Tap water versus bottled water: the business case

Water is essential to life, and in many countries, it’s taken for granted as an unlimited drinking resource that is quite literally ‘on tap’. However, the story is not quite the same in the UAE, a country with one of the highest rates of bottled water consumption in the world . The tap versus bottled water debate is one which continues to make news in the region, but why?

The biggest misconception about tap water in the UAE is that it is not safe to drink. Aside from safety, others steer away due to complaints of irregular temperature, strange taste or simply because they believe bottled water is better for their health. For these reasons, businesses more often than not choose to serve bottled water to their employees and customers.

And while some of the above may be true about tap water, it’s not because of its quality. In fact, often the issue lies in dirty or contaminated pipes and tanks that carry and store the water before it runs through the tap. Pipes and tanks should be inspected, maintained and cleaned regularly, but this is not always the case.

So, aside from bottled, what is the answer?

Water treatment and filtration

As a leader in water treatment, Culligan experts are frequently confronted with ‘water problems’ and asked about the suitability of tap water. Often people have an interest in water quality and may have read negative news about bottled water – most likely about plastic particles or plastic pollution. They want to understand more about tap water, they want to drink it and they want to serve it to their employees and customers – but only if they can ensure it’s safe, clean and great-tasting.

The Culligan way

The Culligan way begins with water quality testing and analysis. Impurities such as minerals, dissolved solids, heavy metals or nitrates in water can cause an unusual taste or odour, and contaminants, such as arsenic, can affect the health of the drinker. This process is imperative for businesses that want to provide quality tap water, as it allows Culligan to identify issues and produce an accurate and suitable water treatment plan.

The Culligan water treatment plan will recommend one or a number of solutions, depending on the business requirements in terms of capacity and space available for the equipment. Whichever solution is recommended, the result will always be treated and filtered water of the highest possible quality.

Not only that, but Culligan solutions can provide users with a number of water variations including boiling, chilled, sparkling, hot and cold water from one system. This allows businesses to offer a wide variety of filtered drinks with ease.


Cost comparison

The business case for switching to tap might include a combination of reasons, but what is usually most important in decision-making within businesses is cost. The costs associated with bottled water are not always considered in full. They don’t just include the initial purchase, but also transport and delivery, storage, disposal and the time it takes for someone to manage that process.


Although the initial cost of the Zip HydroTap or other Culligan drinking water dispensers is higher, after one or two years, the overall cost of the filtered tap water option is lower than that of the bottled water cooler – and you will never run out of water!

Environmental footprint

Sustainability is at the forefront of today’s world agenda, and in recent years, the UAE has been making a concerted effort to lead the way – take for instance Dubai Plan 2021 .

Because of this, businesses are increasing efforts to operate more sustainably and use less plastic. Plastic pollution is booming across the globe and it has been reported that satisfying the annual global demand for bottled water consumes the energy equivalent of about 160 million barrels of oil, which is up to 2,000 times the energy required to produce the equivalent volume of tap water.

Culligan’s drinking water solutions not only operate efficiently, but also reduce CO2 emissions caused by the manufacture and transport of plastic bottles.

Quality is key

Ultimately, water quality is moving up the agenda for many of today’s businesses. The choice between tap and bottled may at first seem obvious but dig a little deeper and there are a lot of considerations to make.

Culligan Middle East is dedicated to improving water by addressing your water-related issues and providing the highest quality systems and solutions, tailored to your business needs.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Let Culligan Middle East help you find the best solution for your water needs.

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