How to choose the right drinking fountain and filtered water for gyms

The Water People on 26 April 2018

Finding the right drinking fountains for gyms isn't always easy. Whether you’re a big city gym or a small PT studio, the right filtered water system will keep you, your staff, and your patrons hydrated. But how do you decide what the best system is for you and what should you consider when making your decision?

Here are the things you should consider from the outset:

  • Do I have a water inlet or drain outlet available?
  • Do I have an electrical power point within one metre of the unit?
  • Do I want the drinking water filtered?
  • What are my ongoing filter replacement costs and options?
  • What are my service options if it breaks down?
  • Should I rent or purchase my unit outright?
  • What does my budget allow for?

Firstly, let’s differentiate between the main four types of filtered water systems available and explore the features and benefits of each.

  • Drinking fountains
  • Mains water coolers
  • Bottled water coolers
  • Undersink chillers

Drinking fountains

Drinking fountains for gyms require a mains connected water inlet and a drain outlet. This allows for continual water supply and run-off. Drinking water is dispensed via two tap options, a bubbler tap and bottle filler tap, making it a good option to get filtered water for gyms.

the best drinking fountains for gyms water fountain

Pros

  • Continual water supply.
  • Waste is carried away with little spill and mess.
  • Drinking fountains for gyms are strong and sturdy.
  • Different models are available to suit the chilling capacity per hour you require in your gym.

Cons

  • Water supply in and a waste drain outlet is required for drinking fountains for gyms.
  • Occasionally the bottle filler tap is subject to heavy handling resulting in the tap breaking or leaking.
  • Not the cheapest option for filtered water for gyms.
  • If you don’t select the right chilling capacity for your drinking fountain, the internal chiller may be insufficient for your needs.

See our range of drinking fountains for gyms.

Mains connected water coolers

Water coolers run on mains connected water supply, only requiring a water inlet. They don't need a drain outlet, making them a good economical choice for filtered water for gyms.

the best drinking fountains for gyms mains connected water cooler

Pros

  • No drain outlet required, so it's a great solution where plumbing is an issue.
  • Easy clean drip tray and automatic shut off taps.
  • An economical choice, they cost around half the price of drinking fountains for gyms.
  • You can mount a cup holder on the side and offer paper cups for patrons.
  • Available in bench mounted and floor standing models to suit your fit out.

Cons

  • You cannot drink directly from the unit.
  • The height from the tap to the drip tray is not tall enough to stand a water bottle, so the user will need to angle the bottle to fill it, possibly resulting in over fill and splash.
  • If you provide disposable cups with this unit, it can result in unnecessary waste, ongoing costs, and mess.

See our range of water coolers for gyms.

Bottled water coolers

If plumbing is an issue in your venue and you have no water inlets available, then a bottled water cooler may be your best option. Definitely the cheaper option of water dispenser at around half the price of a mains connected water cooler, however, it does have some drawbacks to consider if you need filtered water for gyms.

the best drinking fountains for gyms bottled water cooler

Pros

  • No water inlet or drain outlet required, it just needs a power outlet.
  • The most economical water cooler option at around half the price of mains connected water coolers, and around one-third the price of drinking fountains for gyms.
  • You can mount a cup holder on the side and offer paper cups for patrons.
  • Available in bench mounted and floor standing models to suit your gym fit out.
  • Available in a top filled filter bottle or use purchased bottles for water supply.

Cons

  • You cannot drink directly from the unit. It’s intended for filling up cups or water bottles.
  • The height from the tap to the drip tray is not tall enough to stand a water bottle, so the user will need to angle the bottle to fill it, possibly resulting in over fill and splash.
  • If you provide disposable cups, it can result in unnecessary waste, ongoing costs, and mess.
  • Ongoing costs and storage of purchased water bottles,
  • OHS can be an issue with continually changing over heavy bottles.
  • Purchased water bottles are not environmentally friendly with large amounts of plastic waste.
  • If you opt for the top filled bottle version, you will need to keep topping up the bottle to ensure adequate water supply for use.

See our range of water coolers for gyms.

Undersink chillers

If you have a drink station with a sink or a kitchenette, then an undersink water chiller may be a great solution without the need of a free-standing unit. You need to choose the right chilling capacity for your needs to cope with the demands of your venue.

Keep in mind the undersink chiller systems market for around the same price as drinking fountains for gyms, so price isn't the deciding factor here.

Pros

  • Tucked neatly away under the sink with a separate on-sink tap.
  • Variable chilling capacities available to meet the demands of your gym.
  • No extra plumbing required within the venue if a sink is already available.

Cons

  • You cannot drink directly from the unit. It’s intended for filling up cups or water bottles.
  • The bench top can become a dumping ground for cups, bottles, and rubbish, resulting in an area which requires constant cleaning.

See our range of undersink filter taps for gyms.

Water filtration

Although it is not mandatory to have filters installed on drinking fountains for gyms, it is highly recommended. Firstly, as a health and fitness venue, it’s good business practice to provide your health-conscious patrons and staff with clean and healthy drinking water. Secondly, the filters reduce dirt, sediment, chlorine, and residue build-up within your drinking system, potentially prolonging the life of your appliance.

There are ongoing maintenance considerations when you use filters, however, if you choose the right system from the right supplier, these filters can be easily changed by yourself or one of your staff. If you would rather have a qualified service technician change your filters, this is an option too. By choosing a credible company who has no lock-in service contracts and low maintenance fees such as The Water People, you can keep your maintenance costs down.

Your water quality and usage will determine how frequently we recommend changing your filters. However, you also need to consider the types of filters used and how long they can withstand ongoing water pressure to them before they run the risk of leaking or bursting. No one wants a flooded gym!

We recommend changing your filters every six months to ensure the ongoing supply of clean and healthy drinking water. At that time, you should also conduct safety checks on all of the plumbing fittings to your unit to ensure there are no splits in the water tubing, leaks, pressure issues to any of the filter heads, or fittings that could potentially become a costly flood disaster for your business.

Should you rent or purchase drinking fountains for gyms

While renting may seem a great option if up-front cash flow is limited, be aware of companies who tie you into long-term rental contracts. You should find out what is included in a rental agreement, such as:

  • What filter system comes with the unit?
  • How often do they change these over?
  • In the event of break down, what is their service response time?

At The Water People, we have fair rental agreements that give you flexibility. Find out more here.

Gyms typically have one to three drinking units, so it is usually more cost effective for you to purchase your system outright over the long-term. Purchasing your unit outright usually saves you money within 12 to 24 months, but make sure you do your own calculations.

In conclusion

While cost is always a consideration when purchasing fit out equipment, it’s important to think ahead and ensure you choose the right system for you. As The Water People have been supplying and installing drinking water systems since 1990, we can give you expert advice, competitive pricing, and ongoing service.

For advice and competitive pricing send us a message or talk to us on 03 9885 0222 today. Find out why we are the industry leading drinking water experts for gyms and the health and fitness industry.