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Bottled Water and Water for Ice Making.

purificación para agua embotellada y agua para fabricación de hielo
Membrane dosing pump

Purification of bottled water and water for ice making

Water for human consumption requires the necessary treatment to ensure the health and general welfare of the consumer. Incorrect treatment as well as the ingestion of raw water increases the risk of diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, hepatitis A, parasitic infections, virus and bacterial infections, among others. This is because the sources of bottled water may be natural springs, groundwater and surface water that may contain contaminants that make the liquid unfit for human consumption.

Raw water may contain suspended sediments such as soil and sand which modify characteristics such as appearance, color and taste of the water. There may also be organic chemicals such as pesticides and industrial chemicals, as well as heavy metals, among other contaminants that modify the properties that make water suitable for consumption.

Similarly, water for ice making requires the same purification treatments to ensure consumer safety when ingesting it. However, there are equipment and processes that can help improve ice quality and characteristics.

Chemical disinfection

Bottled water for human consumption must first be free of microorganisms that have the capacity to cause disease. Because viruses and bacteria that cause diseases such as gastroenteritis, cholera, hepatitis, salmonellosis, typhoid fever, etc., may be present in raw water.

To ensure that bottled water and water for ice making is free of microorganisms, microbiological processes are applied to ensure that the water is free of microorganisms. chemical disinfection which are highly effective in raw waters with high concentrations of suspended solids where viruses and bacteria are not affected by other disinfection methods such as UV light.

The chemical commonly used to remove microorganisms from water is chlorine as it can be easily stored and applied. Chlorine dissociates into ions and gives way to hypochlorite (ClO-) and chlorine (Cl-), which have oxidizing properties that affect microorganisms at the cellular level.

Suspended solids filtration

Raw water used in the bottled water industry or water for ice making may come from apparently clean sources, however, it may contain suspended solid particles such as dirt and sand, which can affect the clarity of the water as well as its taste and odor.

Filtration is the process of separating suspended particles in the liquid or fluid. Filtration is done by porous media that retain solids while allowing water to pass through.

Filtered water produces ice that is more transparent and aesthetically appealing. In addition, the lack of solid particles prevents the ice from having an unpleasant taste or odor, which is especially important in consumer applications.

Remove taste and odor

Activated carbon is effective in removing undesirable odors and tastes from water, such as those caused by volatile organic compounds and other contaminants. These compounds can give water an unpleasant taste and odor, and activated carbon adsorbs and retains these compounds, thus improving the taste of the water.

Among the elements that activated carbon can retain through its adsorption capacity in its pores are pesticides, pesticides, hydrocarbons, dissolved plants. In addition, activated carbon helps to eliminate the residual chlorine that remains in the disinfection processes, as this is toxic, as well as generating odor and taste to the water.

Minerals in water

Bottled water should have a consistent taste and quality that is pleasing to consumers. This is why the presence of minerals such as calcium and magnesium in excess should be removed from the water as they can give rise to an unpleasant taste which negatively affects the perceived quality of bottled water. Similarly, the presence of minerals in ice water results in a less crystalline product.

In addition, equipment and machinery used in bottled water production and ice making can be affected by mineral buildup on their internal surfaces. Softeners prevent this problem by reducing water hardness, which in turn prolongs equipment life and ensures efficient and continuous production.

Elimination of microorganisms

The presence of microbial growth in water treatment systems is a major concern in bottled water production and other processes related to drinking water supply. These treatment systems often involve the handling of large volumes of water, hence the importance of maintaining its integrity and purity.

UV light disinfection is an important preventive measure to ensure that bottled water meets quality and safety standards before reaching consumers, ensuring that it is safe for human consumption.

Molecular level filtration

Contaminants such as mineral salts, heavy metals, microorganisms and even very small solids that may have remained in the water even after the previous treatment processes may remain in the water. These contaminants are not suitable for human consumption and also modify the properties of the water.

In order to remove these contaminants completely, a molecular filtration process is used to allow only the water to pass through, retaining all types of impurities. Filtration at the molecular level is achieved through reverse osmosis, which ensures compliance with applicable regulations for the production of water for human consumption.

