The Best Water Delivery Services of 2020

By Kiely Kuligowski,
business.com staff
| Updated
Jul 07, 2020

Our experts reviewed the best water delivery services for 2020. See up-to-date comparisons on features and the best prices for the top-rated services.
Best for Bottled Water
Service to all business sizes
6 types of water dispensaries
Individual bottle options
Best for Filtered Water
5 types of water
Water cooler for purchase or rent
Prices starting at $9.99 per month
Best Environmentally Friendly
Bottle-less water cooler
Sparkling and still water options
4 flavors per machine
Our experts reviewed the best water delivery services for 2020. See up-to-date comparisons on features and the best prices for the top-rated services.
Updated 07/07/20

We've added more FAQs about water delivery services.

There are two types of water delivery services, and it's important that you consider your needs when deciding which one is right for you. If the eco-friendly option of bulk water delivery speaks to your company's green initiatives, then bottled water delivery services are likely what you're looking for. If you want an option that limits water deliveries and filters water onsite, then an installed water filtration system is the way to go. To help you decide which water delivery service would be best for your business, we extensively researched companies in the field, looking at factors such as the size of businesses they serve, the assortment of water they offer and the cost. In the end, we narrowed it down to the best options for filtered water, bottled water and environmentally friendly services.

Find the Right Water Delivery Service for Your Business

Fill out this questionnaire to find vendors that meet your needs.

Companies like Staples and Culligan offer a selection of bottled water delivery and water coolers for homes, small offices, and large businesses. Other companies, like Quench, offer water filtration systems that limit the number of water deliveries necessary to supply your employees with water. In 2020, these systems are sometimes more convenient, especially for small businesses.

Both water delivery and installing a water filtration system are viable options. For the sake of these reviews, we place an emphasis on water delivery services, but you can't discuss the industry without mentioning water filtration systems, and many water delivery services install these systems for businesses. We'll discuss those options, as well as traditional water delivery methods, throughout our reviews.

Bulk water delivery is not only convenient but reduces how much you spend on drinking water. It's also an eco-friendly choice, since the water is delivered in big 3- and 5-gallon jugs. This way, your home or office uses fewer plastic containers for water.

How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.
12
Considered
6
Researched
3
Selected

Compare Our Best Picks

  DS Services Culligan Quench
Water assortment Spring, sparkling and filtered water or nursery water Filtered, spring, demineralized, distilled or reverse osmosis Sparkling and still water
Water filtration system No Yes No
Serves all business sizes Yes Yes Yes
Starting price Ranges from $3.99 to $12.99 per billing period Can be as low as $9.99 per month, depending on location

Bevi: $299 per month for 36-month term

Q7: $45 a month for 36-month term

Our Reviews

DS Services: Best for Bottled Water

Six different water dispensers and several types of bottled water are available.
Bottles are available in sizes of 1, 2.5, 3 or 5 gallons.
Water delivery is not available in Arkansas, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota or Vermont.

DS Services is an established water delivery service that provides a full offering of beverages, including water, coffee, tea, and water filtration products, making it a great choice for businesses looking for variety and options.   

DS Services has six different water dispensers and several types of bottled water, more than any other provider we researched. You can get water in 1-, 2.5-, 3- or 5-gallon bottles, or even individual bottles for standard and sparkling water. Variety, in both equipment and water, is arguably the company's best feature. 

DS Services serves all business sizes. The company breaks down its offerings into Small Office (for businesses with up to 15 employees), Medium Office (15 to 50 employees) and Large Office (over 50 employees). 

DS Services provides water from several well-known brands, including Fiji and LaCroix. Businesses looking to receive both large jugs of water and smaller individual bottles should seriously consider using DS Services. 

Given the wide range of water options available from DS Services, pricing varies. For water delivery to the New York City ZIP code of 10018, three different large jugs were priced at $7.99 each – a 5-gallon jug of distilled water, a 5-gallon jug of spring water, and a 3-gallon version. 

Here's more about the brands and types of water and pricing DS Services offers. 

Crystal Springs: 

  • $5.99 for a 24-pack of 10-ounce individual bottles
  • $6.49 for a 24-pack of half-liter individual bottles
  • $9.99 for a case of 1-gallon water jugs (case includes six jugs) 

LaCroix: 

  • $11.99 for a 24-pack of 12-ounce single cans 

Mountain Valley: 

  • $22.99 for a 24-pack of half-liter individual plastic bottles of spring water
  • $32.99 for a 12-pack of 1-liter individual glass water bottles
  • $32.99 for a 24-pack of 0.33-liter individual glass bottles of sparkling water 

Fiji: 

  • $23.99 for a 12-pack of 0.7-liter water bottles
  • $29.99 for a 24-pack of half-liter water bottles
  • $29.99 for a 12-pack of 1-liter bottles 

The company offers a wide assortment of K-Cups for the company's AquaCafe machine. Prices for the containers of K-Cups sit around the $15 mark. 

