Water is best kept in constant flow from source to filling. Water for bottling, natural mineral water in particular, should not be retained in static bulk storage for more than 24 hours.
The design and operation of the storage tanks should restrict the time from abstraction to bottling to a minimum. Air entering the head space of tanks should be filtered or treated to prevent contamination of product water.
Water is the world’s best solvent - it will dissolve or absorb all manner of substances. It is therefore highly vulnerable to picking up taste and odour taints. It is well worth using stainless steel, grade 316, for all pipework, tanks and bottling equipment.
In the case of product which has not been treated or disinfected, eg natural mineral water, great care must be taken to prevent microbial contamination and pollution. Cleaning of tanks and pipework deserves careful attention. Alkaline or acidic CIP cleaners are ideal for cleaning and descaling closed systems and terminal disinfection is best carried out with peracetic acid or, alternatively, hydrogen peroxide.