Bottled water and ice making equipment

Chlorine dosing pumps

Bottled water needs to be free of microorganisms that can cause disease, so the administration of chlorine as a disinfectant is a quality and safety measure of great importance for bottled water and water for ice making.

Chemical dosing pumps are highly accurate equipment that deliver chlorine in a precise, controlled and efficient manner. Through these devices we can ensure that the disinfectant is not under- or over-dosed to the raw water, which avoids waste, saves costs and maintains process consistencies.

Chemical disinfection from chlorine allows the elimination of a large number of bacteria and viruses, thus making subsequent disinfection processes more efficient without the use of chemicals (such as ultraviolet light).

Multimedia or deep bed filters

Deep bed filters also known as multi media filters are commonly the first step in water treatment. Within these filters we can find granular filter media that have the capacity to retain suspended solids in the raw water.

The raw water enters the deep bed filter passing through each of the filter media such as silica sand, anthracite and garnet which are stacked in descending layers according to particle size, with the media retaining larger particles being placed at the top.

This solids removal ensures a color suitable for bottled water and water for ice making.

Activated Carbon

Thanks to activated carbon, volatile compounds that add taste and odor to bottled water (or for ice making) can be removed through a chemical adsorption process that retains chemicals and organic compounds.

The chemical adsorption process is a chemical interaction where compounds and particles in the water adhere to the surface of the activated carbon. As water flows through a filter containing activated carbon, volatile compounds and organic compounds responsible for undesirable taste and odor adhere to the pores and surfaces of the activated carbon. Some of these compounds can be residual chlorine applied in chemical disinfection processes, volatile organic compounds and unwanted chemicals.

Activated carbon prevents chlorine applied for disinfection from reaching the reverse osmosis membranes, since chlorine and chloramines present in the water can seriously damage the reverse osmosis membranes, reducing their efficiency and useful life. These chemicals can cause oxidation and deterioration of the membrane.


In water sources where the concentration of calcium and magnesium minerals is high, it can affect the taste quality of the final product and consequently the consumer’s decision to choose one or another brand of bottled water or ice. This condition of the water is called hard water.

To reduce the concentration of minerals in the water, an ion exchange resin is used to retain calcium and magnesium ions while releasing sodium ions.

The use of a water softener in ice production can improve the properties of the final product by obtaining a more translucent ice free of impurities that will not affect the flavor of the beverages and preparations in which it is applied.

UV light lamps

Being free of large sediments, the application of ultraviolet light for disinfection ensures that no harmful microorganisms are present before the water is bottled.

Since there is a previous chlorination process, disinfection at this point is highly efficient. Moreover, we are no longer talking about chemical disinfection that leaves by-products, since UV light lamps work by emitting light with wavelengths between 200 and 280 nanometers (nm) capable of damaging the DNA and RNA of microorganisms.

This prevents microorganisms from reproducing and ultimately inactivates them.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a highly efficient process for purifying water, removing a wide range of contaminants, including dissolved solids, ions, viruses, bacteria and other chemical and biological contaminants. It is applied in soft drinks, jugs, bottled water and water for ice making.

To reverse the natural flow of osmosis, an external pressure is applied to the water on the side with the highest concentration of solutes. This pressure is called osmotic pressure and is greater than the natural pressure that would push water across the membrane to the side of higher solute concentration.

Benefits of bottled water and ice making water treatment

  • Safe water and ice: The application of all these water treatment equipment allows to obtain highly safe water free of harmful contaminants and free of any pathogen with the capacity to deteriorate health.
  • Water and ice with the desired characteristics: Consumers are accustomed to a distinctive taste in water and expect to consume ice that does not alter the taste of beverages. This characteristic is due to the high quality water treatment to eliminate minerals that alter the taste.
  • Compliance with regulations: Having the necessary equipment makes it possible to comply with the parameters and limits established for physical, organoleptic, microbiological and chemical indicators for water for human consumption.
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