Ozone in bottled water

Ozone plays a multiple, beneficial role in the production of bottled water and can assure good quality,tasty, healthy water that can be stored safely.
Ozone bottled water. Ozone is the most powerful, chemical disinfectant available. It disinfects 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 odour and oxidises 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.
The ozone treatment enhances the water quality of most drinking water in general. However, it is a key and essential treatment for the production of safe, high quality, good tasting, aesthetically pleasing and storage stable bottled water that the consumers have come to expect.
Ozone treatment is the most frequently used disinfection process in water bottling today. With the application of a single ozone treatment step, the water bottler can disinfect the water, the bottling equipment, the bottle, the air above the water and the sealed cap of the bottle, thereby 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 odor, 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
During the handling and squeezing of the bottle, air and airborne microorganisms could enter the bottle. Thus, after days or weeks of storage, often on supermarket shelves, the potential existed for the explosive growth of microorganisms in the bottled water, which could lead to taste, odour and health problems. Several well publicised bottled water recalls took place during those days. In fact, one might say, that the newly developed ozone treatment saved the bottled water industry. In the early days, in the 1970’s when bottled water was not always disinfected properly, bottled water was frequently criticised on television and in newspaper investigative reports for the rapidly deteriorating water quality during storage on the shelves of supermarkets. Shortly thereafter, under pressure from many state health organizations and the US Government FDA, proper disinfection processes were developed for water bottling with ozone treatment as a key component. The required ozone dosages, contact times, and closure requirements for the various types of bottles and waters were determined experimentally. Ozone proved to be the magical disinfectant and oxidant that could disinfect the water, the bottling equipment, the bottle, and the sealed cap of the bottle while also oxidizing any traces of odorous materials that might be present in the water. Then the ozone decomposed to harmless oxygen and thereby disappeared without leaving an undesirable taste or odor behind.
The ozone treatment could accomplish the disinfection and the chemical oxidation of odorous materials simultaneously and enabled the water bottler to produce good quality, storage-stable water, free of objectionable by-products, taste and odor associated with the use of chlorine for disinfection/oxidation of municipal or public tap water. These much improved water quality characteristics and the claims of good-tasting, odor-free, pollution-free, healthy, storage stable water led to the rapid growth of the bottled water industry in the 1980’s and 1990s with overall growth consistently approaching or exceeding double digits.
1. Disinfection: 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.
2. Chemical Oxidation: Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent. It is very effective in water treatment against essentially all taste and odour causing organic materials and oxidizable inorganics like iron, manganese and sulfide ion.
3. Decomposition: ozone is an unstable compound under room temperature and near room temperature conditions and decomposes rapidly to oxygen. The decomposition rate is influenced primarily by water temperature and pH. The half-life of ozone at 20 o C and pH 7.0 is typically 24 minutes in potable water.
In most cases there is ample time available for the ozone decomposition to take place before the bottled water is delivered to the consumer. Typically, 5-10 hrs should be sufficient. More specifically, the decomposition rate is dependant on pH, temperature and the type and concentration of inorganic salts present in the water.