In the restaurant business, customer satisfaction is in the details, from the dining room’s aesthetic to the chef’s signature dish. One small detail that may often be overlooked is the quality of the water used to prepare food and drinks. When water is clean, clear, and free of contaminants, customers might not even realize why their soda is fresh, their dishes are clean, and their ice is crystal clear. They will notice, however, if the water is less than pure, resulting in foggy ice, flat soda, or even a metallic taste to their favorite dishes. These details matter, and an effective restaurant water filtration system can help.
How Filtration Systems Work
Most water has impurities. Some of these impurities can be seen with the naked eye, while others may be imperceptible but still have an unpleasant odor or a metallic taste. Many of these contaminants may not be easily detected at all, except for the scale they leave on coffee pots, dishwashers, and steamers. The goal of an effective water filtration system in a restaurant setting, then, is to remove these impurities and contaminants before they make their way into equipment, foods, and beverages.
Water filtration systems are typically installed in conjunction with a variety of restaurant equipment, including fountain drink dispensers, coffee makers, ice machines, and even dishwashers. These filters are designed to remove impurities like sediment, minerals, and chemicals from the water supply. Once the filter is full, it will need to be removed and cleaned or replaced to maximize the effectiveness of the system.
Why Filtration Systems Matter
Obviously, the water in a commercial kitchen or restaurant isn’t just for drinking. Water is necessary for so many functions in the kitchen, including boiling or steaming foods, making lattes, and even washing dishes. Because of this, it’s important to ensure that your restaurant’s water is as clean as possible.
Water filtration systems don’t just affect the taste of the foods or beverages you create, they also have a positive impact on the equipment used to make it. In fact, it could increase the productivity and lifespan of your kitchen equipment significantly. The sediment and minerals in standard tap water will often build up on restaurant equipment like coffee makers and dishwashers, creating a scale that is difficult and time consuming to remove. Over time, that scale can even damage the equipment.
Types of Water Filtration Systems
Water filtration systems are not a one-size-fits-all solution. The different pieces of equipment in your restaurant may require different types of filters. In addition, the type of water you are filtering may also be a factor in determining which filtration system you will need. The most common types of filtration systems in restaurant applications include:
Carbon Filter Systems
Carbon filter systems allow customers to enjoy purified water without the purified taste. The porous filter effectively removes smaller contaminants like chlorine, chloramine, and bacteria before it makes its way into an ice maker or coffee machine. While carbon filters can also remove larger particles and sediment, these can often clog the filter much faster. If the restaurant’s water supply is high in these larger contaminants, an additional pre-sediment filter may be required. The pre-sediment filter is installed upstream from the carbon filter system, to remove larger particles before they make their way into the carbon filter.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Even the tiniest minerals and sediments can affect the taste and clarity of the water supply. Reverse osmosis, or RO, systems push pressurized water through an ultra-fine membrane, removing sulfates, heavy metals, and chloride, which can give water a salty taste. RO systems are the perfect filtration solution for creating crystal clear ice or crafting the perfect cocktail.
If microorganisms, parasites, or even harmful bacteria have been found in the water supply, they need to be neutralized to ensure the health and safety of customers and employees. UV filters disinfect the water through ultraviolet radiation. While they are extremely effective at ridding the water of small organic matter, they are not designed to remove large amounts of sediment and minerals. That’s why UV filters are often used in conjunction with a pre-sediment filter or even a carbon filter for the freshest water possible.
Effective water filtration systems will remove a variety of contaminants from your water supply, including sediment, heavy metals, microorganisms, and even bacteria. Clean water will not just improve the taste of your foods and beverages, it will also keep your equipment free of scale and allow it to run properly. This results in fewer maintenance calls and equipment shutdowns.