DS Services doesn't have the best online customer reviews. Since so much of the process can be handled online, it can be challenging for customers to get a person on the phone to discuss issues with the delivery or billing. Despite that, DS Services is still one of the best options on the market. Few water delivery companies cover the country like DS Services, and the assortment of water options is exceptional.

Culligan: Best for Filtered Water

You can set up the delivery schedule that works best for your business.
Besides water delivery, Culligan specializes in water filtration systems and water softeners.
You cannot arrange to have water delivered to your business without meeting your local Culligan expert.

Culligan is one of the best-known water delivery services in the U.S. It offers five types of water: filtered, spring, demineralized, distilled and reverse osmosis. In case you'd prefer not to purchase the water dispensers upfront, Culligan also offers water cooler rental. 

Whether you choose to buy or rent, you must have a Culligan-branded cooler and bottles to use its service. Culligan coolers dispense hot, cold or room-temperature water as needed. This is one of the few companies that offer bottle-free coolers to cut down on plastic waste and cost. 

While you can't choose a specific bottled water brand (e.g., Fiji, Evian or S.Pellegrino) with this delivery service, Culligan offers a choice of different types of drinking water: filtered, spring, demineralized, distilled or reverse osmosis. This approach is understandable, given that Culligan's primary business is water treatment. Those who only drink certain brands of bottled water may want to look at another service, but if you're just looking for water, Culligan's services are more than suitable. The company delivers different water types on a regular schedule, which is more than enough for some businesses. 

Culligan charges a monthly subscription fee to supply bottled waters and coolers to residences and offices. When you sign up, the subscription fee covers the cost or rental of a cooler plus installation, as well as three bottles of water for three months. Pricing starts at $9.99 per month, although Culligan states that prices vary by location and the amount of water delivered. 

Culligan also offers an IW Reverse Osmosis System, a new solution for producing high-purity water quickly. Its construction is completely configurable, allowing for up to 100 design customizations and features. This new system can cover flow requirements ranging from 22 to 200 gallons per minute and features a multistate, high-pressure pump.

This water delivery service provides personalized help from a company representative who helps you set up your subscription. Culligan calls this representative your local Culligan expert. This person works for Culligan but lives in your community, so they know a lot about your local water quality and the right water conditioning solutions for your area. Your local Culligan expert also arranges your delivery schedule, delivers your bottled water and sanitizes your cooler. 

One drawback of Culligan is that you cannot arrange to have water delivered without meeting your local Culligan expert. This is inconvenient for those who are too busy to meet in person. 

Like nearly every water delivery company, Culligan has some negative online reviews. Compared to other water delivery services, however, it has some of the most positive reviews we saw. It also has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and no customer complaints on the BBB website.

Quench: Best Environmentally Friendly

Quench offers small machines that don't require individual bottle delivery.
You can create a custom solution with a wide variety of water coolers, ice dispensers and coffee makers.
It can be difficult to get customer service reps on the phone.

Quench provides businesses with bottle-less water coolers, which are an eco-conscious option in line with the current water delivery trends. Instead of delivering hundreds or thousands of plastic bottles to your business every year, Quench provides machines that offer water without the use of a bottle, making the service one of the most environmentally friendly on the market. The company earns our pick for the most environmentally friendly water delivery service because its models are reliable, the bottle-less coolers reduce plastic waste, and the customer support is solid. Overall, Quench is a quality company for an office's water delivery needs. 

Quench's Bevi machine offers flavored sparkling and still water, and while the model is a little pricier than other options, it's a great solution for small and midsize businesses looking for extra flair in their water choices. The machine provides flavored and sparkling water, which can be a nice perk for employees or customers. Each of these dispensers holds four flavors of water, which you can choose from over 14 flavors, such as blackberry lime, coconut and watermelon. On the touchscreen, you can choose your flavor (or just regular water), whether it's still or sparkling, and whether it's unsweetened or lightly sweetened.    

The Bevi costs $299 a month for a 36-month term. The machine's installation costs $500, and CO2, which is used to create sparkling water, costs $30 initially and $70 for refills. For a 50-person business with average sparkling water consumption, the CO2 should last a few months before you need a refill, according to Quench. This smart water cooler does need internet access to monitor your CO2 levels. If your office doesn't have internet access, Quench can install OptConnect for $20 per month. 

