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Jul 092009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

The move away from bottled water has become a strong undertow in America, and now one of the leaders in packaged water, albeit large packages, is making a play for customers who want purified water – but without all the plastic.

Culligan is introducing a line of bottle-less water coolers that are designed to serve homes or small businesses. The new “point-of-service” water coolers rely on the building’s existing water sources (i.e., the tap water) but run it through a series of filters from Culligan’s Aqua-Cleer line. The filter system can be customized to fit the particular needs of the area and the desires of the user.

Customers can choose from among 13 filters to cleanse the water, ranging from sediment and carbon filters to multi-stage reverse osmosis systems and specialty filters that remove arsenic, perchlorate or volatile organics.

Once the water has been filtered, it’s chilled and dispensed through the Culligan cooler. Gone, though, are those giant plastic bottles and the heavy lifting involved in getting them in place. Gone too are those days when the customers have drained the last bottle in storage and you’re still two days away from the next delivery.

Chicago-based Culligan is offering four models in this new line of Aqua-Cleer water coolers/dispensers:

  • CC Ultra: available as a free-standing tower or mini countertop system, this cooler provides state of the art features. With its lighted push buttons, electronic controls, biological growth resistant “bio-cote” exterior, UV light and energy-saving hot tank sleep mode, it’s the ideal choice for any business setting.
  • CC Custom: the large internal storage reservoir makes this free-standing cooler a great option for applications requiring reverse osmosis or nanofiltration. Designed to work with five stages of treatment, this system includes built-in automatic leak detection and shut-off.
  • CC Plus/Plus UV: this popular, mid-range cooler offers a sleek style for basic water dispensing needs. With hot and cold dispensing ability, a hot water safety lock and a large four liter cold water tank, this workhorse dispenses drinking water with ease.
  • CC Basic: an economical bottle-less cooler option, this sturdy tower provides hot/cold water, a single Aqua Cleer head for remote mounting and a dual float device shut-off for enhanced safety – making this ideal for smaller businesses, waiting rooms and reception areas.

The machines can be leased or purchased through local Culligan dealers and distributors. Pricing was not available from Culligan because that is “done at the dealer level,” a spokeswoman said.

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