and find out more today!

 

Source credit: http://www.randwater.co.za/CorporateResponsibility/WWE/Pages/tapwater.aspx
Cover Image Credit: Financial Tribune

 

Does Water Help With Weight Loss?

Does Water Help With Weight Loss

There are many benefits of drinking water, from helping to accelerate weight loss to healthier and younger looking skin.

Unfortunately, most people are not drinking enough every day. Until recently, water was the 2nd most popular beverage in the US, behind sugary soft drinks.

Water is one of the most important elements in the human body. It makes up about 60% of our bodies, more or less. Every single cell in your body needs water to function properly.

The importance of water just can’t be stressed enough. A person can go for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. It plays a vital role in nearly every vital bodily function we have – if your body doesn’t get enough water, it becomes dehydrated.

When you’re dehydrated, you can’t function at your best and may be sluggish or have trouble concentrating, imagine what that’s doing to your organs, your skin, your brain!

When you’re dehydrated, your body also can’t flush out toxins or regulate itself as easily. By not flushing out these toxins you will be more susceptible to sickness, disease, weight gain and premature aging.

TL; DR – not drinking enough water will hinder weight loss and possibly promote water-related weight gain!

How Can Water Help Me Lose Weight?

Drinking water to lose weight is one of the easiest things you can do to support your weight loss efforts. Studies have shown that drinking water raises your metabolism, and improves your fat burning rate.

Drinking water before a meal can also help you feel fuller and therefore, make you eat less. Drinking water helps with water weight loss furthermore by reducing bloating.

So if your goal is to lose weight, drinking water for weight loss is a smart move.

If you find yourself snacking more often, try drinking a large glass of water in lieu of snacking. You can lose weight drinking water because it will fill you up and ward off those snack cravings.
We also know that weight loss often involves “kick-staring” your metabolism. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and is responsible for helping to control the temperature of your body through sweating. Since your body creates a lot of heat through metabolic processes, it’s important that it’s able to regulate temperatures properly.

When you’re dehydrated, your skin isn’t able to produce as much sweat and you can become overheated. This can lead to symptoms as mild as red flushing or as serious as heat stroke.

So when you’re hot, make sure to drink lots of water to ensure your body can cool itself properly – especially if you’ve been hitting the gym hard to shake off a few cm’s.

The exact science of the correlation between water and weight loss has been proven time and time again; the right intake of H2O will help flush toxins, promote better skin and moods, increases how fast you can burn fat and wards off those pesky unwanted cravings for unhealthy snacks between meals.

Want to get your hands on premium purified water to help you with your 2018 resolutions? Fill out the form below to get in touch with us today!

 

Which Water Filtration Types Improve The Taste of Water?

Which Water Filtration Types Improve The Taste of Water?

Buying bottled water sounds like the perfect solution to anyone seeking improved taste and quality of their drinking water, but there is a flaw in this; not all bottled water tastes better than tap water! Yes, it’s a bold statement, but it’s true. In a blind taste test, many people could not differentiate (based solely on taste) the difference between a leading brand of bottled water and tap water. This made us realise that as humans, we preconceive the notion that water that has been processed will taste infinitely better than water that comes out our taps.

For this reason, we’ve decided to get to the root cause of taste and quality: filtration types.

We discuss the most effective way to have the best-tasting, high quality water in your glass every day, and which filtration systems to avoid.

Water Filtration Types

  • Activated Carbon Filters

These are also known as carbon filters or pre-filters and are generally responsible for removing larger particles like sediment and silt from your water. They work by attracting and absorbing these particles so they’re no longer present in the liquid that comes out of your faucet.

An activated carbon filter will also make sure the end result has less in the way of odor and tastes much better. This is because they reduce the amount of chlorine and other contaminants that can make your water smelly or just darn right unpleasant to drink.

  • Reverse Osmosis

This type of filter is incredibly popular mainly because it has the ability to remove all sorts of contaminants that can be a danger to your health, as well as making sure the end result is clear and odour free.

  • Alkaline/Water Ionizers

These filters use a process known as electrolysis. What this means is the water is passed over plates which are electrically charged, and it’s separated into two streams. One is alkaline and the other is acidic. Not only do you get softer water as a result, water that’s low in acidity is much better for your skin as well.

  • UV Filters

These types of filters are possibly one of the newest technologies on the market. When ultraviolet radiation is used to treat water, it has the ability to destroy various bacteria that can be damaging to your health. If you want a more environmentally friendly way of purifying your water, this filter may well be the answer because it doesn’t need any chemicals or additional heat to be effective.

  • Infrared Filters

As with alkaline filters, this technology is used to help soften your water, so if you live in a hard water area, infrared technology will help. Much like alkaline filters, infrared uses heat and light to negatively charge the water, and give it a softer feel.