The $500 installation fee covers setup for the software and installation of the CO2 and the four flavors. Flavor refills cost $90 each. According to a conversation we had with the Quench team, a 50-employee business generally needs one flavor refill per month. 

Quench also offers the Q7, which is a top water cooler option for small businesses. The machine costs $45 a month for a 36-month term, with a $49 installation. Annual filter changes and unscheduled maintenance are included in the flat monthly rate of $45. For the machine to work, there needs to be a water source within 200 feet and an electrical source within 6 feet. 

In terms of pricing, a small business will likely prefer the Q7 to the Bevi. It doesn't offer sparkling water or assorted flavors, but the model is affordable, provides both hot and cold water, and doesn't require plastic bottles. 

Quench recently unveiled its newest flavored water machine – the Elkay Smartwell. The new beverage system allows you to create healthy, flavored water without disposable bottles or cans. With its touchscreen interface, the Elkay Smartwell allows various combinations of fruit flavors and vitamin and electrolyte enhancements, with still or sparkling filtered water.

Quench separates itself from competitors by offering small machines that don't require individual bottle delivery. This helps Quench remain an environmentally friendly option while providing businesses with quality water options. 

Quench also offers quality customer support. The company doesn't post much of its pricing online, which can make the decision process more difficult; fortunately, in our experience, the online customer service representatives respond quickly and thoroughly with pricing and product information. It's not so easy to reach the customer service team by phone, though.

Pricing

In this industry, pricing varies significantly depending on what you're getting, your location, and what type of water product you are receiving. A one-time delivery of plastic water bottles will differ greatly in price from a one-year subscription to receive 3- and 5-gallon jugs on a regular basis. 

You can expect to pay a rental fee each month for a water cooler, which will be between $30 and $50. You will then pay for each bottle or jug, which typically cost $5 to $7 for every 5 gallons.

Here's an example rundown of what you can expect in monthly costs for a water delivery service with a company of 10-20 employees:

  • $45 rental fee
  • $7 cost per 5 gallons of water
  • $6 for a 24-pack of 12-ounce water bottles
  • $125 total estimated monthly cost

A potential pricing issue to be aware of is automatic billing. Some companies have poor reviews for auto-renewing a client's bill. When you talk to a company about its pricing, be sure to address the billing system and contract style. Learn whether the company automatically renews your contract.

Buying Guide

Features

You can look at factors such as water selection, delivery area and schedules, volume of water delivery, bottle type, and amenities to choose a supplier. With a variety of office water delivery services to choose from, it's important to consider how you want the water delivered, what makes the most sense in your area, delivery times, and options like water dispensers. 

Compare the following features to help you choose a water delivery service. 

WATER SELECTION 

To some, water is water, but others have preferences when it comes to taste, source or purification process. Many water delivery services offer you a considerable selection of water types or brands. 

You're likely to see choices of purified drinking water or distilled water, which is usually tap water that has undergone a rigorous cleansing process. Some prefer naturally sourced options from springs or artesian wells. Some companies also offer mineral, sparkling or flavored water. 

Some businesses prefer to receive bottled water, while other companies want a water filtration system. If you're looking for a bottled water delivery service for standard-sized water bottles, you might want to use a company like Fiji instead of a more traditional water delivery service. 

AMENITIES 

Amenities such as water coolers and dispensers are important, especially if your preferred water delivery service offers bottles or jugs ranging from 1 to 5 gallons in size. 

Some water delivery companies provide water coolers and dispensers free with your contract, while others require you to rent or purchase them separately. Whether you want your own cooler or one the delivery company provides, you can find a vendor with the option you need. Some companies offer other breakroom supplies that you can bundle with your water delivery service, such as coffee delivery. 

Hot water is another option some water systems offer. When you're looking to quickly make a cup of tea, a dispenser that gives you hot water on demand is an added benefit. Other businesses might only want refreshing drinking water, in which case the water heater is unnecessary. 

BOTTLE SIZE 

Water bottles come in multiple sizes, so you can choose one that suits your needs. Individual drinking bottles are even available from some water delivery companies. Common bottle sizes range from 2.5 ounces to 5 gallons, giving you plenty of options whether you have a water cooler or not. 

You may also want to consider a bottle-free water cooler, like the one from Culligan. These coolers cut down on plastic waste, so they can be more eco- and budget-friendly, and include water filtration.  

