The Nature of Water in the Foodservice Industry

February 5, 2013
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Anyone involved in the foodservice industry can testify to the primary necessity of water and the important role it plays when working in or planning a new facility. Just think about it: From dishwashing to restrooms, to water served in the dining room, there is an ever-present need for water, and clean water at that.

water-supply

Here are some initial costs associated with water to keep in mind when planning a new restaurant or foodservice venue:

1. Supply: Does your facility have a direct supply of water? Most facilities have access to water from a municipal water system but remember there are costs associated with having it in your restaurant.

2. Heat & Energy: From steamers to dishwashers, there is a significant cost associated with heating water and using energy to get it to the required temperatures.

3. Water Disposal: Remember that “waste water” must be properly disposed of and sewage costs will apply.

4. Maintenance: Scale build up and deposits can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your equipments’ performance. Make sure to routinely maintain any equipment that uses water to do its job (ice machines, dishwashers, combi ovens, steamers, etc) and to invest in filtration whenever possible. There are many filtration systems today that utilize a fine filtering system along with a polyphosphate feed which both diminishes scale content and keeps it from building up within your unit.

How Does My Geographic Location Play Into My Water Quality?

Another important and often overlooked factor to take into consideration is the nature of the water in your geographic location. It’s important to remember that every water source has a mineral content to it. When these minerals boil out or evaporate, as they would in a commercial steamer, they stick to the unit and concentrate themselves forming buildup on the interior mechanics of your unit. This scale buildup prohibits the machine from running at its highest effeciency and therefore should be maintained more frequently. {This is also the same for commercial ice machines which leave behind a large concentration of clumped minerals when ice is formed.}

Water indeed varies by area and can be prone to different problems and characteristics depending on where you are located. Examples include the presence of alkaline salts in solution which makes water “hard” along with the presence of dissolved solids and suspended solids which can give water bad odors and exposure to often dangerous chemicals.   We recommend you have your water tested by a local testing company to understand the composition of your specific water supply along with what you need to do to ensure it is safe.

How Does This Help?

Having a fundamental understanding of the basic utilities in your foodservice facility will help you make better business decisions down the line. Water is one of the most important of them all and understanding how it can directly impact your kitchen equipment is an important part of your job as a business owner. Remember to maintain your water-using equipment regularly and to utilize the self-cleaning, deliming features that your equipment may already offer. Should you have any questions about investing in a filtration system for your ice machine or other piece of equipment, call us at 800-319-0690 for guidance and make sure to check out our selection online. Staying on top of the regular maintenance will ensure a long product life and better product performance for your business over the years!

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