In today's market you can find three types of material used to manufacture water cooler bottles - plastic, metal and glass.
Plastic is the most common and widespread types of bottle water cooler containers, because its light weight, easy to transport, hard to break and can be easily replaced.
Plastic containers are usually made of polycarbonate (also known as PC). The cheap plastic may also contain some other additives, such as bisphenol-A (abbreviation - BPA) - a substance, which has been tested as being unsafe for human health.
Because it is not always easy to identify and make sure that the plastic bottle is made of absolutely safe substances, some savvy distilled water drinkers opt in for metal water bottles storage.
Metal containers can either be of aluminum or stainless steel finish.
Aluminum can be a cheaper choice, but it comes with its disadvantage. With aluminium there needs to be another layer between liquid or water and the aluminium case itself. This liner separator in return is made of resin or plastic - so again it makes people worry about health issues related to using plastic water bottle.
Stainless steel water cooler bottle cover, on the other hand, is the most heavy and expensive option. Good quality - high grade stainless steel won't leave any bad additives or impart toxic substances into your drinking water. The only drawback is that when water is left inside for too long, the you might feel a light taste of imparted metal in the water, which is not desirable.
Glass is the best solution for 100 % pure spring water, it will leave none of the bad for health residues at all when well maintained, kept clean and sanitized. Yet glass containers are very hard to find, because not many bottled water servicies supply them, and the size can be limited up to 5 gallon, because of its inherit heavy weight.
For most commercial and residential water coolers, a 5 gallon water bottle (about 19 litres) is the ideal and the most popular size. It won't take too much room, while still providing a good supply of distilled drinking water in the family or office of up to 10 people.
The 10 gallon water bottles (about 38 litres) are better geared towards open office environment, where there maybe more than 20 working professionals, or there is a need to serve purified water to frequent guests and customers, such as near reception or company business meetings.
If you just need a supply of hot and cold filtered water in a family or apartment of less than 4 people, 3 gallon water bottles (about 11 litres) will be the best bet. This size is perfect for any dispensing set up, be it for a portable countertop water cooler, connecting to an existing refrigerator water dispenser or a freestanding unit.
In most developed countries like US, Canada, UK, Australia or New Zealand, tap water is sometimes considered even safer than bottled water, as in one of the US NRDC's 1999 Bottled Water Report. So many people might think that it would be much more economical to just refill the containers with kitchen sink tap water and save on water bottle delivery service.
While refilling might sound like a good idea, you run the risk of dangerous bacteria growth in an unchlorinated environment, if the plastic vessel is not properly washed and thoroughly cleaned with dishwasher detergents, prior to refilling. Cleaning these big bottles is of course not an easy task, and that's why bottled water companies charge a good money for this service.
Worse, if the plastic bottle concerned is not re-usable, but the one-off disposable types, it might poison the drinking water, making it taste stale and horrible. Because disposable water cooler bottles are not designed sturdy enough to be refilled repeatedly, they can also easily break upon handling.
Another point to mention, is that the water hose itself might not be clean or sanitized. For example, in work office places, janitors who clean bathrooms might use the same cloth to wipe through kitchen hose, or perhaps, fecal bacteria might transfer from water bucket used for mopping the floor to the hose.
The bottled water delivery guys don't just bring in new refilled bottled, they sterilized them, and that is something to take note of.
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