DELIVERY SCHEDULE 

The frequency of water delivery may affect your use and how much you must order at once. Some delivery companies offer weekly deliveries; others deliver once per month, once every three months or even once every six months. Choose the delivery schedule that fits your office's regular water consumption to ensure you always have plenty of drinking water available. 

SUBSCRIPTION 

The available subscriptions can affect costs, how long you must commit to one company and how many payments you can bundle together. Most water delivery companies offer one-time deliveries as well as subscriptions for one, three, six or 12 months. Most providers also offer discounts for a longer subscription period but require you to commit to paying for that time. 

While the ability to deliver water in your area is the main criteria for a water delivery company, you may also have preferences for the delivery schedule, the type of water bottle and amenities like dispensers. Knowing what you want before you look for a company can help you with your decision. 

The Importance of Local Delivery Services

In addition to the many national companies we review, there are numerous local water delivery services that could be a good fit for your business. It's an industry that allows local players to make an impact by delivering tremendous customer service. 

One of the biggest concerns with using national brands is the inconsistency in customer service from region to region. Most national brands use regional water delivery employees, which means a major brand might have great service in the Northeast but subpar service in the Midwest. 

Most complaints about national brands mention poor customer service and problems with billing. It's often easier to reach a reliable customer service rep for a local water delivery service. Most local services don't offer the same assortment of waters, pricing options or bottle-less dispensers as national brands, but sometimes those trade-offs are worth the improved customer service. 

When seeking out a water delivery service, research your local options. At the very least, read online reviews to gauge the customer service of the national brand reps in your region. Water delivery should be a straightforward process, but when you've gone a month without receiving scheduled deliveries and a company still bills you, it can become a serious problem for cash-strapped small businesses. 

Some companies experience difficulties with water delivery that can become a financial issue. Other companies, usually after doing research, find the best vendors with the best customer service. Those businesses get water when they need it for a fair price. Whether it's a local company or a national brand, make sure you select a service that values your business and treats you well. 

One of the issues associated with local companies is that many of them mainly deliver plastic water bottles. Consumers are less likely to purchase plastic bottles, which makes it more difficult for local water delivery services to succeed. National brands have embraced the trend of bottle-less water dispensers, coolers and filtration systems.

Community Expert Insight

As part of our research, we reached out to actual water delivery service users to find out which services they use and what they like about them. 

Jeremy Owens, chief marketing officer at Seriously Smoked, said his company uses and loves DS Services because of its variety and price points.    

"Its distinctive feature amongst other rivals is its wide selection of product lines, which is perfect for diverse teams with people having varying tastes in water," Owens said.

ReadyRefresh by Nestle is the service of choice for Dan Lysogorsky, director of sales at IPL Management. "Their customer service may be backed up at times, [but] the long list of products and optional sizes to choose from makes it easy to change up the palette from time to time." Zachary Weiner, owner and CEO of Restaurant Accounting, prefers Culligan. He said the best part of the service is that clients meet with a water expert from Culligan to discuss which water type from best suits their needs.

"Its best feature, however, is also its worst," Weiner added. "If customers cannot meet with the [expert], the installation of the dispenser, cooler or filtration system won't happen, [which] is a disaster for people with a jampacked schedule."

Jared Ebrahimoff, founder and COO of Lavari Jewelers, likes Quench's bottle-less delivery system that helps reduce plastic buildup in the environment. He said it's a worthy cause, and it is nice that environment-minded companies can choose a service that supports their beliefs. He also likes the company's top-tier customer service.

"Since their business model focuses on machines rather than products, it's essential to have prompt assistance in case problems arise," Ebrahimoff  said. "The team of technicians from Quench managed to meet our expectations in terms of quality service at a sudden notice. We are very much impressed by their service."

State of the Industry

According to IBISWorld, the bottled water production industry, despite many advancements, experienced some decline as consumers began filtering their own water at home – which, no surprise, has impacted water delivery. 

Overall, growth of the industry has been up slightly over the past five years, but traditional water delivery is slowly being phased out as consumers and businesses try to use less plastic. The number of water delivery businesses in the U.S. is declining, which isn't that shocking. It can be difficult for local water delivery companies to compete with national players when the national companies offer both plastic bottle delivery and bottle-less water dispensers. 

With more individuals and brands increasing their social responsibility, many new companies are emerging with the intentions to eliminate their plastic waste. Bottle-less water delivery is an increasing trend in the industry. 

Many water delivery services now provide different filtration systems and machines that take up minimal space, offer numerous flavors, and don't require constant bottle delivery. This is a convenient way of getting water in your office without the need for an old-school water cooler. 

