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10 Reasons why architects choose Aquafil®

Our Aquafil® drinking water fountain and refill stations are popular with architects and city planners for a number of reasons. They encourage a healthy lifestyle, offer useful amenity for the public and can become defining feature points of any civic space.

 

Here are ten key reasons why architects should choose an Aquafil® product for their next civic project:

 

  1. A convenient source of great-tasting drinking water

Our product provides access to clean, safe, accessible drinking water. Why is that important? Because architects specify the amenities that affect the user experience, and making free drinking water available to the public is a wonderful amenity. Tap water in many parts of Australia is notorious for having a bad rep, even though it’s generally safe to drink. Many Aquafil® stations also include water filtration to cater for this.

 

  1. A place to gather at

Aquafil® drinking fountains and refill stations are great at providing a focal point for people to meet and gather. Our signature range of water drinking fountain and bottle refill stations also include signage panels, creating a distinctive and easily recognisable feature in any public space.

 

  1. Aesthetics

Our product line offers a range of designs to choose from. Architects can select from our wall-mounted Fresh Refill Station and Drinking Fountain range to our more unique Alpine Double Water Refill Station. Our designs are modern and practical, making them great additions to schools, universities, medical centres, and outdoor public spaces.

 

  1. Functionality

Architects choose our Aquafil® products because they are functional and well designed. Our signature line of water stations have been designed, engineered and assembled by our team in Sydney, and our years of experience in the industry is testament to our success.

 

  1. Environmentally Friendly

Our product line of refill stations encourages the use of reusable water bottles over single-use bottled soft drinks and water products. Single-use plastic drinking bottles is an inefficient way of delivering drinking water and has become a burden on our environment; the majority of plastic bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills every year. Australia alone spends more than half a billion dollars a year on bottled water. Having our line of drinking fountains and refill stations easily accessible can help alleviate our large use of plastic bottled water.

 

  1. Educational

Aquafil® stations are a great way of teaching environmental awareness. They facilitate the use of reusable bottles and encourage drinking more water over sugary soft drinks. Our stations incorporate customisable signage panels that help communicate this.

 

  1. Economical

Using a drinking fountain and refill station can save a person a lot of money. Architects love using our products because they provide a way for their users to save money on purchasing bottled drinking water or soft drink.

 

  1. Inclusiveness

Aquafil®’s products are easily accessible by anyone who needs it. Most of our range are child- and wheelchair-friendly, with DDA compliance. Our products have multiple points of access, and we have products suited to indoor and outdoor applications. And for pet lovers, we even have an added option of a dog bowl!

 

  1. Ergonomic

An architect also has to consider a person’s comfort when using their facilities and the items on it. That’s why they choose Aquafil®. Our drinking fountains are easy to reach, with buttons that are durable and comfortable to use. We have spent a lot of time developing suitable valve technology to make the product as long lasting and easy to use as possible. Our refill stations also provide ample space to put your water bottle in and work wonderfully.

 

  1. Taste

Our product offerings are also popular with architects because of the great taste of the water. Our optional filtering systems and anti-bacterial nozzles ensure that the water that comes out is clean, fresh, and tasty. A lot of time, tap water can have odd flavors due to the chemicals used as a disinfectant. Our additional layer of filtration removes all the impurities from the water so that it tastes like water and nothing else.

How drinking water has improved over the last 100 years

Mankind has faced the challenge of obtaining safe drinking water for millennia. Many cities were founded on rivers, as water was recognised as one of the key ingredients for sustaining a civilisation. In the last two centuries, in particular, society has developed a greater understanding of water quality through science and engineering principles. Providing safe drinking water has been one of the most important public health goals for countries internationally, and is undoubtedly one of the key contributing factors of global growth in human population. Today water filtration is taken for granted in many parts of the world, although there is still scope to improve this. Aquafil® water drinking fountain and bottle refill units make use of this technology, bringing clean, fresh-tasting water to public spaces.

 

So how is water prepared so that it is suitable for drinking?

Filtration is an important part of the equation when it comes to clean drinking water. The first recorded experiment for filtration in modern history is attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, who believed that using sand to filter seawater would purify it. His hypothesis proved to be incorrect, but it paved the way towards further studies on clean drinking water filtration, such as sand filters in 1804. This is one of the first steps in filtration.


