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wmlacey

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Posted 25 June 2021 - 07:04 PM

Our facility recently purchased an RO machine to lower TDS levels of the water coming in. We are a flavoring and food coloring company. The RO machine routes to a 250 gallon containment tank. We will then take the water from that tank and transport it into large totes that can be used in the production areas. The totes will likely not sit for more than 1-1.5 days before being used. We would preferably like to use them immediately but that may not always be possible. What type of testing should we be doing and at what frequency? The RO machine has a TDS meter built in. I'm considering buying a hand held TDS/EC meter to periodically verify the meter built in to the machine is accurate. This handheld could also be used to check the water in the totes themselves after they have been sitting for a day. What should our frequency be for micro testing? There are tests we can do in house that seem to take 48 hours on average, or we could send samples out.  Also I imagine the cleanliness of the totes themselves is going to be high priority, given this is the last point of contact for the water before entering product. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks all.



johnmcip

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Posted 25 June 2021 - 08:35 PM

TDS seems to be more of a quality issue, so you would have to think about what effect it has on your product, and what you want your tolerance to be. If it's important to you you might consider having the operators test the water every time prior to use.

 

Most codes specify testing water "at the point of use", which would in fact be the totes. I think it would actually be every tote.

Having no experience with this, my gut is saying weekly would probably be good. Whatever frequency is recommended for testing directly from the tap should be increased substantially. You are adding quite a few potential contamination points by transferring to totes. If there's no kill step, I would say those totes are CCPs.

How are you cleaning them?

 

Can I ask why you don't simply have water drops on the production floor instead of transferring to totes?


Edited by johnmcip, 25 June 2021 - 08:37 PM.


DomL

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Posted 25 June 2021 - 10:43 PM

When setting up your process, it would be done in two parts, first with the water cleanliness at the source and second in the containers. 

 

To setup your quality system you would need to validate the process (Whether in house or with a 3rd party subject matter expert)

 

You mentioned that your RO system has a TDS system built in

  • validate this system first - document the TDS readings and compare to potable water requirements for your product and establish an acceptable range
  • monitoring program - how frequent you are monitoring depends on how reliable the system is.  I would look into creating a monitoring process that increases or decreases in monitoring frequency, the more data you have that demonstrates reliability the less frequent the monitoring would be and vice versa if the system fails or shows consistent failures
  • Create a Check and Hold system when the system is out of spec or after the system is PM'd - create a check and hold system to ensure that any water out of spec is held in order to determine product impact.  

The cleanliness of the container affects conductivity.  The dirtier the container the higher the conductivity.  I would perform EC test of the final rinse water in order establish the cleanliness of the container in order to release the container for use with RO system.

 

Create a Hold time of container with RO - The longer the container is left with RO the high chance for growth or contamination.  I would perform hold studies in order establish the max amount of time water can be stored before growth can happen with your TDS System and established container cleaning methods.


Edited by DomL, 25 June 2021 - 10:44 PM.


SUSHIL

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Posted 26 June 2021 - 10:32 AM

what is your Source of water - Borewell,Municipal water etc.
what is the TDS of the water.
If it is Borewell you have first give it to outside lab that water is fit for human consumption for Physical,Chemical ,Microbiological and Radiological parameters.

Hou have to first treat your water at the Source if it is Borewell.Check Microbial level at Source.
Depending upon this you can treat your water at source by Sodium hypochlorite (10 PPM chlorine ),then
Micro filtration ( 5 micron/ 10 Micron filters etc)
if possible Ozonation or 0.2 micron filters.

Then Check microbial level at Production Level and depending on it you can further treat your final water by U.V. or heating & Cooling system.

See that your final water does not Contain residual chlorine/ Ozone as it may affect your flavor/ color.



wmlacey

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Posted 29 June 2021 - 12:51 PM

TDS seems to be more of a quality issue, so you would have to think about what effect it has on your product, and what you want your tolerance to be. If it's important to you you might consider having the operators test the water every time prior to use.

 

Most codes specify testing water "at the point of use", which would in fact be the totes. I think it would actually be every tote.

Having no experience with this, my gut is saying weekly would probably be good. Whatever frequency is recommended for testing directly from the tap should be increased substantially. You are adding quite a few potential contamination points by transferring to totes. If there's no kill step, I would say those totes are CCPs.

How are you cleaning them?

 

Can I ask why you don't simply have water drops on the production floor instead of transferring to totes?

 

 

We have yet to implement the RO as we are still trying to work all of this out. May I ask what you mean by "water drops"? As far as cleaning the totes, I would imagine we are going to use granular chlorine and then test for residual chlorine post cleaning. 


Edited by wmlacey, 29 June 2021 - 12:51 PM.


Charles.C

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Posted 29 June 2021 - 03:53 PM

We have yet to implement the RO as we are still trying to work all of this out. May I ask what you mean by "water drops"? As far as cleaning the totes, I would imagine we are going to use granular chlorine and then test for residual chlorine post cleaning. 

 

Hi wmlacey,

 

IMO your OP has some excellent questions to address to yr equipment supplier.

 

Regarding micro, there are now kits available for doing basic micro. testing within one day. eg -

 

https://www.3m.com/3.../d/fsd_rapaero/


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Ryan M.

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Posted 29 June 2021 - 10:44 PM

I would sample and micro test every tote.  Also, check for odor and sensory....yeah, sometimes you get off odors or off colors.

 

Check out Millipore for micro testing of water.  They are the experts.  Pseudomonas, TPC, and Coliform are what I recommend.

 

As far as the RO system make sure to get the personnel involved in the project who will be responsible for cleaning the RO system.  Likely, it will need to be cleaned on a pre-determined frequency based on the runtime and the amount of time it sits.  For example, our system we clean / disinfect weekly, but we run it continuously 24/7.  If it sits then there's a greater chance for bacteria to build up in the system.  It can be tough to judge the cleaning frequency, but err on the side of caution and use the micro testing to prove it out.

