The Hidden Costs of Bottled Water — Choosing a Bottleless Water Dispenser Alternative


When it comes to workplace hydration, there are plenty of solutions to choose from. While bottled water might seem like the simplest option, many hidden costs can add up to a significant amount over time. Hidden costs can include the hours spent arranging and supervising deliveries, limited storage space for bottles, and even the threat of absenteeism or insurance claims through water bottle-related injury.

To find out more about the hidden costs of bottled water and how to provide an alternative that’s better for your business and the environment, read on!

Evaluating The True Cost of Your Workplace Water Supply

Determining the true cost of your workplace water supply is crucial to understanding the full picture of what you’re paying for, as well as being able to compare it with other options. You may be surprised to find out how much you’re spending on water each month, try our Cost Comparison Calculator to find out.

For businesses, bottled water is the most expensive option for a workplace water supply. It also poses serious environmental concerns: Just one bottleless water cooler can save 7,000 plastic bottles or 150 5-gallon jugs from being thrown away every year.

What’s more, renting or buying a bottled water cooler entails both visible costs, including the dispenser and delivery charges, as well as hidden costs, which are harder to spot and can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line.

The 5 Hidden Costs of Bottled Water

1) The expense of arranging and supervising deliveries.

When you opt for a bottled water cooler or bottled water delivery service, you need a staff member to manage your water supply. They must monitor how many bottles you have left, then guesstimate how many to order for the next delivery.

Moreover, your employees will drink a different amount depending on the season, making it difficult to forecast how much your business will spend on hydration, incurring unexpected costs. More time is wasted coordinating the order, reconciling invoices, sorting any mistakes, and endless back-and-forth.

At the average hourly rate for an office manager, this task alone could cost $50-a-week; or, $2,500 per year. Choose a plumbed-in supply and free those hours for more valuable work — you’ll be getting ahead!

2) Ramifications on the environment.

The bottled water industry is a major contributor to the global environmental crisis. Humans use an average of 1.3 billion plastic bottles every day and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) states that if plastic production stays on its current trajectory, by 2030, greenhouse gas emissions from plastic could reach 34 billion tons per year.

Meanwhile, tap water that’s treated or filtered can be safely consumed without any additional packaging requirements or transportation costs, hence why replacing single-use bottles and 5-gallon water jugs with sustainable water solutions can drastically reduce our waste and carbon emissions.

3) The loss of valuable space.

5 gallon water jug rack

You pay a high price for office space. In fact, a MarketWatch report found that the average yearly cost to rent office space per employee was between $4,000 to $14,000 a year. Many companies that rely on water delivery services often give up parts of their expensive office space to make room for bulky 5–gallon water jugs. Yet, if you could eliminate the need for water jugs, you could free up space for resources that generate income, as opposed to plastic, which incurs a cost.

4) Workplace injuries cost businesses thousands.

Every time a bottle runs dry, a staff member must remove the empty bottle and lift a heavy, filled container to replace it. If lifted incorrectly, the staff member risks serious injury; a simple slip could spill water on the floor to create another workplace hazard, and even stacked, empty bottles risk tripping people over.

The United States Department of Labor estimates U.S. businesses pay almost $1 billion per week in direct and indirect costs for work-related injuries, a significant sum that can be reduced in a number of ways, including implementing ergonomic water solutions.

5) A contaminated drinking water supply will cost even more.

Finally, there’s the risk of a contaminated water supply causing workplace illness. Bottled water coolers can be a hotbed for bacteria, harboring one strain in particular known as Bacillus: a rod-shaped aerobic bacteria that thrives in exposed spaces.

When employees use the dispenser, they risk contact with the pathogen, which can cause illnesses such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. As sickness costs U.S. businesses $84 billion in lost productivity per year, this is one expense all offices could do without.

Take Your Drinking Water To The Next Level With Quench

Making the switch from a bottled water dispenser to a bottleless water dispenser can be a great way to save money, reduce waste, and improve the quality of your drinking water.

Choosing to rent a bottleless water cooler from Quench means you have access to an endless supply of premium filtered water for up to 80% less than the cost of bottled water delivery. Our advanced solutions connect directly to your building’s existing public water line and use cutting-edge technology to provide clients with great-tasting, contaminant-free drinking water at all times.

Moreover, our products are manufactured in an ISO-certified factory that operates at high-efficiency levels to reduce waste: Replacing just one plastic jug cooler with one of Quench’s sustainable water solutions is the greenhouse gas equivalent of planting 120 trees each year!

So, if you’re ready to start saving and take your drinking water to the next level, try our product finder to discover the machine that’s the right fit for you. You can also chat with a Quench Water Expert or get a free quote to get started.