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Office been shut? Here’s job #1 for the first to return.

By Kevin Lillie


Nobody wants their team to return from lockdown, only for everyone to get crook from the filtered water tap.

If your office filtered drinking water system may have been unused for months, or if your filter has not been changed for over 12 months, job number one for the first person back to the office is to tape-off your filtered drinking water system as out of order. Then please shut off the water supply to your filtered drinking water system. Don’t let anyone use it until it has been serviced.

If your system has had a filter change in the last six months, and perhaps it has only been a month or so since it was last used, then simply flush the tank by turning the filtered chilled tap on and then the filtered hot tap on and letting it run for two minutes.  This will remove the stagnant water sitting in the tank and filter, thus minimising the chance of bacteria ending up in the cups of your staff members.

Over the last 18 months during the many shutdowns, we have been in consultation with professional Facilities Managers and staff who have been using their common sense and doing a weekly flush of their instant chilled, sparkling and boiling water systems, ensuring their filters and tank water do not get stagnant. This has enabled many offices to go a full six months between unit services, whilst still maintaining healthy water for the limited numbers of staff or customers using their systems.  

What should I do now?

If your filter has not been replaced in 12 months. Shut off the water supply and book a service for the weeks before staff are anticipated to return to the office.

So what should you do if your filter is less than 12 months old, but you’ve hardly used the system? If it has been flushed weekly during your lockdown, then simply keep using it weekly until your filter is 12 months old. If you are not confident that it has been regularly flushed, shut it off and book a service for the weeks before your staff return.

Chances are that most offices will re-open on a hot summer day – just when people want instant filtered cold water the most. There’s likely to be a massive delay in servicing in cities when most return from lockdown – as thousands of offices will be returning at the same time. Even if your office is not reopening until January, please book ahead now, especially if you’re in regional areas.

Learn the basics:  

1. If the water in the tank and filter has become stagnant during lockdown, the build-up of sediment can breed bacteria. The safest thing to do is have a specialist service the system. Among the key items will be replacement of the filter and a thorough flush of the tank.

2. When brands like Zip and Billi were designing their instant chilled drinking water systems –they did not engineer them with office shutdowns in mind. These systems were not intended to be used only a few times a month or less. Commercial systems are designed with the assumption that they are going to be regularly used each week. The water in the tank and filter must not be left to stagnate, otherwise it is possible that bacteria can build up.

3. Filters are recommended to be replaced every six months for commercial applications under normal usage conditions. Based on forecast usage it is assumed that within six months, the filter will become clogged with the elements that they filter out of your drinking water. However - if they are regularly flushed, but not used at commercial usage volumes, then a filter may last up to 12 months. At a maximum of 12 months, filters must be replaced, regardless of how much they were used, or have the water shut off until they are serviced.

Book ahead to avoid headaches!

Avoid the hassles and minimise disruption by booking ahead for the weeks before your first staff return to the office. We’re happily taking bookings for October, November, December and January now. It will help us schedule our staff and order enough filters so we are ready for the onslaught. Not sure when you’ll be back? Book now and you can always re-schedule. Call 1300 070 007 or email 

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