A guide to bottle filling stations in schools

Submitted by admin on Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:42
A guide to bottle filling stations in schools

Bottle filling stations, or bottle fillers, are an excellent way to help your students stay hydrated at school.

But knowing which is right for your school, and other important details like what maintenance they require, can be a challenge for busy School Business Managers juggling multiple jobs.

Keep reading as we guide you through common bottle filling station questions.

Benefits of installing bottle fillers in schools

1. Promoting Hydration: Bottle filling stations encourage students and staff to drink more water throughout the day, improving overall hydration and supporting optimal cognitive function.

2. Reducing Plastic Waste: By offering a convenient alternative to single-use plastic bottles, schools can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste generated on campus, contributing to a greener and more sustainable environment.

3. Cost Savings: Investing in bottle filling stations can lead to cost savings by eliminating the need to purchase and dispose of single-use plastic bottles, providing a more cost-effective solution for hydration needs.

4. Health and Wellness: Access to clean, filtered water encourages healthier beverage choices, reducing the consumption of sugary drinks and promoting overall well-being among students and staff.

5. Hygienic choice: Many opt for bottle fillers also due to their hygienic design – not requiring users to drink directly from the spout, but instead pouring water into their bottles via a swan neck.

What features should I consider when purchasing bottle fillers for schools?

The most important thing to consider when purchasing or renting a bottle filler for a school is to ensure the units are:

  • Vandal resistant and durable

  • Easy to maintain

  • Easy to install

  • Height-adjustable for different age ranges

Other things to consider are:

  • Is it for use indoors or outdoors?

  • Is chilled and filtered water required?

At Cactus, our units are manufactured in one piece without joints or crevices for easy cleaning and the materials are highly durable and vandal resistant. They are easily connected to a water source and many units are height adjustable.

Choose from a wide range of units that are suitable for indoors and outdoors, and that can supply chilled and filtered water.

See our range here.

What types of bottle fillers are suitable for school environments?

Here are some of the most common bottle fillers and what they’re best suited to.


These units are the most common and convenient option for schools, as they can be installed near water sources or existing drinking fountains. Being wall mounted they can also be positioned at any desired height – making them suitable for a range of school ages. They feature a swan-neck water dispenser with a sensor or push-button mechanism, ensuring easy and hygienic operation.


Standalone bottle fillers typically consist of a freestanding pedestal that is directly connected to a water supply line. They are designed with a dedicated swan-neck water dispenser and often include features such as sensor-activated filling, adjustable filler arms, and filtration systems. The standalone design of these bottle fillers allows for flexibility in installation locations and their freestanding element makes them a robust choice that is resistant to damage.

Hybrid – fountains + fillers

These hybrid units are a convenient way to provide a combination of hydration solutions. It typically features a traditional water fountain spout, allowing users to drink directly by bending down and drinking from the stream of water, as well as a separate, specifically designed swan-neck bottle filling station that dispenses water into reusable water bottles.


Trough units typically offer multiple spouts from which students can fill their bottles. These units are ideal for areas with heavy footfall – for example outside of PE changing rooms or near sports halls where many students will need to refill their bottles. Spouts are typically push-activated, with a time flow operation to cut down on waste-water.

Bottle refill stations

Similar to troughs, bottle refill stations are great for spaces with high footfall where there is a need to supply water to a large number of students.

Not only this, but they provide chilled and filtered water, they can carry sustainability messaging, and they count the number of bottles that have been saved through the use of a refill station – perfect for schools that want to be more conscious of their environmental impact.

Are there any specific maintenance requirements for bottle fillers in schools?

Regular maintenance is crucial to keep the stations in good working condition and maintain the quality of water provided to students.

Some key maintenance tasks include routine cleaning and sanitization of the stations, inspecting and replacing filters as necessary, and checking for any leaks or malfunctions.

It is advisable to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for maintenance and consider scheduling regular maintenance visits with qualified technicians.

At Cactus, you can choose from a fully managed service, maintenance only, or standard rental to suit all your requirements. Find out more about our maintenance packages here.

Other FAQs

1. How many bottle fillers should be installed in a school based on the student population?

The number of bottle fillers to be installed in a school depends on several factors, including the student population and the layout of the school. A general guideline is to have at least one bottle filler for every 150-200 students. However, it is recommended to assess the specific needs of the school, such as high-traffic areas or buildings with multiple floors, and consider installing additional units accordingly.

2. Can bottle fillers accommodate different student heights and bottle sizes?

Our bottle fillers are designed to accommodate various heights as well as types of water bottles commonly used by students. Wall mounted units are particularly versatile and can be positioned at any height desired – to accommodate for younger students, or students with disabilities.

Most models are equipped with adjustable filler arms and the hybrid units can cater to a range of bottle sizes – enabling students to choose from the swan-neck bottle filler spout or the regular water fountain spout.

3. Are there any energy-efficient or eco-friendly options available for bottle fillers in schools?

Yes, there are energy-efficient and eco-friendly options available for bottle fillers in schools. Some bottle fillers are designed with energy-saving features, such as motion sensors or timers that activate the unit only when in use, helping to conserve energy. Our troughs also operate on a timed flow, to reduce water waste.

Additionally, many models incorporate filtration systems that reduce the need for single-use plastic water bottles, promoting sustainability and reducing waste.

Final word

If you’re looking for robust, efficient water bottle fillers for your school – contact Cactus Water Systems today.

As an independent company we have access to all the leading manufacturers to find the perfect solution for you that gives you value for money and all the functionality you need.

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A guide to bottle filling stations in schools