We start with racks of empty bottles collected by our route managers. When they pick up your bottles at your home or office, they inspect each of them for cleanliness and put them into these blue racks. Once the racks arrive at the bottling line, the bottles are again inspected visually and the each bottle is sniffed for any foreign contaminants. Once a bottle passes these inspections, it is loaded onto the washer conveyor.
The next step is to check the bottles for pinhole leaks or cracks. We do that with a specialized piece of equipment – which is called a Leak-Tester (appropriately enough). The Leak Tester pulls a vacuum on each bottle and then monitors if there is any air leaking into the bottle. If not, the bottle passes muster and moves ahead to get filled. If the bottle is leaking, it gets kicked off the line into a hopper to be recycled. That’s our Leak Tester machine in the picture. There aren’t many companies that have this kind of technology on their bottling line.
Our washer is a BEAST! It has a 20 HP wash pump that kicks out about 150 gallons a minute – it does an incredible job of cleaning the bottles!
As the bottles enter our state-of-the-art Aquatyzer Bottle Washer. machine, they go through the washing process – getting washed, sanitized, and rinsed. The machine is controlled by computers and basically washes every bottle for about two minutes in a 130 degree washing solution.
The jet of water is about 1/2 inch in diameter and just scours the entire inside of the bottle.
The bottles then get rinsed and sanitized with an ozone solution (ozone is about 1500 more powerful than chlorine) and finally, the bottles are rinsed again with finished product water (the good stuff).
The bottles are then inverted and transferred to our filler – a 750 bottle per hour, pressurized filling line. Timers and pneumatic valves ensure each bottle is properly filled, capped and time/date coded – all without touching a human hand! Everything is done automatically.