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The concept of drinking water fountain is new to India, albeit it’s catching up fast in public places, especially in metro cities. This piece of information will apprise readers about basic aspects of current drinking water fountains technology and identify features that can help ensure their quality, convenience, and reliability. Ultimately, these features can help increase public confidence and access to convenient water sources.
Schools, hospitals, and other entities managing public spaces can offer drinking water fountains with many available options, including vandal resistance, refrigeration, bottle filling, and filtration.
Extremely durable cast iron drinking water fountains can withstand harsh weather, but are not appropriate for high-moisture environment as they are prone to rusting. Stainless steel fountains are more suitable in such cases; in fact, they are one of the most popular drinking water fountain types due to minimal maintenance needs and low cost.
Vandal-resistant fountains are a great fit for high-traffic areas as they are equipped with heavy-duty parts such as galvanized frames and steel cabinets, which protect against damage and wear. Other drinking water fountain features can be added to cater to users’ needs. Fountain bubblers (or spouts) vary from the very basic, such as a spigot, to the much more advanced. The most common is the arc bubbler, which is equipped with a mouth guard to prevent direct contact.
The most notable improvement in drinking water fountains in recent years has been the bottle filling option due to the proliferation of refillable bottles, the ease of use of these stations, and less perceived risk of contamination. At these stations, users can rapidly fill up their personal bottles, and then the water will automatically shut off to prevent waste. Bottle fillers can be installed as standalone stations, as attachments to existing fountains, or as models that come with a drinking fountain. Many of these bottle filling stations include a digital display showing the number of disposable plastic bottles saved from landfills.
Water chilling is another feature that makes modern fountains attractive to users. Chilling is typically available for indoor units where they can be connected to an electrical supply. Some drinking water fountains have built-in chillers, but existing non-refrigerated fountains can also be retrofitted with remote chillers. Alternatively, ice-chilled models or drinking fountains equipped with solar power systems can be used in areas that lack access to a power supply. Most fountains can dispense up to 25 liters of chilled water per hour, but in high-traffic areas, a fountain should be able to dispense at least 30 liters of chilled water per hour.
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