Water delivery services usually offer water dispensers attached directly to a water source within the office. While delivery of bottled water is still common, many businesses have turned to water dispensers. Water delivery services install these dispensers and perform regular maintenance on them for your business. 

Our Methodology

We considered a variety of factors to determine our best picks. We wanted to showcase companies that offer the best bottle-less water dispensers on the market, but we also wanted to share details on the top companies still delivering bottled water to businesses. We took a close look at these important factors for the different services:

  • Pricing: How does the company compare to its peers in affordability? Is the billing process fair and reliable? Are there any hidden fees?

  • Features: Does the company offer valuable features within its service?

  • Water assortment: Does the company offer a decent selection of water types, capacities, etc.?

  • Purity: How clean is the water? Does the company purify it or offer a filtration system?

  • Customer support: Does this company have a good customer relations team that is easily accessible? What do the online reviews say?

For our review, we removed most local water delivery services from consideration, focusing on the major national players. Though local companies play a pivotal role in this industry, it doesn't make much sense for us to review a company that only delivers water to a small region across one or two states.

Once we narrowed down the list to mainly national companies, we tried to find a balance between traditional water delivery services and those offering bottle-less coolers with regularly scheduled maintenance. We placed a heavy emphasis on customer reviews and our experiences with the customer service teams. We researched price but didn't necessarily use it as a determining factor for our best picks. Few companies' prices were anything unusual.

For the traditional delivery services, we really wanted to see a strong water assortment. If a company uses plastic bottles and only delivers one type of water, we considered that a negative.

The companies we reviewed all stood out for good customer service, a solid assortment of water and impressive features.

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Delivery Services

What are the most important factors in establishing the quality of a water delivery service?

Look to see if the company details its production process on its website. Each company has a different process for collecting, purifying, and bottling its water; the good companies are forthright about the methods they use and their production process, and they disclose this information to the public. You should also check to see if they are committed to being sustainable and environmentally conscious.

What are the health benefits of drinking water from a water delivery service?

A consistent water source in the office keeps employees hydrated. Hydrated employees are more focused and productive, according to a University of Connecticut study.

What are the benefits of using a water delivery service?

Water delivery services take great pains to ensure their water is purified. In some cases, the manufacturer can provide alkaline forms of water or water supplemented with fluoride, an essential mineral that is linked with the prevention of dental caries (cavities).

How long does bottled water last?

An unopened bottle can be stored indefinitely when kept in the proper environment  – i.e., not too hot or too cold, not in direct sunlight, etc. Most bottled water manufacturers indicate a shelf life of one to two years.

Should you purchase bottled water or a filtered drinking water system?

The answer depends on your business's situation and needs. Since this question often comes down to personal preference of bottled vs. filtered water, many companies provide a combination of both dispensed bottled water and a filtered system to serve the needs of their employees.

Is drinking tap water bad?

No. Generally speaking, tap water is perfectly safe to drink in most parts of the United States, provided you have the proper water filter installed. Make sure you're aware of any restrictions or possible contaminations in your specific area.

What to Expect in 2020

While water coolers may seem like older pieces of office equipment, they're seeing a similar comeback to that of faxing as businesses' need for water delivery grows. According to a recent study, the global bottled water market is expected to grow by more than $72 billion, marking a 7.1% compounded growth. Some of that growth will take place overseas in the coming years, with Germany, China and Japan showing exceptionally large growth forecasts. 

As the market for bottled water grows, it's only a matter of time before major brands begin to throw their weight around in the bottled water delivery industry. Brands like Fiji, Voss and LaCroix are becoming common options for water delivery. In an industry where most services provide their own branded waters, the inclusion of more nationally recognized brands not only widens the selection, but also means offices can cater to their employees' specific bottled water preferences.

Environmental Issues

Many modern businesses embrace environmentally friendly policies. If a business has individual plastic bottles delivered on a frequent basis, that could contribute to environmental harm by producing so much plastic waste. That's one reason why some businesses opt to use large water jugs, while others go a step further and purchase a water filtration system rather than bottles or jugs of pre-purified water. 

Any business looking to help the environment should avoid plastic bottles as much as possible and look for other options.

Kiely Kuligowski: Writer
Kiely Kuligowski,
business.com staff
See Kiely's Profile
Kiely is a staff writer based in New York City. She worked as a marketing copywriter after graduating with her bachelor’s in English from Miami University (OH) and is now embracing her hipster side as a new resident of Brooklyn. You can reach her on Twitter or by email.

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