After filtration, the use of disinfectants is required to clean the water for drinking purposes. In 1905, chlorine was first used as a primary disinfectant for drinking water in Lincoln, England. This was the first recorded use of chlorine as a permanent water chlorination technique. This method was utilised in Lincoln to replace slow sand filters when it was discovered that the filter was faulty and the water supply was contaminated. The chlorination method introduced by Dr. Alexander Cruickshank Houston fed a concentrated solution of chloride of lime to the water that was being treated. Eventually, chlorine gas was used to clean water instead, which is how countries such as the USA disinfect their drinking water.

 

For Australians, the government and water authorities use settling, coagulation, filtration, and disinfection techniques to provide safe drinking water through taps. They have to use sufficient disinfectants to stop any re-growth of microorganisms during the delivery of tap water through pipes. While tap water is generally deemed safe to drink in Australia, they can still contain many impurities, both natural and artificial, which can affect the taste.

 

Our Aquafil® water drinking fountain and bottle refill stations offer an additional level of filtration as an optional design feature. Our filters can reduce the chlorine taste as well reduce possible contaminants such as dirt, lead particles and asbestos fibers in drinking water. As an added benefit, our filters slot perfectly inside our water stations, protected and concealed from public view. Many stations also have the added benefit of anti-bacterial bottle refill nozzles that provides an extra layer of safety for users.

 

Water is a key factor in the wellbeing of our communities. Many cities and civilisations were founded around water bodies as it is a crucial resource for survival. Filtration of water has come a long way, especially in the last 150 years, with the advent of modern science and engineering. Aquafil® water drinking fountain and bottle refill stations make use of this, by offering high quality, accessible drinking water products available to the public with the latest in water filter technology.

Simple Tips to Help Reduce Your Monthly Water Bill

An average household consumes around two hundred and fifty litres of water per head per day. If you are looking to cut corners on your monthly household expenses, it really makes sense to spend water sensibly. Many of you would be happy to know that you can make a significant difference without making any drastic changes to your water expenditure pattern.

Here are some of the easiest ways for you to conserve water and reduce your monthly water bill.

  • One of the most important factors that lead to wastage of water are the leakages found around the sinks and toilets. Experts suggest that even a minor leakage may lead to seventy five litres of water wastage per day.

Check your toilet for leakages by adding some food grade colored dye to the tank. If there is a leak, you will see the dye in the bowl after around fifteen minutes. Detection of leaks in the faucet is relatively simple and spouts are the most common areas to find leakages. Sinks and the base of the faucets are also probable areas to look for leakages. Immediately contact a plumber if you find leakages anywhere in your plumbing system.

  • Another alternative to save water is to only use the full load of the washing machines and dishwashers. The less these two appliances are used, the less will be the water consumption for your household. As far as the dishwasher is concerned, avoiding prewashing the dishes is a great way to save water. In case of washing machines, try to avoid the temptation of washing small loads of clothes.
  • You may end up saving as much as ten to fifteen litres of water per day by installing low-flow toilets. Many of you would be shocked to know that around 30% of the water remains unused while using a shower. This wastage can be minimised by installing the advanced, water-saving shower heads.
  • Adding aerators to the faucets is one more effective measure to save water. Aerators not only reduce the amount of water used by the faucets, but also increase the water pressure.
  • You may also consider replacing your existing dishwasher and washing machine with the Energy Star versions of these appliances. This will help you save around seven litres of water per dishwasher cycle and anything between seventy to hundred litres of water per laundry cycle.
  • Changing certain habits can also help your household become more efficient in terms of water usage. If possible, try taking shorter showers, turn off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth, avoid flushing the toilet every single time, and don’t use running water to defrost frozen food.
  • Rain water harvesting is another simple yet effective technique to become more water efficient. All you need to do is to store rainwater in whichever way you can. Later on, you can use this water for the purpose of watering your lawn and garden.

How To Prevent Water Intoxication

Have you heard of water intoxication? It occurs when you accidently drink too much water. It is also known as water poisoning and hyperhydration. The interesting thing about it is that it is a rare condition – under normal conditions. An extreme example of how this can develop comes from drinking contests where high quantities of fluid are consumed in a short period of time.

