Complete Guide: Water Refilling Station Business

Did you know that close to 1 billion people in the world don’t have access to clean water? This kind of statistic speaks volumes on how important water-related businesses are in our lives, especially in developing countries. Let’s see how much it would cost for a water refill station franchise, and also what you’ll need to start your very own water refilling station business.

What’s a water refilling station?

Depending on your location, a water refilling station might be a bit different from what you are used to. For example, in Thailand, if you need cheap-filtered water, you can just go to the nearest water refill station, put 1 Thai Baht in it (approx. 0.031 USD), and let the machine fill your bottle.

However, there are also the office water refill stations with a big blue barrel on top, which you probably saw a couple of times in your life already. Finally, there are also the park refill stations, commonly called the drinkers, where you just press a button to drink directly from them. That said, those are usually managed by the city.

Can you get a water refill franchise?

Yes, you totally can! Actually, before opening your wallet, you should take a look at different brands and your competitors, to see how they perform and if they use any kind of branding or marketing strategies. Next, you can go check their official website or call them in order to get an estimate for their ‘starter kit” offer and all their franchising fees.

How much does it cost to open a water refill franchise?

As an example, in the Philippines, buying a water refill station franchise would cost something between 80 000 pesos and 350 000 pesos (around $4000 USD to $17 000). A franchise deal will normally include everything you need to start your business, they will even try to find the best locations for you. Of course, getting a franchise is not that simple, even if the price for the franchise itself is low, you will need the equipment, and high-quality machines don’t come cheap.

How to find the best spots for putting a water refill station?

While you’re studying the market and preparing your business plan, finding the best locations is a must if you want to make good money with your water refill company. The key here is to find spots where there is a natural flow of people walking around said spot. In other words, your water refill stations should be placed near the following:

  • Hospital
  • School
  • Offices
  • Hotel
  • Bank
  • Dental clinic
  • Apartment building
  • Suburb / residential area

What equipment do you need to start a water refill station business?

If you don’t want to be part of an already established franchise, then you will need to find your own equipment suppliers. Don’t be afraid to knock on doors and to ask for discounts! Try to find the best deal possible instead of diving in headfirst.

In order for you to have a better picture of what you need, here’s a general list of the usual equipment needed for a water refill station project:

  1. Multimedia Sediment Filter
    This modern filter is made to remove/reduce sediments found in water, such as sand and various unwanted particles.
  2. Water Softener Tank
    This tank changes hard minerals into soft minerals through ion exchange, as soft water taste a lot better than water with hard minerals.
  3. Active Carbon Filter
    This filter will remove anything that could give a chemical-like taste in your mouth while you are drinking the water.
  4. Polishing Carbon
    Usually, a refill station will use 2 carbon blocks, where the first block will remove any remaining organic contaminants, and the second block will simply work afterward to improve the taste to finalize the process.
  5. Reverse Osmosis Membrane
    Normally, this will be your most expensive unit, as it is the most important part of your water refill station. A reverse Osmosis removes all inorganic minerals, bacteria, and viruses from the water.
  6. Ultraviolet Lamp (Sterilizer)
    This lamp will kill any germs found in the water, thanks to its ultraviolet rays.
  7. Ozone Generator
    This unit is made to prevent the growth of bacteria and prolong the shelf life of the water.

How long does it take to install the water refill stations?

It should take more or less 1 month to complete the installation. This process includes digging for the water source, the installation of the pipelines, the drainage system, and the washing area. You can check with your supplier/franchise staff if everything is going accordingly to plan and delays.

Also, please note that in the meanwhile, you should get your paperwork ready, as in, your business permit application, any type of clearance documents you may need, residence certificate, and other various documents that will allow you to run your business legally and safely.

Now you’re almost ready! You will just need to buy the last few required supplies like sanitizer soap, heat gun, and water containers, and also test your equipment as well as getting a water analysis performed by a third party. Once the test run is good, you will be ready to refill water and start making money!

Carry F.

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