The Greater Conversation Around Ozone
TL;DR: Bottled water shouldn't have an ingredient panel. If it does, ask questions.
Unlike some of our formidable bottled water competitors who proudly display what they must do to make their bottled water palatable and meet their marketing needs, at RAIN we are very proud to do almost nothing to our spring water before it finds a home in an aluminum bottle.
The bottled water industry is generally made up of three water types, defined by the FDA as the following
- Spring: is water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Spring water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring. Spring water collected with the use of an external force must be from the same underground stratum as the spring, must have all the physical properties before treatment, and must be of the same composition and quality as the water that flows naturally to the surface of the earth.
- Purified:is water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, or other suitable processes while meeting the definition of “purified water” in the U.S. Pharmacopeia. Other suitable product names for bottled water treated by one of the above processes include “distilled water” if it is produced by distillation, “deionized water” if it is produced by deionization, or “reverse osmosis water” if the process used is reverse osmosis. Alternatively, “drinking water” can be used with one of the purifying terms defined above (e.g., “purified drinking water” or “distilled drinking water”).
- Artesian:is water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand) in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer.
At RAIN we have shorter definitions:
- Spring: Natural, made by the Earth
- Purified: Unnatural, processed tap water.
- Artesian: Natural, made by the Earth.
The type and source of the water plays a tremendous role in the processing and ultimate finished product. Purified water for example is most often filtered with Reverse Osmosis, a process by which >99% of all non-H2O is removed from the water. This filtration of course removes the bad; heavy metals, chlorine, bacteria, inorganic compounds and otherwise. It is not selective however and removes the Good; naturally occurring electrolytes and minerals. Later those minerals are introduced again at specific combinations and ratios to improve taste and make some of the outlandish marketing claims EG “more hydrating”, “Better absorption”, etc etc. When those minerals are added back to the water, the water no longer meets the “natural” definition and they must be listed as ingredients. The same way your bag of Doritos lists the ingredients.
Here at RAIN, we don't have an ingredient panel, it's water. We filter out water very gently, in fact, pre-and post filtration our water has the same chemical and material properties it did coming out of the ground. Our filtration is generally comprised of four steps:
- Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection: The first tool to ensure a food-safe product
- 5µm Particulate Filtration: Removes large undissolved solids, silica for example that are large enough to be in the visible spectrum
- 5µm Particulate Filtration: Removes smaller undissolved solids below the visible spectrum
- Ozone (O₃): A final disinfecting step, arguably the most important one.
Ozone or Oxygen 3 is added to our finished product water immediately prior to bottling. This simple gas is a powerful one with some sneaky tricks. Firstly, it works to destroy unwanted compounds like bacteria, viruses, and even heavy metals through extreme oxidation. Effectively destroying and removing them from water. The real trick though is Ozone’s half-life of about 12 hours. It does its job, removes the bad then through some advances chemistry turns back into Oxygen 2 the same Oxygen that is in the atmosphere we breathe.
A reader might now ask; “Ozone sounds like an ingredient?” Good question. That half life from earlier, by the time is leaves our bottling facility after a 24 hour quarantine, ensures that the residual Ozone no longer exists in the water.