  • Fibre Filters

These filters contain cellulose, rayon or some other material spun into a mesh with small pores. It is just like pouring water containing sand through a piece of cloth. Unlike slow sand filter, pressure is applied to force water through tightly wrapped fibres. There are many kinds of fibre filters in the market that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes from fine to coarse meshes. Go for fibre filters with micron ratings lower than 1 to efficiently trap particles.

  • Ozone

O3 is an unstable molecule which readily gives up one atom of oxygen providing a powerful oxidizing agent which is toxic to most waterborne organisms. Ozone is made by passing oxygen through ultraviolet light or a ‘cold’ electrical discharge. To use ozone as a disinfectant, it must be created on-site and added to the water by bubble contact.

 

In short, anything which removes odour will typically improve the taste of the water – which makes sense, considering our sense of smell is so closely related to our sense of taste. The most important thing to remember is that there is no single-step solution to guarantee purification and tat improvement of your water.

Multi-stage filtration, purification and sterilisation technology has not yet been developed to be a condensed technology, so if you are looking for a solution to foul-tasting water, opt for a plumbed-in water cooler that does the hard work for you. Pro tip: decreasing the temperature of the water to chilled will improve taste as well, our senses do not pick up on poor tastes when the temperature of liquids is that low.

However, for a guaranteed pure-tasting water which has already had all the above steps (and more) performed, why not get a taste for Aquazania water? Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch!

How to Choose a Water Dispenser Based on Consumption

How to Choose a Water Dispenser Based on Consumption

We’ve heard of coffee machine companies tailoring solutions to offices and homes alike, where they base your pricing package off of how much coffee you typically drink within a month. Why stop there, though? What if you could get a water dispenser that was tailored to your pocket, and your specific needs?

The good news is – it is possible! We take you through every option you need to consider when purchasing (or renting) a water dispenser, so that you get as much out of it as possible.

Considerations When Renting or Buying a Water Dispenser

Volume

How much water will you be dispensing per hour, and per day? If you are within an office or a home, chances are you will have adequate time to allow for refilling of the water dispenser with large bottles; it will also provide you sufficient time to get the water chilled or hearted between uses.

However if you are in a factory environment, where your usage might be triple or even quadruple the amount you would normally use in a closed office environment, you may not have the capacity to refill the water dispenser and still allow sufficient time for it to cool or heat. This circumstance calls for a plumbed-in water cooler – which will provide you with a constant flow of water which is filtered within the machine itself. The only time you may experience interruptions is when the municipal supply into which the machine is fed, is not available.

 

Location of the Dispenser

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The placement or location of your water dispenser is a crucial element when choosing which type of water cooler to choose.

If your dispenser is going to be stored in an area where there is high foot traffic, a dirty space due to dust, sand or open elements, or if it is going to be in a space-restricted area, you may want to avoid any machine that requires replacement of bottles, bottle storage or opening and closing any of the spaces of the machine itself. This is to prevent contamination of the internal mechanisms of the machine. Bottled water may take up a lot of space, especially if it is in a high traffic environment. Plumbed in coolers are the way to go in this instance.

However, if you dispenser will be spending its days in a clean, low-traffic area with ample storage space, a bottled water cooler is a good option to consider.

If the dispenser is going to be far away from an area with access to the water mains, consider the plumbing work that will be required to install it, as well.

What type of water will you drink often?

 

Water dispensers are great, better than sliced bread if you ask me, but they sadly have their limitations too.

Commercial water coolers are often limited to dispensing cold water only; more modern ones can dispense both hot and cold water.

More advanced water dispensers have the ability to dispense cold, hot, sparkling and ambient-temperature water. If you are looking for a machine from which you can make your tea, add some carbonated water to cordials and also have cold and ambient temperature, make sure your machine has these features before committing.

It’s also important to remember that more features typically equates to more money, so choose carefully.

What is the water quality where the machine will be placed?

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This is geared towards those who are strongly considering plumbing-in their water dispensers. If the water quality (and availability) where the machine will be placed is questionable, it is not advisable to hinge the longevity of your machine off of it. Higher contamination in water means your filters will need to be replaced more often.

Also, if you are considering getting a water cooler which uses water from pre-bottled water, ensure you are in an area where your supplier regularly delivers to. No point in finding the perfect machine only to find you can’t get the water!

Quantity vs Quality

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If you’ve gone through this checklist and still can’t decide, it’s best to leave it to your taste.

If you are willing to drink nothing less than the best, a plumbed-in water cooler simply won’t provide the taste quality that premium, purified water would.

However, if quantity is of higher importance, the water filters fitted into plumbed-in machines are quite advanced; they will remove macro and micro particles, but if the taste of municipal water is pungent, it may not entirely remove that aspect.

Need more info on how to choose the right cooler for you and your own needs? Fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch!