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Needless to say, local municipalities and utility companies must take every precaution when cleaning up the water that they distribute to a nation’s homes and businesses. However, there are still occasions on which the domestic supply may fail to meet the purity standards that are considered necessary for a given purpose. One of the most common examples of a situation in which more specialised water treatment is often essential is in the food and beverage industry.


Despite the convenience of turning on a tap to fill a glass, many people still choose to pay a retailer to supply them with their aqueous refreshment in bottled form. Purportedly obtained from sources such as natural springs and glaciers, whether carbonated or still, when offered commercially, it must first be rendered free of particulate matter, including microorganisms, as well as any potentially harmful chemicals. Typically, filtration will be the first water treatment step in this sector of the food and beverage industry.


While filtering serves to remove any iron and manganese, ozonation is the usual method of choice to free it of harmful microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. Unlike chlorine, ozone leaves no residue that might otherwise affect its taste. On the downside, the lack of residual bactericidal chemical also means that the bottled product may be prone to re-contamination once it is open.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Not all of the bottled product on sale is drawn from natural sources, however. By contrast, for the treatment of tap water, used mainly in the informal sector of the food and beverage industry, reverse osmosis (RO) is the usual method of choice. As it happens, RO also tends to be the dominant purification technology within much of the formal sector.


In practice, RO and other purification technologies are not always applied directly to the product. The manufacture of food products, for example, frequently requires cooking and usually relies on boilers. Limescale can pose a severe threat to a boiler’s performance and lifespan. Consequently, in hard water areas, purification treatments in the food and beverage industry must include procedures to remove the chemicals responsible for hardness. Often, this will involve the use of ion-exchange resins to remove calcium and other metallic cations.

Speak to a Specialist

As is the case with many other industrial processes, the manufacture of processed foods and drinks results in wastewater. This leaves the manufacturers with one of two possible options. They may either recycle it or dispose of it. Depending on the source, one or more purification stages may be necessary. WaterIcon is a specialist in this field, offering expert advice and world-class products for water treatment in the food and beverage and other industries. Feel free to contact us with any queries regarding your water treatment needs.