 

What causes water poisoning is an imbalance between water and electrolytes. When excessive water is consumed in a short period of time without enough electrolytes also consumed, it creates this imbalance. The imbalance can affect brain function and sometimes results in death.

 

Long distance runners and extreme sports participants are susceptible to water intoxication just from drinking too much water when exercising. The symptoms result in athletes who consume high volumes of liquid forcing the sodium level in their body to drop. The threshold level has been pegged at 135 mmol/L and less. This is why organized endurance races have several checkpoints and provide participants with liquids other than just water. Sports drinks containing electrolytes are a common solution to preventing hyperhydration from happening.

 

In fact, even if you are not an athlete you still risk contracting water poisoning. If you are involved in any activity where overexertion results in heavy sweating or work in high heat climates, you will need to replace lost fluids. By just drinking water can reduce your body’s sodium to an unsafe level. Staying hydrated should include some kind of electrolyte replacement to prevent the symptoms of water intoxication from developing.

 

This is also why hospitals are careful to monitor fluid levels when an unconscious patient is being fed with an intravenous source. The balance that has to be maintained will equal that of fluids and electrolytes lost by the patient, even when they are unconscious. If they are not monitored and a proper balance is not maintained, the risk of developing hyperhydration increases.

 

So when you find yourself sweating excessively from an activity or due to climate conditions, remember to be safe by hydrating your body by replacing fluids. The most important thing to do is to mix the amount of water you drink with some form of electrolyte replacement. This can be easily achieved by adding a sports drink to you fluid replacement routine and you will never experience the symptoms associated with water poisoning.

Recycling Water In Space Orbit

Did you know that NASA recycles water in outer space? The International Space Station was equipped with an apparatus that will take the sweat and urine collected from astronauts and converts it into reusable water. Prior to the development of this new recycling water device, crews used to have to rely on water carried to the ISS via space shuttles or cargo rockets sent directly to the site.

 

The NASA developed recycler will reduce that by 65-percent with an output of approximately 6-thousand pounds of potable water per year. With that volume, the space station can double the number of crew members it can host at once from three to six. The recycler can reuse 93-percent of the water fed into it, according to NASA.

 

The challenge in recycling water in space comes from gravity. Distilling water on Earth involves just boiling water and cooling the steam produced back into water with the steam flowing through a filter separating contaminants from the water. Without gravity, the separation process does not occur. In order to distill water in space a keg-sized distiller has to be spun to create an artificial gravity field.

 

When the distiller is spun, the contaminants in urine are pushed against the side of the distiller drum and steam is gathered in the middle of the spinning apparatus. The steam is then pumped through a filter which contains charcoal materials to pull away the contaminants.

 

If this sounds very familiar, it should. It is basically the same kind of system used by any other water filtering system with the exception of the need for an artificial gravity field. The goal of NASA’s recycling water system was to reduce the need for supplies to be shipped from Earth. It also means that astronaut crews would be able to endure longer space missions as a result.

 

The water recycler is one of several projects that have been under development to make space flights more efficient and kinder to the environment. Another such example is an oxygen generator which splits the oxygen and hydrogen molecules in water. It then sends the oxygen back into the space station in the form of breathable air.

 

And that’s not all. The NASA water filtering process has led to filtration developments that have resulted in distribution to parts of the world where water sources have been contaminated. This humanitarian effort has allowed NASA to touch many lives on Earth as they continue to explore away from Earth.

What Are The Natural Sources of Water?

There are a total of three natural sources of water. They are categorized as: rain water, underground water and surface water. Here is a look at each and what supplies these sources.

1 – Rain Water

Rain water includes other sources such as snow and additional types of precipitation. The precipitation that falls to the Earth is a major part of the water cycle as it replenishes both surface and underground water sources.

 

2 – Underground Water

These are the sources of water that basically you can’t see or can’t access easily. The important role underground water sources play in the water cycle is that they are the primary sources for human consumption. These underground bodies of water are often accessed through wells and when pressure under the surface is too great, this water is pushed up and out through springs.

 

3 – Surface Water

Easy to see and use, surface water is easily the most abundant supply of natural water. The downside is that most of the surface water on the planet is salt water so it is not ideal for drinking for most living species. Surface water does play an important part in our daily lives in addition to being a source of drinking water. Surface water is used to produce hydro-electric power as a clean energy source that is also renewable. Surface water is supplied by precipitation, springs and ice melting from higher elevations and glaciers.

