The tap water that we normally get contains some amount of contaminants. Often there are more than one pollutants like pesticides, chemicals and so on. This has led to increase in use of bottled water often called as drinking water as it is considered to be purified and cleaned before supplying. There are different kinds of packaged drinking water sources available like spring water, purified drinking water, sparkling water and mineral water. Even when bottling water, such companies have to ensure some treatment system for filtration before they package drinking water. There are certain standards set for them by FDA to ensure that strict guidelines are followed while supplying bottled water.
Using bottled water for drinking is common. It is often considered to be cleaner and purer and safer for consumption as compared to tap water supplied by municipal authorities. There has been some criticism for some time now and some research even suggests that bottled water is not safer than tap water. There are some contaminants like pesticides that are present which make it unsuitable for consumption. There are various factors that may be considered when filtering packaged or bottled water. Among them, the source of water may be one of the most important. The source may be a natural one like springs and wells or it may even be from municipal supplies. Whatever the source depending upon the organic contaminants present in the source need for filtration would arise.
The filtration of packaged drinking water may be done using treatment systems like reverse osmosis, deionization and distillation. These are the most preferred systems when bottling drinking water on large scale. Similarly when it is spring water that it being bottled there may be sediment removal and ozonation. Typically spring water treatment includes series of 5-micron to 0.2 micron filtration followed by disinfection. Generally spring water is treated with ozone to disinfect and preserve water.
Reverse osmosis is the most preferred filtration process by most bottlers. A major consideration is that it ensures removal of about all organic compounds and 99% of ions and viruses. Moreover the process also ensures that bacteria and other substances causing water borne diseases are effectively removed. Moreover RO systems are energy efficient. A major reason for use of ozonation system for purification and filtration of packaged drinking water is that after ozone disinfects water it preserves natural properties of water. Many bottlers attribute the consistent flavor of water to the filtration systems like RO, ozonation and distillation.
Whatever the source of packaged drinking water, it has to be free of dissolved contaminants. Being on a large scale the bottlers would often be using a combination of treatment systems to ensure that they provide clean drinking water to the customer. There are certain guidelines and standards set by FDA and IBWA that they need to follow to ensure that no parasites exist in bottled drinking water. However, there is a growing opinion to install filtration systems at home and ensure water quality and save dollars from your pockets.
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