Aquafria’s contactless dispenser idea holds water

Cork entrepreneur Richie Madden from Aquafria is bringing contactless water dispensers to businesses and schools nationwide.

An enterprising Cork-based entrepreneur has brought what he claims is a first-to-market innovation in the form of contactless water dispensers to help combat Covid-19.

The Aquafria Touch Free dispenser, imported from Italy, has a sensor that detects movement, allowing people to turn on and off the water tap without ever touching it. It also has a UV light at the end of the tap, which acts as a steriliser.

“Covid-19 isn’t going away any time soon and I think it’s going to make everyone rethink what’s safe and hygienic in the workplace into the future”

Aquafria Ltd. was established by Richie Madden in 2009 after a long career in the water industry. The company now has some 700 customers in the private and public sectors in Ireland. 

The company is offering a free trial to any business with a pre-existing water mains connection. The Aquafria Touch Free is available to rent for 12 months at a cost of €595 including installation and maintenance. All Aquafria technicians have received Covid compliance training.

Madden said he believes the only way forward as a water business is to go contactless.

“Covid-19 isn’t going away any time soon and I think it’s going to make everyone rethink what’s safe and hygienic in the workplace into the future.” 

How has demand been for the dispensers?

Interest has been great with plenty of enquiries since the machines arrived. The Government guidelines issued last month, advising people to continue to work from home for now have definitely given employers more time and space to make decisions but we’re very confident that we have the right product to help businesses make their premises safer for the inevitable return to working from headquarters. 

Do you believe they could become mainstream in schools and workplaces in the new normal?

Definitely. We’ve already seen contactless technologies such as door fob systems become commonplace in a very short timeframe. Water is no different and I expect strong demand for contactless alternatives to all kinds of different systems where they can be introduced. 

While the schools have occupied the headlines, what are the attitudes of employers about bringing people back into offices?

Again, I think many employers have had to put the brakes on their plans as a result of the advice given by government last month. Schools are open, so the immediate focus is on education but also other sectors such as healthcare and from businesses which never closed – car showrooms for example. Offices may take longer but there’s no doubt that the people we’re speaking to are eager to get back to some degree of normality and looking at ways to make that happen in a safe way. 

Written by John Kennedy (

Published: 29 September 2020