 

Hidden Natural Sources Of Water

Probably the largest source of water on the planet is ‘hidden’ or trapped in a different form of water. The ice in glaciers, polar ice caps and even in the atmosphere all contain hidden sources of water. Although these sources are not readily available for use, they all eventually become fresh water through melting and precipitation.

 

Careful How You Use It

Although all the natural sources of water are constantly replenished through weather cycles, we still need to be conservative in how we use water. Fresh water is like a precious gift. We should use it sparingly and do everything in our power to share and protect it for future generations. When we control how we use water, we are helping the planet.

If your municipality has water restrictions, follow them to ensure there is enough water available for when you really need it. Try to not waste water in your home by using flow regulators and collect rain water for use in your garden. There are several ways to keep the natural water cycle flowing if we are careful in how we use the water we have access to today.

 

Who Invented The Drinking Straw?

There are so many modern conveniences that we take for granted – including the drinking straw. That’s probably because most of us use them for much more than drinking from a glass or container. A straw can be used to assist with the delivery of a well-aimed spitball. They also make for great chew toys when we are deep in concentration.

 

But have you ever thought about the actual invention of the straw? After all, someone had to come up with the design and shape of what we now know as a rainbow of different coloured straws. Some even are twisted into funny shapes but all serve the same function – to provide you with a simple way to deliver liquids to your mouth.

 

People were using hollow rye plant stems long before an actual patent was recorded. The plant stems worked well but would fall apart over time which ended up changing the texture and flavour of whatever was being consumed in liquid form.

 

Marvin Stone is created with the actual invention of the drinking straw. His paper configuration was granted a patent on January 3, 1888. Stone’s design used paper tubes that were covered in a coating of paraffin to keep them from falling apart. The first patented design of his was for a straw that measured 8.5 inches long. Clearly it was meant for use with beverages that were in bottles.

 

Stone went even further with the plan by inventing a machine that, in addition to making radio components, also rolled paper straws. Talk about an entrepreneur! Stone was on top of two major trends of the day bringing people together for drinking around a radio. The only thing that made Stone’s straw of then different to that of today was that it was a straight tube of paper.

 

Joseph Friedman saw an opportunity to make Stone’s straw invention even better and enhanced the original in 1936 with a patent application where a series of scores would be added to each straw. Those scores would make any drinking straw easier to use because they allowed the user to bend the straw.

 

The next time you start to chew on a plastic or paper straw or use one to drink your favourite cold beverage, think back to over one hundred years when that handy, disposable tool in your mouth was first invented.

The Average Water Use Per Person – How We Waste Water

The average water use per person varies but estimates put it at between 80 and 100 gallons per day. When you take a look at how we use water in the home, it isn’t hard to believe such figures. This is also why many communities and utilities offer rebates when you install flow regulators on all taps, in the shower and use efficient flushing toilets. But how are we wasting water? Let’s take a look at how much water is used in the average household and how.

 

1 – Bathroom

The bathroom uses probably the most water in the household. If you have a tub you can expect to use about 36-gallons of water. A shower uses considerably less totaling roughly 2-gallons per minute with the key here to take short showers to reduce your average water use. Flushing the toilet will use about 3-gallons per flush. Newer models are designed to use less water and that is about 1.6 gallons per flush.

 

2 – Kitchen

The dishwasher will use between 6 and 16 gallons if it is an older model. Newer styles use under 6 gallons per wash cycle. Conversely, washing dishes by hand can use 8 to 27 gallons of water with newer faucets using under 2 gallons per minute.

 

3 – Personal Hygiene

Brushing your teeth will use under a gallon of water and you will also use about the same for washing your hands and face during a typical day. The average water use for shaving your face or legs is also about a gallon, provided the faucet is turned off when you are actually shaving.

 

4 – Other Uses

The clothes washer will use up to 40-gallons of water per load – if it is an older model. Newer energy efficient styles have cut that figure down to roughly 25 gallons per load. Lawn watering outdoors can vary but with the use of a timer and bylaws in place in many municipalities regulating when you can and cannot water you will use about 2 gallons of water per minute.

