Guest Column | July 6, 2022

End Users Demanding Electronic Bottle Fillers In Drinking Fountains

By Shilpa Tiku


A new analysis by Verify Markets on the North American Water Dispensing Solutions/Drinking Fountains Market shows the market was valued at $269.5 million USD in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 5.0% from 2021 to 2028. The market includes both indoor and outdoor drinking fountains; indoor applications made up most of the drinking fountain sales revenues in 2021. Key market drivers in the drinking fountain market include an emphasis on environmentally friendly reusable and refillable bottles, smart products, the COVID-19 pandemic, and rising health consciousness. State governments and municipalities are extensively promoting water fountains and bottle filling stations at public places such as recreational centers and national parks, among others, with the primary aim to reduce plastic waste.

The COVID-19 pandemic has largely impacted the way people live and interact with their environment. There is an increased focused on sanitizing and hygiene measures. The elevated awareness around hygiene has impacted drinking water fountains and bottle filling stations as well. However, the bottle filling stations have resulted in market cannibalization for the water fountains market.

According to a market participant, “The drinking fountains were really kind of the king. But, I think the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely opened the door to these electronic bottle fillers; people are sticking with them. We have had a number of different institutions, everything from government office buildings to schools, have told us that their goal is to replace all the drinking fountains with bottle fillers to have those filling stations rather than the drinking fountains. Whether they are willing to spend all the money to get that done yet, I think it's in process, but I think it may be kind of the wave of the future.”

Market Trends

The water drinking fountains market had already been undergoing a demand shift towards more hygienic bottle water fillers before the COVID-19 pandemic and has been exacerbated by the pandemic outbreak. Market players are offering retrofitting options to add bottle fillers to existing drinking water fountains or water coolers.

The drinking fountains market is gradually evolving towards smart products. In addition to conventional filter replacement alerts, the latest water dispensing solutions, especially bottle filling stations, are equipped with features such as display depicting number of plastic bottles saved, real-time monitoring for fault detection, and remote monitoring, among others. Leading players in the water dispensing solutions space emphasize sustainability in their marketing communications. Healthy hydration, plastic-free, good for the planet, pet-friendly, and supporting healthy growth in children are some of the key claims being promoted by market players.

Educational institutes and offices/corporate end user groups together made up 70% of the revenues and replacement units accounted for over half the sales in 2021. Most of the opportunity for drinking fountain sales is in the U.S.; Canada makes up a small portion of the market by revenue. In 2021, plumbing distributors was the most popular sales channel, accounting for the majority of the market share. Most of sales in 2021 were for refrigerated units and more than 70% of sales were from filtered units.

The North American Water Dispensing Solutions/Drinking Fountains Market is highly competitive. Leading players partner with various distributors across the U.S. to increase market penetration. Several companies are increasingly entering into strategic alliances to leverage benefits such as capturing new markets, reducing costs, boosting distribution networks, and cross-marketing, among others. Additionally, companies are increasingly offering customizations in specifications and designs to suit customer requirements based on location, space, and end users.

Based on interactions with industry participants, people in Canada are skeptical about water quality, bacteria, and contamination to drink water from publicly installed water dispensers.

Key Market Players

Key players in this market include Elkay Manufacturing Company, Oasis International, Haws Corporation, Murdock Manufacturing, Inc., Most Dependable Fountains, Inc., Filtrine Manufacturing Company, Stern-Williams Products, LLC, and several others.

For the purposes of this research, water dispensing systems/drinking fountains are defined as drinking water dispensing units installed in commercial spaces, educational institutes, industries, and outdoor locations such as parks. The various types of dispensers covered in this study include drinking fountains, water coolers, bottle fillers, and water dispensers.

Competitive Factors

The chart below illustrates the competitive factors in this market.

To read the Verify Markets North American Water Dispensing Solutions/Drinking Fountains Market report or request an executive summary, contact Verify Markets at or call +1.210.595.9687.

About Verify Markets

The Verify Markets team is a group of market experts, creative thinkers, business analysts, and independent consultants located around the world. We work with our clients to bring solutions to every project and deliver reliable data and trends based on primary research. Our Research & Consulting practice provides global industry analysis, custom engagements, end-user analysis, strategy consulting, strategic market intelligence, and forecasts that are designed to facilitate strategic decision-making. Our team continuously monitors and evaluates information to create insights for your business needs.

Shilpa Tiku is the Chief Research Officer at Verify Markets. Shilpa has experience in research and consulting for over 19 years. She focuses on monitoring and analyzing emerging trends, technologies, and market dynamics in several global markets. To reach her for comments, interviews, or market consulting, call +1 210.595.9687 or email her at