Agua Latinoamerica

Back to school, water bottles in hand?

By Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

When we think of the end of summer, it’s usually with a sense of nostalgia. But for children, it’s more about reuniting with friends, new adventures and more independence. How often do we plan for their safety? The many reports of contaminated source waters has prompted rethinking on how we keep our families safe outside the home. Are you sending your children to school with your own bottled or cooler-generated water, in BPA-free bottles?
Our industry has been called into service to educate consumers on the viability of in-home water treatment systems because public water safety has been challenged. Whether a treatment train is employed, a water cooler installed or bottled water purchased, there are choices consumers can make. The water treatment industry professional can be the most influential factor in the decision-making process.
September has been dedicated to the aforementioned technologies for several years. The dynamics of water cooler usage has changed over that period, with home and home office delivery (HOD) becoming more widely used and dealerships delving into bottled water operations. Manufacturers have incorporated water delivery systems that include hot water for tea, hot chocolate, instant soups and more. Bottled water vendors have adopted multiple-sized containers, while water vendors have incorporated RO, carbon filtration, even alkaline water to their offerings. And these markets have more room to grow.
In our coverage this month, Gary Battenberg presents the basics of water cooler maintenance, an often-overlooked and essential step for every system. As part of the maintenance of a system, professionals should be trained on all of a system’s details, not just the installation, as this article notes. IBWA VP of Communications Chris Hogan offers a detailed and extensive update on the bottled water industry. As trends change, so do tastes, which Americans embrace with their wallets. With a focus on healthy living on the list of inclusions for most businesses, bottled water is surpassing sales of sodas and other sugary beverages, something that will continue for some time to come.
In the Innovations category, the background of quantum disinfection’s inventor is explored more thoroughly. The focus of Dr. Kelly Reynold’s On Tap column is Legionella and  new measures that could help prevent more outbreaks. The risks to public health are well-known and the ability to resolve issues of water contamination well-established. But preventable outbreaks continue to be reported. Should there be an enforceable regulation to encourage prevention by focusing also on water in the air, the primary vector for the spread of Legionella?
Over the course of the next few months, there will be a flurry of activity as school resumes, final vacations are taken, seasonal changes prompt different treatment requirements and the convention season continues. Be mindful of what you represent and how you represent it. As a first line of defense in water treatment, reputation is everything. Even one misrepresentation can be damaging to the industry. While you watch the bottom line, ensure the company reputation stands just as tall as the signage in front of the business.

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