HOW DO KEEP MY BOTTLED WATER PRODUCTS SAFE?
Water entering a bottled water facility contains bacteria, no matter the source. Spring water contains bacteria. While these organisms are generally not harmful to humans, they can cause off flavor or even haze in the final product if allowed to enter the final packages and grow.
Bottlers use several technologies to either remove bacteria from the bottling process or prevent bacteria from growing. Filtration is an important part of the effort to remove bacteria and produce a safe, clean product for consumers.
There are many forms of waterborne organisms. Harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Pseudomonas strains are common in natural sources of water. A well-known illness outbreak caused by waterborne Cryptospridium oocysts led to the industry taking steps to assure the microbiological safety of its products. Numerous other
non-pathogenic bacteria are also common in water.
The schematics below show some simplified processes for multiple types of water that may be produced in a facility. Most bottled water products are actually treated municipal water that is processed and bottled. At the bottom of the schematics is the spring water process, which is the least complex of all. This process preserves the mineral content of the spring water as it comes from the ground while protecting the consumer from bacteria that may enter the process.
Waterborne organisms are often very small, and those that can survive in treated water are often smaller than those of the same type living in natural waters. For that reason, the final filters used to remove waterborne bacteria (those in housings marked 7) have very small pore sizes – usually membrane filters with 0.10 to 0.22 micron pore size ratings.
Read more about bacteria removal in bottled water production in the Application Summary - "Bioburden Control and Sterilizing Filtration for Bottled Water".