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Drinking Water Systems: accessible and sustainable

Universities are under increasing pressure to evidence that their facilities are both accessible and
Universities are under increasing pressure to evidence that their facilities are both accessible and
sustainable. Therefore, consideration should be given regarding drinking water provision and whether
the systems in place are environmentally friendly as well as compliant with the Equality Act.

Dehydration amongst students is a serious health concern and universities up and down the country are
looking at ways to ensure their students and staff hydrate on a regular basis. One option is to install
drinking water dispensers around the campus for students to self-serve in between lectures. They
should be encouraged to refill water bottles rather than buying new ones, therefore helping to save the
oceans from the build-up of plastic waste.

By investing in a system which purifies water on-site, universities can eliminate the need to order,
deliver and store pre-bottled water. This will have a significant impact on the university’s carbon
footprint and can count as evidence towards environmental accreditation applications such as BREEAM.

BRITA Vivreau’s ViTap dispenses unlimited purified chilled still or sparkling water from a single tap with
touch sensor control and zero splash. The tap also comes with a boiling hot water option, ideal for use in
the staff room for instant tea and coffee, reducing the queue for the kettle. There is even an intelligent
safety feature on the ViTap which prevents boiling water from being dispensed by accident.

Under the Equality Act, there is a requirement for public sector bodies, including universities, to
promote equality for disabled people in every aspect of their work. Measures may already have been
put in place to assist disabled building users such as wheelchair ramps, braille signs, hearing loops, light
alerts etc. However, simple things like being able to get access to water will make the difference
between a disabled building user feeling included and provided for, or not.

One way that universities can evidence compliance is by installing the Equality Access Pad (EAP) which
has been created to complement the ViTap. The EAP has been designed for ease of use to gain access to
the drinking water dispenser primarily from, but not limited to, a wheelchair location.

The module is installed remotely from the ViTap system and mounted at the most convenient position
for use, to enable the user to safely access drinking water without having to reach over the appliance or
boiling water dispense point. It can be mounted on a wall or the front of or underneath the worktop –
the position of the module can be decided following a thorough feasibility study undertaken before

Once installed, students or staff will be able to place their bottle, glass, cup or mug on the drip tray
before selecting their dispense option from the EAP. The still, sparkling or boiling water will then pour
until the button is released.

In addition to accessibility considerations, the ViTap is also hygienic, promoting a healthier workplace.
Hygiene has been at the heart of each stage of the design process, from the dirt-free touch pad,
purposefully shallow drip tray (because your drinking water dispenser is not a sink) and the ability to fill
water bottles without nozzle contact (no more bottle germs), to the removable dispense nozzle for

Providing facilities which enables all users to access water independently to hydrate can make a big
difference to the day to day life for those living with disabilities.

By actively encouraging students to refill bottles throughout the day, and by providing deliciously
chilled, purified water with the option of still or sparkling, universities will help beat dehydration which
will result in a healthier and more engaged student body.

Friday 29th September 2017
Dehydration on College Campuses: How Filtered Water Dispensers Can Help

Water is the most essential nutrient for our bodies. But going off to college provides ample opportunity
for newly-independent young adults to drink (or not drink) whatever they want. Without nutritional
guidance or restrictions set forth by authority figures, some college students simply consume what
tastes good with little regard as to how they’re treating their bodies.

Many busy students think that coffee, tea, soda, or energy drinks will provide adequate hydration, but
these beverages actually make students thirstier and even more dehydrated. Research shows that 75
percent of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. And according to a study of 600 undergraduate
college students, the average daily intake of fluids amongst survey participants was much lower than
recommended daily values.

Staying Hydrated is Important for Student Success

Between classes, studying all night, and running off to extracurricular activities, students often find
themselves getting fatigued rather quickly. This is because nearly 90 percent of our brains are composed
of water, so when we aren’t hydrated, our minds and bodies simply can’t function properly.

When college students replenish the water their bodies lose due to everyday activity, it can help them
boost cognitive performance and allow them to stay alert and focused. Research has shown that when
students drink water during exams, they receive higher grades than students who don’t drink water.

Filtered Water Dispensers Can Keep College Students Hydrated

Your college or university can play an integral role in combatting the student dehydration issue. By
installing filtered water dispensers in dining halls, dormitories, and other campus buildings, you can help
keep students stay healthy and adequately hydrated all throughout the day.

- Water filtration helps improve water taste. Some students don’t like the taste of water due to chemical
additives and impurities that can be found in drinking water. But commercial water filtration
systems and dispensers remove foul tastes brought on by water contaminants. The result: water that is
clean, fresh and tastes great!

- Water dispensers offer chilled still, chilled sparkling, and ambient water. While some students enjoy
regular, still water, others need more convincing to drink more H2O throughout the day. The good news
is that water dispensers provide a variety of water types. In addition to chilled still water, water
dispensers make it easy to offer chilled sparkling water for those who want “soda” without the sugar.
Office water dispensers can even come equipped with an ambient (room temperature) tap for students
who like to drink water that isn’t as cold.

- Unlimited supply of clean drinking water. Filtered water dispensers hook directly into water lines on
your campus, which means you will never run out of clean, pure drinking water. Placing water
dispensers all over campus will allow students to easily dispense drinking water into their water bottles
at any time, whenever they need it.
Installing filtered water dispensers on your college campus is a smart, effective solution that can keep
students hydrated and focused throughout the day. Whether you are a smaller school, or a larger
university, your students are sure to benefit.