Ozone is a common method used today for water sanitation, however, some plants still utilize various chemicals. The chart below shows how sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) and ozone are both used to sanitize water before using it.
|Characteristics||Ozone||Hypochlorite (HClO–) or other chemicals|
|Disinfection potency (CT, mg/L.min)||0.05-1||0.1-10|
|Typical concentration during use (mg/L)||0.1-0.3||0.3-0.6|
|Residues||None||Yes, requires UV destruction to remove unwanted taste|
|By-products||None||May develop cancerogenic by-products unless all organic material is removed|
|pH regulation||Not required||Should be regulated to 6.5-7 to maintain highest disinfection efficiency|
|Consumables||1-2 kW||Chemical consumption, dosing pump power, acid for pH control|
Most bottlers do not utilize proven ozone process controls and monitoring technology. As a result, they are not yet able to guarantee precise ozone treatment, which is necessary when certain contaminants–like bromide, from which bromate is formed–are present in the source water. Bottled water of high quality can be produced by carefully implementing controls.
One of the best ways for water bottlers to protect consumers from microorganisms is through ozone treatment. Many bottlers worldwide use ozone to make their products safe, but most consumers are not aware of it. The bottle water industry has relied on ozone since the 1970s to deliver aesthetically pleasing and safe products. When bottled water was unclean and frequently refuted in investigative reports, it could be argued that ozone saved the industry in its infancy.
Ozone for Bottlers
During the early years of the bottled water industry, ozone treatment played a pivotal role that contributed to its healthy growth.
Initially, the bottling process was not fully developed, nor were the bottles always sealed properly. This allowed air and airborne organisms to enter the product while handling and squeezing the bottle. There were several well-publicized bottled waters recalls during this time because microorganisms expanded explosively during storage on supermarket shelves, leading to undesirable taste, odor, and health problems.
After ozone was identified as a key component for disinfection in water bottling, processes for water bottling were developed from many state health organizations. For a variety of bottles and waters, the recommended dosage, contact time, and closure requirements were developed.
Ozonated water, bottling equipment, bottles and sealed caps all became safe from contamination after being exposed to it, and then decompose to harmless oxygen and disappear without leaving a taste or smell behind.
The Objectives of Ozone
The objectives of ozone treatment in water bottling include the following.
- Disinfection of the water bottling machinery and equipment.
- Disinfection of bottle surface and the sealed cap of bottled water.
- Disinfection of water against all microorganisms that may present in the water.
- Disinfection of bottles, particularly reusable bottles in wash before bottling process.
It is a valuable and unique process to treat with ozone. When accurately applied and controlled, it is capable of accomplishing all the treatment objectives listed above with no taste or chemical residue. Ozone has extraordinary disinfecting properties. After doing its job, it just vanishes. All things considered, it can effectively treat bottling plants with the right pretreatment and monitoring.
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