As in any sector of the food and beverage industry, water has a fundamental role in the safety of soft drinks production. Thorough sanitisation of both the equipment and the packaging (particularly bottles) used in soft drinks manufacturing relies on the quality of the water used. This water should be both potable and pathogen free. It is important that the water used to rinse bottles prior to filling and packaging is free of any contaminants that could react with the soft drink once inside. Having safe and reliable containers sanitised with pure water is essential to maintaining the quality and shelf life of the drink.
Water is also used in the sanitation of equipment, either alone or alongside a chemical agent for effective sanitation. The effectiveness of a detergent is determined by the various impurities in water; unfiltered water is not only of poor microbiological quality, but the various elements present can reduce the service life of the equipment it is being used to clean. This often comes down to the hardness of the water, which can cause the formation of film, scale, or precipitates on the surface of equipment. It is thus important to use softened water (typically through a reverse osmosis system) for effective and efficient sanitation.