Finding an Alternative to Costly Cartridges Not all water filtration systems are equal, and foodservice operators considering their options have several types of systems to choose from: Mechanical – The filter physically strains solids and particulates as the water flows through the filter. This category can further be divided by filtration type: Particle filtration – Pore size greater than 5 micron; can filter pollen, hair and other sediment particulates Microfiltration – Pore size ranges from 0.1 to 5 micron; can filter cysts, bacteria, asbestos and paint pigments Ultrafiltration – Pore size range from 0.01 to 0.1 micron; can filter silica, viruses, endotoxins, proteins and plastics Nanofiltration – Pore sizes range from 0.001 to 0.01 micron; can filter some salts, synthetic dyes and sugars Chemical – Carbon filters are used to reduce taste and odor in water. Chlorine and chloramine come into contact with the carbon, reducing the chlorine and chloramine ions which contribute to taste and corrosion issues. Ion exchange – Used to reduce the total hardness of water. Also known as water softeners, the ion exchange resin replaces magnesium and calcium ions with sodium (or potassium) ions. Reverse osmosis – Used in applications with high Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) levels in water. These systems force water, under pressure, through a semipermeable membrane, effective down to 0.0001 micron particle size. UV sterilization – Used to reduce microbial contamination in water. The UV energy is absorbed by the microbe and degrades the DNA/RNA, ultimately killing the microbe. The maintenance requirements for these systems vary; many mechanical and chemical filtration systems feature multiple high-maintenance cartridges that clog easily, requiring frequent changes. Depending on the quality of water and the volume of usage, cartridges may need to be replaced up to three or four times per year. With each cartridge change, costs are incurred for the service company to come to the location — plus the cost of each individual cartridge. With these systems, the cost — and the hassle — quickly adds up. Antunes takes a different approach with the VZN water filtration system. The VZN system delivers high-quality ingredient water through a two-phase process that extends the lifespans of the ultrafilter and carbon cartridge to ensure the lowest cost of ownership for premium water filtration. The VZN system separates the mechanical filtration from the chemical filtration by means of the ultrafilter (mechanical) being placed before the carbon filter (chemical). With the self-cleaning feature of the ultrafilter, it has a typical lifespan of five years — and in some cases, up to 10 years. Because the ultrafilter ensures that mechanically clean water enters the carbon cartridge, the system requires only one low-cost carbon cartridge change per year rather than multiple times per year, like many competitive products. Furthermore, since the mechanically clean water prevents the carbon cartridge from becoming plugged, the VZN system achieves the highest taste and odor reduction in the industry. Plus, the carbon cartridge costs less because it doesn’t have to perform mechanical filtration. Having fewer cartridges in the system reduces the overall cost to the store owner or franchisee. Over time, often in less than 18 months, the savings from fewer replacement filters required to maintain the VZN system more than makes up for the slightly higher initial purchase price for the unit. Because water filtration systems aren’t solely a one-time expense, it’s important to consider all of the costs associated with the ongoing maintenance and replacement requirements for the unit before purchasing. Watch this video to learn how Antunes’ ultrafiltration systems benefit foodservice operations.