Water Coolers

By: Josh Fraser

The water we bottle at Aqua Valley is great stuff, and I could ramble on far too long about how good our product is, but getting our water in your home or workplace is useless until you have a way to dispense it.

Water coolers aren’t terribly complex machines, but they have sensitive, breakable parts that require care and service. Moreover, having the tools and knowing how to clean the cooler is essential to experiencing our delicious, nourishing water in the best possible way. The coolers come in a wide variety, ranging from a simple cooling unit to multi-tap setups for hot, cold, and room temperature water. As with anything, good value means finding a reliable cooler unit that meets the customer’s needs.

We see some of our customers, especially new customers, try to save money on their water dispensers while meeting their water needs. I’ve seen some of these ventures go well, others, not so well. For instance, I know of a few customers who bought cheap coolers that had an internal reservoir made of plastic, and they found out what foul tastes can result from chemicals leeched out of plastic. Other customers find bargain coolers will clog with ice, or have parts that go bad quickly, leaving them to drink lukewarm water until they can justify spending money on a whole new unit.

At Aqua Valley, we know a thing or two about what works for homes and companies who want hassle-free water dispensers. We sell only one brand of cooler, a base model with cold and room temperature taps, and a ‘Cadillac’ model.

The base model is called a Fahrenheit, and it has the minimum requirements to meet the Aqua Valley standard: two water temperatures, a stainless steel internal reservoir, adjustable thermostat, and a drip tray to keep spillage under control while dispensing. It is perfectly adequate for offices, and is especially popular in garages and warehouse floors, where durability and function trump all else. They even come with bottle covers to keep dust and dirt out and discourage the slow growth of algae in the spill cone, necessitating fewer cleanings.

The upgrade to the ‘Cadillac’ is not too expensive, and many of our customers thoroughly enjoy their Pacifik model cooler. It has a higher flow rate that the Fahrenheit, so filling a coffee pot for instance takes way less time and effort. Pacifiks are usually cold and room temperature models, but we are always willing to discuss your needs and have a few more options in this higher range. There is a dust cover for the top, of course, and a sleek look that dresses up any office.

One major reason we carry the coolers we do is the five-year warranty. If a customer has an issue with one of our coolers, we’ll loan them a cooler to use while we carry out the repair work at our shop. That’s right, we often have the cooler back to the customer within the week, and since they have one to use in the meantime, it is hardly missed. Same deal with cooler cleanings that we perform; it is done quickly and hassle-free for a flat fee. Any member of the Aqua Valley team is able to clean or diagnose a cooler, and since we have such a streamlined inventory, we always have parts on hand. We also offer cooler leases, a great fit for our corporate customers.

For casual or outdoor water dispensing, we also offer a Dolphin water pump. This unit is inexpensive and made from hard plastic, a manual pump that is easy to use and efficient. One of my home delivery customers has been using the same Dolphin water pump for well over a year, requiring only one replacement part that we readily supplied.

We do not make much money from the coolers: we sell them so our customers enjoy our water comfortably and hassle-free.

Value

How do we ascertain what something is worth?


A natural part of human life demands that we constantly evaluate our environment and make comparisons. Our senses are constantly awash with data; part of sorting the information requires putting things on a scale of saliency, or relevancy. Our complex concept of value is built right into that mechanism, and it makes sense that our higher brain functions become adept at watching for trends that give us positive value.


That was pretty abstract, but what I’m getting at goes like this: everything physical has commodity value.


What is it worth to know what you are getting? How do you know you are getting good value?


Value can be a tricky term, because no two people will assign the same value to a given commodity. Experience, personality, mood, these all impact the degree of perceived need that feeds desire and therefore value. Money is one device we use to describe value; currency itself strives to describe what commodities are worth, making value a little more tangible. Value is the measure of how much you are getting for a given price.


Aqua Valley is a prime example of a company who focuses on making prices fair and packing as much value into our competitive prices as is possible. Every price is negotiated directly, by the same people who bottle and deliver the water. The delivery drivers are friendly and direct, intent on providing stellar customer service to raise the industry standard. We provide racks for our product to make the best use of your space. We accommodate all cooler needs, including a loaned cooler while we take yours away to service and clean.


When you dial the Aqua Valley number, 95% of the time you are talking to the owner, Dennis, who is likely in the midst of either bottling or delivering water.


There are also things we don’t do to add value. We never add a fuel surcharge. We never add an administrative surcharge. Never. Ever.


We make sure that our water is the most valuable water you can buy, priced fairly and accurately for our customers across Nova Scotia. This is our standard, take it or leave it.


What is the value of your water?

 

By Josh Fraser

Hydration in a Nutshell

Growing up, my hockey coaches were influential in helping me think of my body as a machine. Sport is a wonderful lens through which too look at chemical balances in the body and how it harnesses chemical gradients to function, build, and repair. By engaging in physical activity, organized and rigorous or casual, I can experiment to see what happens to my body under various stressful conditions. A nominal factor that is always reflected in my physical and mental performance is the ability to stay hydrated.

Returning to the metaphor of the body as a machine, I used to think of water in the body like the oil in a car. It wasn’t until I began to explore biochemistry that I realised that when it comes to chemical reactions in the body, every reaction involves water in one way or another. That is where all those vague catch-phrases might come from, the ones stating the body is a specific percentage of water ranging anywhere from 60% to 98%. What use are those figures to us anyway, except simply to encourage us to pay attention to our state of hydration?

I am a strong advocate of being present-minded, acutely aware of all factors internal to me and available to me in my environment. If, for instance, you wait until your mouth is dry and your body is craving water, dehydration is already in effect and it will take time and energy for the body to reabsorb water, time during which the body is not at its best.

When I think about hydration as it applies to the world around me, it seems that there is no correct quantity of water to drink and we should focus on monitoring what our body needs as it is needed. That said, there is absolutely a correct quality of water.

Some important qualities of water: purity, taste, temperature, and proximity.

Purity - If my body needs water, I need it to be the cleanest water I can find; the molecule I need is H2O, leave out all the other junk, please.

Taste - I also need the water to taste good because taste is one of my body’s ways of telling me I’m doing something positive for it (and it would make sense that pure water tastes the best anyway).

Temperature - I need the water to be at the right temperature so my body can absorb it efficiently and quench the thirst or dryness I am feeling.

Proximity - Lastly, I need the water to be accessible wherever I am living and especially where I am working. Ready access to it is the key to consistently functioning at maximum potential.

Therein lays the privilege of working for Aqua Valley: great water is always nearby. Every day as I am leaving to deliver water, I top up my hockey-style water bottle with clean, cold water. My job is very physical, and I find that sipping water consistently through the day not only keeps thirst at bay, but ensures that my joints are working well with my muscles to avoid injury and excessive wear and tear. By swapping out coffee in the morning in favour of tea (less caffeine, a dehydrating diuretic), and keeping hydrated, I find my mind is clearer as well. The most enjoyable aspect of my job is delivering a quality product to people who need it. The go-getters in this world know that there is no substitute for the best when it comes to stuff we put in our bodies. Water is essential to human life, and I enjoy being a part of transporting it to where it is needed.

By: Josh Fraser