“Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.” -Albert Szent-Gyӧrgyi. A child is natured in a sac of water from conception to birth which cushions the foetus against physical harm. It is a quintessential requirement for human beings. A person can live without food for a month, but only a week without water.
A safe and dependable source of drinking water has become pivotal for the health of all human beings. Because of overabundance or dearth of certain minerals in water flowing on different water beds on earth and also due to pollution, the water from natural sources must be treated before they are consumed.Packaging Requirements For Drinking Water.
Specifications For Drinking Water
As per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA), water must be completely free of bacteria such as salmonella, E.coli, V.cholera and others, which are disease causing micro-organisms and free from harmful heavy metals such as lead, mercury, aluminium, etc. which may affect health.
In US, the FDA rules laid down to certify as mineral water, state that it must contain a minimum of 250 mg per litre of such total dissolved solids as these are classified. In India, BIS and the PFA act mention only the maximum as 1500 mg/l and do not specify a minimum. The drinking water should conform to the criteria with reference to mineral content, pesticide residues, appearance and microbial contamination. Therefore, water supplied for drinking needs to be treated.
Treatment Of Water Before Packaging | Packaging Requirements For Drinking Water
Generally there are three levels in water purification:
1) Water is pumped from its source or directed into pipes or holding tanks. In order to prevent contamination, the physical infrastructure should be made from appropriate material.
2) Screening is done to remove large debris such as leaves, sticks, etc.
3) Storage of water in bank side reservoirs for a short period to allow natural biological purification to take place.
4) Hardness of water is removed by pre-conditioning with soda-ash which precipitates out calcium carbonate using the common ion effect.
5) In order to minimize the growth of fouling organisms on tanks and pipes, the incoming water is chlorinated.
1) Lime or soda ash is added to raise the pH. Also, making the water slightly alkaline assures that flocculation and coagulation processes work effectively.
2) Coagulation and flocculation are purification techniques that work by using chemicals which cause small particles to stick together, so that they settle out of water.
3) The floc is allowed to settle at the bottom by using a sedimentation basin, also called a clarification or settling basin.
4) The final step is filtration of water to remove remaining unsettled floc and suspended particles.
1) Disinfection of water by chlorine or its compounds.
2) UV filtration provides additional product disinfection. This is monitored on an hourly basis.
3) Ozone disinfection is the third disinfection step, using a highly reactive form of oxygen.
Storage and transportation of drinking water
Normally, the water is available at a lower level. It has to be collected and received through stainless steel pipes for public distribution. Nowadays, polyester, epoxy coated tanks and HDPE are becoming popular. The container meant for packing drinking water should not transmit any of its toxic components that affect quality and safety of drinking water. Henceforth, the container should be hygienic, taint proof, transparent, sterile, colourless and pilfer proof.
Plastic packing materials for drinking water
Packaged drinking water should be potable other than natural mineral water that is hermetically sealed in packages or bottles and is intended for human consumption. Erstwhile, bottled water was available only in glass bottles which were quite inert but frail and heavy. New advancements in logistics have made it possible to manufacture packaged water using different types of plastic containers such as polyethylene, polypropylene, poly vinyl chloride, etc in different forms such as pouches, cans, pots, drums, bottles, etc. Today, 1.5 billion tons of plastics are used worldwide to pack water.
All the containers that are used for packing drinking water shall conform to IS 15410-2003. Water shall be packed in colourless, tamperproof, transparent, clean and sterile containers that are made of polyethylene conforming to IS: 10146 or polyvinyl chloride conforming to IS: 10151 or polypropylene conforming to IS: 10910 or food grade polycarbonate or sterile gas bottles for preventing adulteration or contamination of water.