Why isn’t UV filtration built into every water dispenser?

Hygiene, safety and the immovable influence of cost   

Design-led innovation is Borg & Overström’s bread and butter, one of the central methods we use to stay ahead of the competition in providing premium refreshment. If you’re familiar with the Borg & Overström range, you may have heard of our Totality® methodology. On this occasion, we’re highlighting our ultraviolet secret weapon: Viovandt™. 

Given the influence of the pandemic, use of ultraviolet technology for water purification is on the rise, not just for dispensers, but wider infrastructure. Rising popularity means a discerning buyer and demand for quality. Knowing this, we applied our ethos to UV filtration and have once again led the market. But this, as with every upgrade, add-on and accessory begs an important question:

Why isn’t UV filtration fitted as standard on every model if it’s so important? 

You may have already guessed the answer to this question: it ultimately comes down to cost. 

We provide the distributor a model fitted with Viovandt™ at the buyer’s request – and only at their request. This is because the addition of UV filtration is what we call an “on-cost” – that which goes beyond the base model. On-costs must be weighed by manufacturer and buyer as worth the expense, and may be found worthy in certain cases, but cannot be universal. Which brings us to the next essential point. 

So, who needs UV filtration the most?

The more a business or setting has to lose from uncontrolled contamination, the more their facilities manager should be prepared to expend on keeping that environment sterile. 

Who needs that the most? The most obvious answer here is the healthcare facility, which needs even more protection in light of the pandemic. See this piece to get an idea of just how many hand washing stations are needed just as a baseline precaution according to NHS standards. If you are interested in inquiring about refreshment solutions for the healthcare environment, go to this piece on what makes a good hospital watercooler. 

If your business is not healthcare or healthcare adjacent, ask yourself: how much does your office/workspace need the extra layers of protection and the additional responsibilities and costs they will incur? 

This is, like all matters of expense, a push and pull; a showdown of options which must be weighed against one another. The seasoned manager will be familiar with such a struggle, as it is found in all matters of budgeting.

The one additional consideration beyond simply paying or renting more up front for an on-cost is the potential cost of maintenance and repair. More features means more factors which will require attention in the long run. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered there – click here for a more in-depth examination weighing high up-front cost with longer term cost. You may also consider getting an extended warranty on a machine fitted with this extra feature.     

Another factor you must consider is your area’s water quality. The role of a water dispenser and tap system in filtration can only go so far. If you are in a region prone to lapses in water usability then having UV will provide extra security, keeping dispensing consistent even during difficulties 

And then there is the role of the water dispenser as a morale booster – demonstrating to your staff that you’re going the extra mile for their safety is a classic and often applicable reason to approve such an on-cost. The facilities manager who wants to maintain regular office attendance and move further away from remote or hybrid working can offer extra reassurance with UV, and bring their team together with a positive work environment.  

Advice for distributors: sales pitch potential for UV watercoolers 

As always, there are potential sales pitches here. If you’re a distributor with a discerning customer base and you offer premium products for high-end environments, there are few extra features better than UV. Some managers like to keep up appearances, seeking an aesthetic to match the security of their work environment.

It’s also worth mentioning that, with the quest for better tech and design-led innovation guiding us, Borg & Overström have already made substantial improvements in this area and aim to continue in this fashion. The first B4 models (now discontinued) utilised a UV lamp system which came with an extra servicing cost. Our current UV bulb method is more advanced and does not incur such an expense. We are always seeking the next way to make your purchase and usage of advanced water dispensers easier.   

Conclusion – where to go from here

If UV filtration is the solution you’ve been looking for, you can browse the available options on our store and check this model comparison for which products are compatible before making your final decision. Don’t forget to visit the main summary of our unique UV technology Viovandt™ if you haven’t already.  

To secure a purchase, get in touch with our sales team, who can link you up with a distributor.


Our drinking water dispensers are available through selected partners