Foodservice operations rely on water filtration systems in many forms. Here, we focus on selecting a filtration system for cold beverage dispensers.
Get a water quality report. To choose the right water filtration system, you need to know what kind of water you have in the first place. Water quality, both in terms of condition and taste, varies greatly by geography and other factors. Though it can have some limits, requesting a water quality report from your municipality is a necessary first step.
Get familiar with system features. Water filtration systems used in foodservice today typically take a two-pronged approach—removing excess particulates to prolong the life and performance of equipment and removing the unpleasant effects of chlorine or chloramine present in a public water supply. A typical set-up involves a system installed on the incoming water line itself, with filter cartridges designed to be replaced on a schedule determined by time and usage.
The physical aspect of filtration equipment removes suspended particles by trapping various undesirable substances such as TDS. It also traps bacteria sometimes found in the water supply.
Carbon filters address issues of taste and smell. Off-flavors are commonly introduced by chlorine and chloramines, disinfectants used by most municipalities. While safe and necessary, these chemicals are detectable in beverages.
Calculate usage. The capacity needed in a water filtration system depends on how much water the beverage equipment uses. The capacity should be greater than the total amount of water that will be used between filter changes (typically every six months). Filtration products prominently display their recommended capacity, and consultation with a manufacturer can help you quickly find the right-sized system.
Add up the number of bag-in-boxes (BIB) used for all carbonated and noncarbonated beverages in a month and multiply times 25 (the number of gallons per BIB) to calculate monthly water usage.
Estimate filtered drinking water dispensed from a post-mix valve or water fill station.
Add together to calculate total monthly usage.
Multiply total monthly water usage times six to calculate water usage over a six-month period.
For example, let’s say you use about 1,875 gal. of water a month via BIB and an estimated 500 gal. a month via drinking water; your equipment uses 14,250 gal. of water every six months. You’ll need a filtration system with a rated capacity of 15,000 gal.
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