Though the water supply in Sri Lanka is relatively standardized and regular, especially in the major cities, a question mark however looms above the quality of the water. People still seem to harbour second thoughts about the hygiene of pipe-borne water. Each day hundreds of people troop to work with the faithful bottle of ‘home boiled water’ tucked into their bags.
Large scale water purification has steadily become more and more complex and cumbersome. Population growth, industrialization., etc., have resulted in a diverse range of residues remaining in water. Their elimination has become increasingly difficult.
Water Mart Systems (Pvt) Ltd., has come up with a new idea that would relieve its customers of this ‘aquatic quagmire’. It undertakes to provide high quality contaminant-free water, plus a cooling unit to your door-step. The units, which are imported from Australia, can be acquired through an initial payment of Rs 10,000 plus a monthly rental of Rs 900 or at a monthly rental of Rs 1,750 per unit. The company will supply the bottled water in 19 lit. disposable bottles according to a pre-informed schedule.
The company, whose main line of work has been water purification and treatment, guarantees the quality of the bottled water. For the past 17 years it has been involved in water treatment and purification projects mainly in the industries sector. The water purification plant that it has installed for this project adheres to strict quality control standards.
As the company takes care of all the details pertaining to the unit and the supply, its patrons, especially enterprises with large work forces, are set to gain. The Aqua Cooler unit comes under staff welfare thus entitling the user companies to tax benefits. Apart from being cost-effective, the units are also environment friendly. They use the non-toxic, ozone-friendly and non-flammable refrigerant H134A and do not contaminate the environment through plastic residue, as all bottles are recycled. The new units which were introduced in February 1996, have been well received.
The units are given out for a cost-free, two-week demo-period, during which companies can verify their viability. According to Nihal de Silva, Managing Director, Water Mart Systems (Pvt.) Ltd., “no one has ever rejected our units. The idea seems to be catching up pretty fast. We are in the process of importing more units.”
The company has also introduced a domestic unit available at an outright payment of Rs 1,950, with the company supplying the bottled water. For both the domestic and the office units, bottle delivery is free within Colombo.
“As this is a new concept, more and more people are becoming interested in it. For the moment, we are concentrating on broadening our customer base”, de Silva added.