 

I'm assuming the RO system will have UV light to disinfect?  Look at ways to sample the system inline to identify / isolate problems.  Such as source water coming in, after RO system, after carbon tower(s), after UV light, and then the tote.  This way you can sample and identify problem spots.

 

A LOT of people underestimate the micro contamination from an RO system, but it can happen and frequently if you don't stay on top of it.

 

On another note...the tote cleaning.  Look at this seriously.  If you have the capability use a CIP or COP system.  You can purchase a drop in sprayball to attach to the top of the tote.  This would be ideal, if you can find this then good luck in hand cleaning totes....quite difficult.



DomL

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Posted 30 June 2021 - 12:18 AM

We have yet to implement the RO as we are still trying to work all of this out. May I ask what you mean by "water drops"? As far as cleaning the totes, I would imagine we are going to use granular chlorine and then test for residual chlorine post cleaning.

A “Water drop” is manufacturing terminology. The way most water is delivered is through sanitary pipes and ported the point of use. They’re Called water drops because the pipes they to be overhead and then drop down so the operator can use it. Hence “water drop”

As far as cleanliness of the tote you can use conductivity readings to determine the cleanliness of the tote. You would perform conductivity reading of the rinse water to determine if the tote is clean or not. Most CIP systems use this as way to keep cleaning / rinsing or stop.

Edited by DomL, 30 June 2021 - 12:20 AM.


johnmcip

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Posted 30 June 2021 - 12:31 AM

A “Water drop” is manufacturing terminology. The way most water is delivered is through sanitary pipes and ported the point of use. They’re Called water drops because the pipes they to be overhead and then drop down so the operator can use it. Hence “water drop”

As far as cleanliness of the tote you can use conductivity readings to determine the cleanliness of the tote. You would perform conductivity reading of the rinse water to determine if the tote is clean or not. Most CIP systems use this as way to keep cleaning / rinsing or stop.


I have precisely zero experience in CIP, but wouldn’t biofilm accumulation not be picked up on a test like that? Also, not sure if this needs saying but the thought of opening those totes up and cleaning by hand makes me shudder at the possible bacterial introduction. Continual process type CIP would be preferred.
Honestly I’m not sure I have much to offer in this thread because Ryan’s suggestion of sanitizing the RO system took me by shock that it was even necessary. Never even thought of that.


Charles.C

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Posted 30 June 2021 - 03:23 AM

I have precisely zero experience in CIP, but wouldn’t biofilm accumulation not be picked up on a test like that? Also, not sure if this needs saying but the thought of opening those totes up and cleaning by hand makes me shudder at the possible bacterial introduction. Continual process type CIP would be preferred.
Honestly I’m not sure I have much to offer in this thread because Ryan’s suggestion of sanitizing the RO system took me by shock that it was even necessary. Never even thought of that.

 

Hi wmlacy,

 

The RO unit has no operating manual ? (ie Post 6)

 

Definitely not my area of expertise but JFI -

 

Attached File  RO manual-1.pdf   6.17MB   7 downloads

Attached File  RO Manual-2.pdf   2.81MB   3 downloads

 

Regarding disinfection/Post 7, it seems chlorine-related items may be a no-no for some types of RO. (I expect you knew that already).


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Ryan M.

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Posted 01 July 2021 - 03:45 PM

A “Water drop” is manufacturing terminology. The way most water is delivered is through sanitary pipes and ported the point of use. They’re Called water drops because the pipes they to be overhead and then drop down so the operator can use it. Hence “water drop”

As far as cleanliness of the tote you can use conductivity readings to determine the cleanliness of the tote. You would perform conductivity reading of the rinse water to determine if the tote is clean or not. Most CIP systems use this as way to keep cleaning / rinsing or stop.

 

I'm sorry, but I disagree.  Conductivity is a terrible way to monitor cleanliness.  It only monitors conductivity of the water.  Water can have some level of conductivity, if you add chemical to it the conductivity can change.  If you add bacteria to it there is no change in conductivity.  

 

However, the RO system and the totes are cleaned it needs to be validated initially (is it doing what it is supposed to be doing).  After validation you verify the cleaning.  Verification can be visual inspection including odor, or better yet something like micro swabbing or ATP swabbing.  Don't use a conductivity meter for this, it will not tell you if you have a biofilm buildup, or micro / bacteria problem.

 

 

I have precisely zero experience in CIP, but wouldn’t biofilm accumulation not be picked up on a test like that? Also, not sure if this needs saying but the thought of opening those totes up and cleaning by hand makes me shudder at the possible bacterial introduction. Continual process type CIP would be preferred.
Honestly I’m not sure I have much to offer in this thread because Ryan’s suggestion of sanitizing the RO system took me by shock that it was even necessary. Never even thought of that.

 

Keep in mind the cleaning / disinfecting frequency of the RO system heavily depends on quality of the input water.  Higher quality will require less frequent cleaning & disinfection.

 

 

Hi wmlacy,

 

The RO unit has no operating manual ? (ie Post 6)

 

Definitely not my area of expertise but JFI -

 

attachicon.gif RO manual-1.pdf

attachicon.gif RO Manual-2.pdf

 

Regarding disinfection/Post 7, it seems chlorine-related items may be a no-no for some types of RO. (I expect you knew that already).

 

No...typically you do not use chlorine.  However, it depends on the RO membrane materials.  Ceramic membranes can hold up to chlorine.  A lot of system use hydrogen peroxide.  You'll want to verify with the RO system manufacturer what cleaning and disinfecting chemicals are acceptable.

 

Good luck and don't underestimate the potential of your RO water contamination.






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