When you’re working a nine-to-five in a busy office environment it can be a challenge to ensure you’re drinking enough water. Whilst we know that staying hydrated is vital to our health when we’re dashing to and from meetings, answering emails and working on projects, getting a glass of water isn’t top of the list of things to do.
However, as an office or facilities manager, encouraging your team to drink water throughout the day can support their health and hydration. Plus it can also improve your team’s mood and memory, as well as help them to be more productive, stay focused and be more alert. In fact, a study conducted by the University of East London shows that drinking water can result in a 14% increase in productivity.
So are you providing your team with refreshing and great-tasting water at work? While some companies give their team access to simple tap water, a lot of UK businesses are now recognising the value of installing an undercounter water tap or water dispenser.
These options make it easier and more enticing to keep topped up with water throughout the day. Plus many of these undercounter water taps offer a range of water options from still and sparkling, to ambient, hot and cold filtered water. But when budgets are tight and the costs of running an office are increasing, we take a look at what’s better for your team – filtered water or tap water.
UK drinking water
Firstly, the water we have here in the UK is safe. Our water quality is regularly monitored by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) to ensure it’s both clean and safe to drink. The DWI search for things such as E.coli and other bacteria across reservoirs in the UK. British tap water has a quality rating of 99.96% and we are in the top six countries in the world in terms of drinking water quality.
However, there are still some concerns with tap water. One is the concern for lead contamination. Whilst UK tap water is ‘virtually lead-free’, it’s possible it could enter the water via lead pipes on the way to your tap. Tap water undergoes treatment processes to meet safety standards, but it can still contain impurities like chlorine, heavy metals, and potentially harmful microorganisms. Filtered water would remove those potential contaminants.
Another concern around UK tap water is what’s known as PFAS. A relatively new phenomenon, PFAS (per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) is a chemical family consisting of at least 5,000 individual substances. They are sometimes referred to as ‘forever chemicals’ because of their persistence in the environment. In manufacturing, PFAS are favoured for their durability and useful properties such as non-stick, water repellence and anti-grease.
However, these have started showing up in water sources. It’s reported that a few companies have detected traces of PFAS in some source waters, although the monitoring data shows a large majority of sources are not affected.
According to the DWI, current toxicity data is not available for many PFAS and whilst standardised testing is mandatory in a number of European countries, the UK is behind in terms of testing. Ultimately, to ensure your water is clean, safe and free from impurities, a lot of people are opting for some kind of filtration system for peace of mind.
Cloudy tap water
Have you ever gone to pour a glass of tap water at home or at work and to your surprise, your water is cloudy, grey or white in colour? This happens when tiny air bubbles get trapped in the water. Despite them not being harmful and clearing in a few minutes, it makes for an unappealing refreshment.
If you want to encourage your team to drink more water at work, giving them the best quality water experience will help you to achieve that goal.
Another issue with tap water comes down to taste and odour. Did you know that 60% of the UK is in what’s known as ‘hard water’ zones? The South and East of England have the hardest water. This is because chalk and limestone regions in the South and East of England surrender more minerals to water as it passes through than the granite regions than they do in the North and West of the UK.
If you live or work in London, you’ll know that tap water is notoriously hard and can taste a little on the sour side – generally because of its mineral and chlorine content. Filtered water will give you and your office team a smoother and better tasting glass of water.
What’s an undercounter water tap?
Sleek and stylish in design and affordable and convenient, undercounter water taps have increased in popularity over the last decade. So much so that the market has expanded from commercial to domestic settings with people opting to install an undercounter water tap in their home kitchens. Whilst there are several water dispenser options for your office from bottle-fed water coolers and point of use water dispensers, in most cases an undercounter water top is unrivalled when it comes to quality and convenience.
They are compact and stylish to fit most office kitchens. The tap itself can be mounted on a worktop or even over a sink with the main unit then installed discreetly underneath the counter, usually in a cupboard.
These taps dispense high-volume filtered boiling, chilled, ambient and sparkling water – all at a single touch.
There are lots of benefits to getting one installed in your office. Number one is that they offer a more premium water when compared to tap. They have sophisticated filtration systems that will remove all kinds of nasties from your water. Plus, they’re really easy to keep clean and maintain so if you’re a facilities manager responsible for the water supply, they’re a great option.
Of course, they are more expensive than just providing your team with regular tap water. Although you may be surprised to know that you can get yours installed and up and running from just £3 per day.
What’s best for my office team?
Ultimately you can’t beat the quality, convenience and choice that an undercounter water tap will offer your team. By getting one installed, you’re showing your team you care and are investing in their wellbeing.
However, we’ll let you be the judge! If you’re based in or around London, you’re more than welcome to drop into our showroom and we’ll demonstrate our wide range of taps and you can sample the water. We’ve been in business for over 40 years so we’ll quickly understand your bespoke requirements. If you need any help at all or have any queries, simply get in touch with our friendly team.