Did you just drink that?

You probably didn’t realise that thousands of drinking water dispensers in Australia don’t meet the requirements of our Plumbing Codes. That’s right, we typically make sure our WCs and tapware are WaterMark certified, but ignore bubblers, coolers and water fountains.

This means we’ve got an enormous amount of beverage dispensers in the market, with no degree of assurance that they are safe. What form of metal or plastic is our drinking water in contact with?

So the obvious question is: How can this happen?

There are many reasons. The primary being that, as a developed country with comprehensive standards and laws, there’s a general public acceptance in Australia that if something can be sold, it is probably code compliant. Not the case.

Second, there’s been a limited range to choose from. Once a specialised market, suppliers weren’t compelled to offer a wide range when the opportunity was so small.

Third, beverage dispensers aren’t required to comply with WELS [Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme – see AS/NZS 6400].   As a low flow-rate product, it is sensible to exclude them from WELS as they’re already water efficient. Some specifiers erroneously take this to mean that drinking water dispensers also are excluded from WaterMark .

So will things change? Not only are industry groups espousing the virtues of compliance, but nowadays the demise of sugary drinks and consequent growth in demand for bottle refill stations has meant manufacturers have a bigger market to build for.

Also, as Australians become more cognisant of healthy living, we have identified the requirement for fresh drinking water to be available in the community and specifically for our kids at school & university.

For your next drinking water station installation you should demand a WaterMark product – [1] you are required to by code; [2] there is growing public demand; and [3] there is a far greater range of dispensers to choose from than ever before.

You wouldn’t get a bottle of dirty water from the refrigerator at your supermarket, therefore why would you specify or install a non-approved drinking water dispenser? Don’t forget you’re putting that water in your mouth.

Click here to check out the RBA range of drinking fountains & water coolers

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