Beverage Water Treatment

Regular soft drinks contain 90 percent water and diet soft drinks may contain up to 99 percent water. Because drinking water often includes trace amounts of various elements that affect its taste, beverage producers use filtering and other treatment equipment to remove residual impurities and standardize the water used to make soft drinks, so that soft drinks taste the same nationwide.

Taste is not the only consideration; the health and safety of consumers and manufacturing employees is the primary factor to be considered in beverage water treatment.

Treatment Technology

One of the options available to beverage processors is the use of ultraviolet water treatment systems. UV radiation purifies the water without adding undesirable color, odor, chemicals or taste, and there are no residual byproducts. It is fast, effective, efficient and environmentally friendly. UV treatment can be used after carbon filtration, and both before and after reverse osmosis.

Ozone is often used to sanitize storage tanks, vessels, piping and auxiliary equipment such as pumps and valves in order to eliminate bacteria. The residual ozone needs to be destroyed prior to point-of-use to ensure product quality. UV technology is is used for destroying residual ozone without the chemical additives and byproducts. The size of the UV equipment required to completely destroy the residual ozone present in a water stream depends on the flow rate, ozone concentration, quality of the feedwater and the temperature of the water stream.

Reverse osmosis membranes are often used for physical filtration.

Carbon filtration is used to remove organics and gases, which membrane separation doesn’t filter out.

The last polishing step is generally microfiltration, which is used to filter out any carbon that might have leached into the beverage.

An example water treatment system for beverage production is outlined below:

Ultraviolet light (UV) 1st pass

Bacteria and TOC

Multimedia filtration (depth filter)

Sediment particles

Granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration

Chlorine and bromine

5-Micron filtration

Particles, some bacteria

Reverse osmosis (1st pass)

TDS down to 5 ppm

Reverse osmosis (2nd pass)

TDS down to 1.3 ppm


Removes ions, TDS down to 0.5 ppm

1-Micron filtration

Bacteria <5 µ (such as E. coli)

.2-Micron filtration (1st pass)

Bacteria < 1 µ



.2-Micron filtration (2nd pass)


Ultraviolet light (UV) 2nd pass

Bacteria and TOC