Ozone in Bottled Water Treatment
Ozone treatment is essential for water bottling because it plays a multiple, beneficial role in the production of bottled water and can when, properly done, assure a good quality, storage stable product. Ozone is the most powerful, chemical disinfectant available. It disinfects them all: the water, the bottle, the bottling equipment, the sealed cap of the bottle and any air borne micro organisms in the air space above the water. Furthermore, it improves, taste, eliminates odor and oxidizes undesirable organic and inorganic materials that might be present in the source water. Then, once ozone has done its job, it decomposes to harmless oxygen. Should you wish for an ideal disinfectant for bottled water, you could not dream of a better one than ozone.
Ozone in bottled water treatment is the most frequently used disinfection process in water bottling today and can provide a most effective barrier to microbiological contamination for the protection and benefit of the consumer. These are the reasons why most water bottlers rely on ozone treatment to provide a safe, good tasting, aesthetically pleasing and storage stable product. As the ozone treatment became a well accepted, routine part of the water bottling process, many of its other benefits beyond the disinfection have become taken for granted and nearly forgotten. Some water bottlers may not even realize today that the use of ozone also provides benefits, such as, improved taste, elimination of odour, and long 2 years storage stability. These benefits have improved their product substantially making it a good tasting and safe. These are the product quality features that the customers have grown to expect and enjoy. Since ozone treatment has become such a key process for the water bottlers, they need to stay current with the advances in the technology, and the improvements in the ozone treatment process.
The ozone is added to the water in an ozone contactor just prior to the bottling of the water. The ozone contacting system serves two primary functions.
Ozone is used for the dissolution or mass transfer of the ozone gas from the output gas mixture stream of the ozone generator into the water to be treated. A sufficient amount of ozone must be dissolved in the water to achieve the disinfection of the water and to provide dissolved ozone residual in the water necessary for the disinfection of the bottling equipment, the bottle and the cap of the sealed bottled water.
In addition, dissolved ozone must be provided for the chemical oxidation of any undesirable organic or inorganic contaminants present in the water, such as, odorous materials, iron, manganese etc.
The disinfection process treats the water against bacteria, viruses and parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. While many more details are available in the literature (1,3), it is sufficient to say here that ozone is a highly effective, general, broad-spectrum disinfectant. It is considered to be the most effective chemical disinfectant commonly available against all the above mentioned microorganisms.
Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent. It is very effective in water treatment against essentially all taste and odor causing organic materials and oxidizable inorganics like iron, manganese and sulfide ion.