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The Best Water Delivery Services of 2019

ByBennett Conlin,
business.com writer
| Updated
Aug 26, 2019
Home
> Human Resources
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Water delivery services have changed in recent years. In the past, the focus was on receiving large gallon jugs of water for everyone in the office to enjoy. We can all produce a visual when someone mentions "office water cooler" conversation.

That's still a part of office culture in 2019, but it's not as prevalent as it used to be. Nowadays, offices can purchase water filtration systems from water delivery companies and get the same benefits without needing to rely on regular deliveries.

Best Picks

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 2019, 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.

Editor's Note: Is your business looking for a water delivery service? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Reviews

Features

You can look at factors such as 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.

The following features can help you choose a water delivery service.

Water Selection

To some, water is water; but others have particular 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 even 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 the delivery company to provide it, you can find a company with the option you need. Some companies also offer other breakroom supplies that you can bundle with your water delivery service, such as coffee delivery.

Some water systems heat the water. If you're looking to quickly make a cup of tea, creating hot water quickly is an added benefit. Other businesses might only want refreshing drinking water, in which case the hot 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 budget and eco-friendly, and include water filtration. 

Delivery Schedule 

The frequency of water delivery may affect your use and how much you have to order at once. Some delivery companies offer weekly deliveries; others deliver once per month, once every three months or even once every six months.

Choosing the delivery schedule that fits your regular water consumption is important to ensure you have plenty of drinking water available.

Subscription

The available subscriptions can affect costs, how long you have to 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 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 most important thing to consider in 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.

Pricing

In this industry, pricing varies significantly depending on what you're getting. A one-time delivery on plastic water bottles will vary greatly in price compared to a one-year subscription to receive 3- and 5-gallon jugs on a regular basis.

Another issue to be aware of is billing. Some companies receive 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. Be aware if the company automatically renews your contract.

Environmental Issues

Businesses embrace environmentally-friendly policies. If a business opts to have individual plastic bottles delivered on a frequent basis, that could become a harm to the environment by producing so much plastic waste. That's one reason why some businesses opt to use large water jugs, while others will go a step further and purchase a water filtration system.

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

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, though, 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 plastic less frequently. The number of water delivery businesses in the U.S. is declining, which isn't all that stunning. 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 illuminate plastic waste. Bottle-less water delivery is an increasingly common trend in the industry.

Many water delivery services now offer 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 to your office without the need for an old-school water cooler.

Water delivery services apply to water dispensers attached directly to a water source within the office. While delivering bottled water is still common, many businesses have turned to water dispensers. Water delivery services install these dispensers and perform regular maintenance on the machines.

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 range of 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.

Additionally, most complaints about national brands mention poor customer service representatives and problems with billing. It's often easier to reach a reliable customer service rep when working with 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 tradeoffs are worth the improved customer service.

When seeking out a water delivery service, research your local options. At the very least, read online reviews of 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.

Companies experience difficulties with water delivery, and it can become a financial issue. There are other companies that do their research and find the best services with the best customer service. Those businesses get water when they need it for a fair price. Whether it's a local brand or a national company, make sure you select a business that is going to value your business and treat you well.

One of the issues associated with local companies, however, is that many of them rely on delivering 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 using bottle-less water dispensers, coolers and filtration systems.

Our Methodology

When determining our best picks, we considered a variety of factors. We wanted to showcase companies that offered the best bottle-less water dispensers on the market, but we also wanted to share details on the top companies still delivered bottled water to businesses. We wanted to take a close look at the most important factors for these different services, including the following:

  • Pricing – How do these companies compare to their peers? Is the billing process reliable? Are there any hidden fees?
  • Features – Do these companies offer valuable features within their service?
  • Water assortment – Does the company offer an assortment of water?
  • Purity – How clean is the water?
  • Customer support – Does this company have a good customer relations team? What do the online reviews say?

For our review, we removed most of the local water delivery services. This allowed us to place our focus on the major national players. Again, local companies play a pivotal role in this industry, but it doesn't make much sense for us to review a company that might only deliver 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 valued price but didn't necessarily use that as a determining factor in most of our reviews. Few services were priced at anything unusual.

For the traditional delivery services, we really wanted to see a strong score for water assortment. If the company is using plastic bottles and only delivering traditional water, we consider that a negative.

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