“Ozone is the perfect solution for preserving bottled water,” says Lee Comb, a Principal with G4 Water, LLC, a San Francisco based water quality projects consultancy.  “And, ozone should also be used for rinsing containers and caps, as well, rather than relying on chlorinated city water.” 

The development and adaptation of ozone treatment in the 1970’s resolved the problems of bottled water disinfection and storage stability.  That innovation led to the continuous growth of the bottled water market.

According to recent statistics, bottled water consumption is about half that of carbonated soft drinks, but slightly ahead of milk and beer.

But there were issues.  Ozone had been used for decades but machines prevalent, even at the turn of the century, were often unreliable and had difficulty controlling ozone levels.  Coupled with poor customer service, ozone companies came and went.

Ozone International(www.o3international.com) set out to change that equation.  “Our ozone generating units are owned and operated by us, so there’s no risk to the customer of owning an unsupported or ill-performing system,” explains Jon Brandt, president of Ozone International, a company founded in 2003.

In years past, ozone systems were pieced together; today, it’s best to source a complete systems package that includes in-line monitors, ambient monitors and an oxygen concentrator to increase oxygen content feeding the ozone generator.

According to Comb, the technology has advanced significantly in recent years, with more reliable and efficient equipment.  

“We have proprietary applications of ozone and it’s taken a long time and a lot of perseverance to get where we are today,” explains Brandt. “For a monthly lease payment we offer a complete system with 24/7 reliability that allows our customers to upgrade at any time.”

Another consideration is the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act.  Considered by many to be the most sweeping reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years, the aim is to ensure the continued safety of the U.S. food supply by shifting the focus from response to prevention. 

“It will become increasingly difficult to comply with these regulations using antiquated ozone equipment,” states Brandt.

In addition to an ozone generating unit with a local programmable logic controller (PLC), Ozone International provides customers with ozone in-line monitors and closed-loop control for optimum safety and efficacy.  In work areas, ambient monitors ensure precise ozone concentrations.

Equally important is Ozone International’s nationwide network of service technicians that are available to monitor the equipment either on site or remotely.

Like hundreds of businesses in North America, water bottlers can improve product quality and safety by upgrading their ozone system, monitors and telemetry while outsourcing their service to ozone systems specialists.  In the process, they will significantly reduce operating costs without expending capital dollars.