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Bottled water plant - micro. query


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#1 vicki.dai

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 08:47 PM

Hi All,

 

I am from a small scale water bottling company. Our process takes water from an underground source which goes through a line of microfilters (20, 5, 1, 0.35 and 0.20 micrometers filters in this order) and finally UV treatment before bottling. There is no chlorine or ozone added. 

 

I take samples after each size of filter to assess the hygiene of the filters and after the UV to ensure the UV effectively kills the microbes prior to bottling. i am trying to establish the maximum level of tolerance for the micro count at the filters. Wondering if anyone can share their experience of what is considered too high after the filters. After the UV, my tolerance is based on drinking water guidelines for my local authority. For the filters, I am just not sure what number is considered too high. If anyone can share their experience, I would highly appreciate it.

 

Another question: since our plant is low production volume, I find that the micro count at the filters increase rapidly after even a day of not running the line. Since the filters are costly, we are trying to find ways to maintain them so that we can extend its usable life. To reduce the micro count, we have been flushing the filters with plain well water for 1 hour during non-production days. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions to how else the filters can be maintained.

 

 

Thank you in advance. 

 

Vicki



#2 QAGB

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 11:52 AM

Hi All,

 

I am from a small scale water bottling company. Our process takes water from an underground source which goes through a line of microfilters (20, 5, 1, 0.35 and 0.20 micrometers filters in this order) and finally UV treatment before bottling. There is no chlorine or ozone added. 

 

I take samples after each size of filter to assess the hygiene of the filters and after the UV to ensure the UV effectively kills the microbes prior to bottling. i am trying to establish the maximum level of tolerance for the micro count at the filters. Wondering if anyone can share their experience of what is considered too high after the filters. After the UV, my tolerance is based on drinking water guidelines for my local authority. For the filters, I am just not sure what number is considered too high. If anyone can share their experience, I would highly appreciate it.

 

Another question: since our plant is low production volume, I find that the micro count at the filters increase rapidly after even a day of not running the line. Since the filters are costly, we are trying to find ways to maintain them so that we can extend its usable life. To reduce the micro count, we have been flushing the filters with plain well water for 1 hour during non-production days. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions to how else the filters can be maintained.

 

 

Thank you in advance. 

 

Vicki

 

Hi Vicki,

 

Are you looking for a tolerance range for micro after your filters because you are having trouble reducing micro counts after UV to the limits of your authority? If you are consistently meeting or are under the limits of your local authority, I wouldn't necessarily think you would need to assign micro limits prior to the UV step. If you're trying to figure out how low your micro counts should be to consistently meet your limits after the UV step, then it's possible to consider doing that. While extensive, you'd need to collect enough data by sampling after each filter and the UV step to figure out roughly what your reduction will be, depending on your starting micro counts.

 

As far as your filters, I've seen what microfilters look like externally, but I don't know what they are made of internally. Is there a low concentration sanitizing solution that you can run through your lines after production? Are you not allowed to use sanitizing solutions, or will they cause issues with your filters?

 

QAGB



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#3 vicki.dai

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 04:10 PM

You are right that if we consistently meet local authority standards after the UV, we are doing fine. I am mostly worried about having an increased risk of not being able to meet local standards when the filter counts are too high. We only sample 3 times a day for finished product and once a day immediately after UV treatment. I suppose the only way to really know is if we keep collecting data. 

 

Although I do not like the idea of running a sanitizing solution, it may very well be worthwhile to try.  I am thinking a low concentration chlorine or peracetic acid. 

 

Thank you for your advice!



#4 Charles.C

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 04:35 PM

Hi vicki,

 

From a purely quantitative POV, it sort of relates to -

 

(1)The regulatory limit

(2) the average micro results after UV / scatter, eg sigma2

(3) the average micro results after filters / scatter, eg sigma3

(4) the difference between  2 and 3


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 lmugs

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 09:10 AM

From my experience, if you are meeting the regulatory requirements that is great. Of concern mostly is the final product though testing after filters will help you to identify where the source of the problems emanate from. Your filters and filter housing need a sanitation program where you soak them with a disinfectant on a weekly basis as well as when you are not running as they trap micro and other particulate matter that enable trapped micro to proliferate if you are not running.






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