Sometimes a product developed to address one challenge becomes an obvious solution to another, often even larger issue. Such just might be the case with the Haws EnviroGardâ„¢ shielded drinking fountain bubbler head. The EnviroGardâ„¢ bubbler was originally designed for use in outdoor drinking fountains in areas where landscaping is irrigated using non-potable water. Most municipalities have plumbing codes that preclude the use of non-potable irrigation water in any instance where the irrigation spray could come into contact with outdoor drinking fountains.

Earlier this year, Haws introduced the EnviroGardâ„¢ bubbler head to their plumbing products line, aimed at allowing non-potable irrigation and drinking fountains to essentially operate in close proximity. The EnviroGardâ„¢ bubbler features a unique patent-pending design, including a shield that encapsulates the bubbler, protecting it from environmental contaminates when the fountain is not in use. When the fountain actuator button is pressed, water pressure raises the shield straight up so it clears the top of the bubbler head and water is dispensed. When the actuator button is released, the cessation of water pressure under the shield results in it lowering back into place encapsulating the bubbler head once again.

In their first use, EnviroGard™ bubbler heads were retrofit onto outdoor fountains located throughout one of the San Francisco Bay area’s major private golf clubs. This alteration allowed the fountains to continue in service, while irrigation systems were moved to non-potable water. (See first two photos in series.)

How about industrial applications?

As the first of the EnviroGard™ bubblers made their way through the Haws Corporation’s assembly area, the company’s production supervisor, Bill Epker, saw another use for them. Bill’s crew operates in the production area of Haws’ 210,000-square-foot headquarters in Sparks, Nev. It can get mighty dusty in that environment and the drinking fountains located throughout the production area have been a challenge to keep clean. Bill asked the engineering department to investigate the idea of using EnviroGard™ bubblers indoors, in an industrial environment — his department. “The EnviroGard™ bubbler is a natural for both indoor and outdoor applications,” he said. “Obviously, it doesn’t eliminate the need to check the cleanliness of the fountains regularly, but it sure helps. And that’s especially true for those fountains located near our paint shop. It was a daily challenge in the past. Now it’s no longer a constant struggle to keep things clean and useable.”

The Haws Model 1109 drinking fountains throughout the facility were updated using the new Model 5725 EnviroGardâ„¢ bubblers. (See third photo in series.)

Haws has since investigated using the new bubbler on other unique applications, such as school sinks. In those applications, a gooseneck faucet is paired with a bubbler to provide users with the convenience of a sink/faucet to wash up with an adjacent, separately controlled drinking fountain apparatus. It’s easy to visualize youngsters washing finger-paints off of their hands and contaminating the unprotected bubbler head. Using the EnviroGard™ bubbler eliminates that possibility. (See photo on far right.)

Today, more plant operations realize the health and safety benefits of encouraging workers to stay hydrated during the day. High ambient heat operations, like steel mills, foundries, power and chemical processing plants and painting or coating operations are inherently susceptible to worker dehydration. The availability of drinking fountains can be an important step in encouraging proper hydration. And keeping the fountains safe from environmental contamination is critical to motivating use.

Think about worker hydration facilities available at your location, with an eye toward possible other uses. The flexibility of the EnviroGardâ„¢ bubbler opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.

For more information on the full range of Haws emergency shower and eyewash products, as well as drinking fountains and electric water coolers, visit