Safe drinking water has been one of the top political agendas of many governments. Supply and distribution are key challenges in countries where infrastructure is lacking. Municipal piped water is scarce and extremely difficult to reach rural or provincial areas.
In these countries, for instance India, with a population of 1.25 billion, cities rely on traditional large-scale water bottling plants to supply bottled water solutions to families, schools and commercials.
Yet in some other countries in the Asean region with close to 608 million in population, smaller unregulated plants are sprouting up to meet the demands of the rural township. Many of these smaller Water Bottling plants are tucked away in the outskirts where enforcement of safety and hygiene standards are absent.
In a recent publication1, the Philippine Government has encouraged private entrepreneurs to start water refilling shops in their neighbourhood as an alternative source of drinking water supply. These shops, often known as “refilling stations”, are no more than 50 square meters and provide purified water quality that conforms with national standards for drinking water.
This alternative safe water supply infrastructure has proven effective in meeting the needs for both urbanized cities, characterized by serious traffic congestion and distribution of safe drinking water becomes a challenge after a 5km radius, and the rural provincial towns, where large trucks find it impossible to access.
The H2ORefill Franchise
Micro investments to meet Macro Needs
In the last twenty-four months, H2O LIFE SOURCE, in collaboration with some local partners in the Philippines, has redefined a new standard of drinking water for the water refilling industry. This new technological advancement will revolutionise existing water refilling stations in the Philippines; the same can now be implemented in countries like India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia.
It is the vision of the company to plant at least one thousand of such stations across the Philippines in the next three years and another one thousand overseas. These stations will be managed and regulated by the H2ORefill Franchise System.
Small investments with Huge returns
The franchise system allows micro business owners with as little as US$5,000 to start a basic refilling station to as much as US $17,500 to build a full-fledged station with a showroom to cater to consumers who choose to purchase and install filtering systems in their own homes, offices or commercials.
A typical refilling station can process up to 100 bottles a day and has the capacity to easily increase to 200 bottles with the initial setup. Assuming a US$1 per 5-gallon bottle, entrepreneurs can make as much as US$100 to US$200 a day. This is a good income given the fact that many of these developing nations do not suffer high cost of manpower, space rental and utilities. The amount of economic returns more than able to feed the workers and the families of the micro business owners.
In addition, this Door-Step Solution where residents can go to a refilling station nearby presents greater accessibility of safe drinking water regulated by the franchise system, it is also in line with H2O’s philosophy of going green – Bring your own bottle for the refill!
Traditional large water plants distribute safe drinking water in plastic bottles of 500ml, 1-litre or 1.5-litre. These bottles very quickly become waste in the environment after 3 to 5 times of use. However, all H2O LIFE SOURCE refilling stations encourage the use of 5-gallon Eco-Green Bottles for refilling. Residents can use the bottles up to 30 to 50 times and each bottle is properly sanitized before every refill. This is a huge gain when it comes to protecting our environment; residents only need to pay for their water and not the packaging!
The Eco-Green Technology for Water Purification
H2O Life Source has the know-how to design high technology filtration systems, both for consumers and industrial needs. The company’s vision is to be a global leader and partner in the water industry by enabling high value-added green technology and solutions in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.
The filtration and purification systems used in a small water refilling station is no small technology. The filters are made of membranes and media that allow low maintenance, high module life and low operating costs. This results in a much lower cost of running a refilling station, as compared to its competitors who suffer as much as 50% to 75% higher cost of processing water for refilling. A typical refilling station suffers as much as 80% of water wastage due to inefficiency of the filtration technology employed. Such stations are commonly paired with a car wash or a laundromat next door where waste water is channelled to for business operation.
In addition, H2O employs a Keep-It-Simple Solution for operators who can be easily trained to run a daily operation due to the simplicity and compact design of the system.
Technology for Better Health
H2O LIFE SOURCE puts together filtration technology not only for the purpose of water purification, it is also in the company’s vision to provide better water for better health. With the H2ORefill Franchise System, clean drinking water is now more accessible, more affordable and better for health.
Traditional water stations use purification technology that removes all minerals although it is well researched that demineralized water is damaging for health. H2ORefill Franchise System provides frequent training and pubic seminars on “What’s in the water you drink” – a hydration wellness seminar that is well received by many. Education is key in the company’s franchise system.
Finally, the H2ORefill Franchise will be an active community partner for the less fortunate by providing sustainable clean water technology and creating meaningful volunteer activities in the countries we serve in. We are committed to growth, sustainability and caring for the communities we work and live in. Every partner in the franchise system must share the same values!
H2O LIFE SOURCE GROUP
Note1: 30th WEDC International Conference, Vientiane, Lao PDR, 2004, PEOPLE-CENTRED APPROACHES TO WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION, “Water refilling station: an alternative source of drinking water supply in the Philippines” by B. B. Magtibay, Philippines