 

How To Reduce Your Average Water Use

The most effective way to cut down how much water you waste at home is to use flow reducers and limit the amount of time spent doing some of the “water wasting” tasks such as taking shorter showers. Also, by turning off the faucet when washing hands or shaving, you will cut down on the amount of water that goes to waste. Cutting back on water use is wise as it saves you money instead of watching it run down the drain.

Why We Need To Drink Clean Water

Considering the majority of our bodies are comprised of fluids and water, it only makes sense that we should drink clean water if we want to stay healthy. But what exactly does water, in particular, clean water, do for us really? Here is a look at some of the benefits to having clean water in your system.

 

1 – Reduce Health Risks

 

Ask any doctor or health care professional and they will tell you that you will be healthier if you drink clean water. But what exactly does water do for us inside our bodies aside from keeping us hydrated? It turns out that without clean water our bodies can suffer from many different issues. They include kidney stones, cancer, blood clots and heart disease. We can also develop mental and general fatigue, crankiness and put on extra weight.

The main organ that benefits from when we drink clean water is the kidney. In fact, our kidneys process the water contained in our bodies and in doing so makes sure we don’t end up with urinary tract infections by flushing excess fluid out of our bodies as urine. The flushing also removes other toxins that enter our bodies through other means.

As for preventing cancer, with regular intake of clean water the workout you give your bladder reduces the risk of it developing cancer. Plus, as water contains no calories but works to make you feel full, it plays a vital role in several diet plans. As a result, drinking water and eating healthy foods work to promote weight loss and the maintenance of a safe weight.

 

2 – Reduce Dehydration

It’s no secret that if your body does not contain enough water, it will become dehydrated. Various factors will have an impact on how your body uses the water inside it and without proper replenishing of water lost through these factors you risk hurting yourself. Dehydration puts stress on the body and can wear you down making you susceptible to contracting various illnesses or problems.

Also, when the body becomes dehydrated the amount of blood flow throughout the body is affected. This contributes to mental and physical fatigue. When you are not mentally sharp you risk having problems with judgment and could end up injured from an accident or fall from fainting. When you drink enough clean water you prevent all of these issues.

 

Preventative Medicine

So you could actually look at having to drink clean water as a form of preventative medicine. By keeping your body properly hydrated you reduce the risks that can come from “running low” on fluids. Just as a vehicle does not operate well without correct fluid levels, your body won’t either so you need to keep topping it up with clean water whenever you can.

Daily Water Intake – How Much Do You Need?

You could ask your doctor and you could ask at a health food store. Regardless of where you go to find out how much is considered a safe amount of daily water intake, there are several factors to consider. Ultimately you want to avoid dehydration, but drinking water when you are thirsty is not enough. Here are some tips to guide you.

 

1 – You Need Water Daily

The human body depends on water for several reasons. It flushes toxins away, provides a pathway to cells that nutrients travel through and keeps sensitive organs moist for proper functioning. Dehydration is what happens when your body lacks the amount of water it requires. Without the proper level of daily water intake you risk losing energy and getting worn out which reduces productivity and quality of life.

 

2 – What Affects Your Hydration

As easy as it is to say you should drink 8 or 10 glasses of water daily, there are factors that have an impact on how your body uses it. If you exercise, or lead an active lifestyle, your body will lose more water through sweat than someone less active. This fluid loss needs to be recovered and extra water will suffice.

The environment you live in will also impact your hydration level. In particular, hot or humid climates will be a clue that you should increase your daily water intake. The same goes for high elevation climates which may increase breathing which will use more water than other localities. Plus, if you are ill or suffer from some health conditions, you will deplete your fluid reserves faster.

Another consideration is specifically for expectant mothers and breast-feeding women. Large amounts of water are used especially while nursing which needs to be replaced in order to prevent dehydration. It is a general guideline that nursing mothers consume no less than 13 cups of fluids per day to compensate.

 

3 – When To Drink Water Daily

As the foods you eat have a significant amount of water content, probably the most reliable source of fluids for your body comes from drinking water. This is why it is easy to add glasses of water to your daily routine. Drinking one with each meal, one before and after exercising or a vigorous activity and drink enough during the day where you do not feel thirsty and you will remain hydrated.

 

Stay Hydrated – Stay Healthy

As long as you are sure to keep your daily water intake at a level where your urine is either colourless or light yellow, you will keep your body healthy. With the right amount of fluids in your system, everything functions properly and you will look and feel your best!