Water is vital for all forms of life. But water is also big business, and it is utilized in many ways by the full range of manufacturing industries. When we talk about the water industry, however, we refer mainly to bottled water that is produced using several different processes that deal with water from different sources.
While bottled water might look the same when poured into a glass, consumers should be aware that there are various types of bottled water that are governed by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) labeling rules:
- Spring water
- Sparkling bottled water
- Natural mineral water
- Artesian water
- Purified or processed water
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates public drinking water, including municipal tap water, but not bottled water.
Types of Bottled Water
Spring water is defined by its origin – which are natural springs – and it is collected at the source of the spring or via a regulated borehole. It isn’t subject to any form of treatment or modification unless these conform to strict FDA specifications.
This type of bottled water is the leading product type in the US and in Europe.
Sparkling Bottled Water
After the water has been treated the FDA ruling states that the carbon dioxide content should be the same as it was when the water emerged from the source, even if the carbon dioxide has been replaced during the process.
Natural Mineral Water
Drawn from physically- and geologically-protected underground sources that do not have pollution risks, natural mineral water contains at least 250 ppm of dissolved solids that contain minerals and trace elements. No additional minerals may be added to the water during the bottling process.
Natural mineral water is the most popular type of bottled water in Europe and it is growing in popularity in emerging markets.
This is water drawn from a well tapped into a confined aquifer that contains water that must reach a height greater than the top of the aquifer.
Purified water is processed or prepared in some way, for instance by distillation, reverse osmosis, or deionization. It must meet FDA specifications, and if appropriate may also be called deionized water, distilled water, reverse osmosis water or demineralized water. It may be drawn from any water supply, including municipal water.
In many emerging markets purified water is often labeled “drinking water.”
Historically any carbonated water (including soda water or club soda, seltzer and tonic water), is regulated by the FDA as for soft drinks.
The FDA does monitor and inspect bottled water processing plants and products, but consider these to be of relatively low priority because of the ongoing good safety record of the industry.
Processing Water for Bottling
Regardless of the source of the water being bottled, the process followed is fairly standard and includes:
- Filtration to get rid of any contaminants, including activated carbon filtration
- Tank venting to get rid of microorganisms
- Demineralizing if required
- Water storage and monitoring
- Remineralizing if required/allowed
- Carbonation if sparkling water is required
- Disinfection with ultra violet light and/or ozones
- Bottle blowing and bottle washing to ensure containers are clean and not contaminated in any way
- Bottle filling
Water Processing Equipment from SMB Machinery
SMB Machinery has a wide selection of used bottled water processing and packaging equipment items. We also stock replacement parts, provide technical support, and offer field repair services. We have the equipment and expertise you need to make sure your bottled water production and packaging processes are efficient, safe and cost-effective.
SMB Machinery’s customers process all types of bottled water including spring water, volcanic artesian water, vapor compression distilled water, and ordinary purified water that goes through another distillation process. They are headquartered in different parts of the US including Georgia, California, Florida, and in Hawaii.
Regardless of where you are based, contact us today to check our inventory or get advice on how we can help you and your business.
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