The TAP Hydrator refillable water station was designed with the help of several school administrators during the COVID-19 pandemic to create an ideal hydration station for schools, by schools.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC recommended that schools and public facilities shut down all high-touch facilities, including communal drinking fountains. Unfortunately for many institutions, this was their only access to drinking water. Several schools reached out to us regarding their desire for a Bottle Filling Station that would meet the CDC standards and remain safely open during flu/virus season.
After meeting with each school, it was determined that safety was their number one priority. The safer the Hydration Station design was the less germs would be passed around the school and the less students would get sick.
Germs in Schools
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 million sick days are taken each year due to the common cold alone. With even more serious concerns over influenza, the microbiologists at NSF wanted to conduct an experiment to find out where germs were most commonly found in local schools.
Communal water fountains in schools and public buildings have some of the germiest surfaces.
A recent NSF International study discovered that water fountains (both in the classroom and in the cafeteria) were determined to have the most germ-infested surfaces in school environments, 800 times ‘germier’ than a toilet seat! A classroom water fountain spigot had approximately 2.7 million bacterial colony forming units (CFU) per square inch, compared to 3,200 on a school toilet seat.
The Refillable Water Station Design
To accomplish our goal of designing the safest refillable water station possible it needed to be 100% touch-free since germs are transferred in schools from students’ hands and mouths. We removed the traditional water spigot and metal basin seen in traditional, communal water fountains and replaced it with a single bottle alcove for easy filling.
School Administrators also suggested that we incorporate a low-profile curved design so that student’s and teachers could avoid running into sharp corners and large objects in their hallways. Working together, we created the sleek new water drop design that is touch-free and safe for all ages.
The Refillable Water Station Filter
To ensure the highest quality drinking water possible, a technologically advanced Ultra Filter that is capable of removing the most micro-contaminants possible was included. The Advanced Ultra Filter is designed to provide the safest, best tasting drinking water and has an extremely high capacity to save schools money each year on replacement filters.
Saving Plastic Bottles from the Environment
Americans purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging about 13 bottles per month for every person in the U.S. That means by using a reusable water bottle, students will save an average of 156 plastic bottles every year. When plastics end up in landfills, they aren’t harmless. They break down into tiny toxic particles that contaminate the soil and waterways and enter the food chain when animals accidentally ingest them.
Using refillable water stations in schools serves multiple purposes from saving plastic bottles from ending up in landfills to transitioning students and teachers to healthier drinking options. The Tap Hydrator enables school districts to track how many plastic bottles they have saved in each school within the district. The Tap Hydrator combined with the Tap Tracker app enables school districts to easily save and track the number of plastic bottles saved from all of their schools, buildings, gymnasiums and practice fields. It is a quick and easy way to monitor your environmental impact!