For industrial facilities in the food and beverage industry, using a raw water source for water feed to rinse bottles and/or make consumable products, using untreated or improperly treated raw water can result in foul odors and tastes in products. Sometimes foul odors and tastes can be caused by the presence of suspended solids, algae, or iron in your process feed water. The severity of these issues can vary with the turbidity and biological load of the raw water, which may fluctuate with changing seasons and what the best steps are to get there.
If left untreated, these contaminants that cause tastes and odors can result in a lower-quality product and possible regulatory issues if your product standards are not meeting industry standards. In general, it is important to know what those regulations might be in addition to whether or not you are currently meeting them.
A well-designed raw water treatment facility will be able to handle a variation in turbidity, especially when it comes to clarification and gravity settling. If you do end up deciding to purchase a raw water treatment system, slightly over-designing the clarifier and chemical system in the raw water treatment system will allow you to fluctuate your chemical feed in order to deal with the changes in turbidity. Another option is using ultra filtration directly filter the raw water feed. Since it is an absolute barrier, it handles the seasonal variations effectively, as well.
In industrial processes, living organisms can cause all sorts of costly issues with products and industrial processes, especially in the food and beverage industry and potable water uses.
If harmful bacteria, viruses, or cysts are not removed from potable water or water used industrially for rinsing containers or making food-based products, for example, someone who might come into contact with the living organisms can experience all kinds of health issues. If harmful bacteria are found, product recalls are a certainty.
Some of the health threats include:
- Giardia and Cryptosporidium
- E. coli
- Hepatitis A and E
These short- and longer-term health problems could potentially result in large fines for not meeting regulations in the first place.
With the proper raw water treatment system in place, many of these harmful organisms can be removed through settling followed by an oxidizing agent such as ozone, peroxide, or chlorine. You can also remove bacteria efficiently with ultrafiltration, a newer technology being used that is extremely effective.
Avoid scaled and fouled equipment
Many times in the cooling tower and/or boiler process, a raw water source is being used to provide the feed water to these pieces of equipment. If the raw water is not treated correctly, hardness, bacteria, slime, and suspended solids in the water will scale or foul the equipment, which can lead to plant downtime and energy loss.
When these scale/minerals like hardness, bacteria, slime, and suspended solids are present in the water, they coat equipment fixtures, plug pipes, scale equipment, coat boiler tubes, and cause the formation of sludge, which can all slow down your process and even cause it to shut down.
Having an efficient raw water treatment system will help protect your valuable equipment and help avoid these issues in the first place. Most of these solids can be removed in the clarification or ultrafiltration phase of treatment. Depending on the equipment the water is feeding into, additional treatment with demineralization may be required, but be sure to consult with the company designing your system for their recommendation of what process is the best way to treat your raw water source.