With water hardness and higher levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) prevalent in several geographic areas, the water coming out of the tap will not adequately meet the needs of many foodservice operations.
The elements in water impact not only the color and taste of the water, but also the operation’s kitchen equipment. Operators can address these water quality issues and protect kitchen equipment by investing in a water filtration system.
The pieces of kitchen equipment most positively impacted by a properly designed water filtration system are:
- ice machines
- coffee brewing systems
- espresso machines
- combi ovens
Without a water filtration system in place, scale build up will affect the equipment’s performance, such as an ice machine not being able to keep up with demand during peak times.
These types of equipment also generate the greatest maintenance costs as a result of poor water quality, often resulting in service calls that require parts replacement, equipment downtime and significant labor costs to correct the problem. Additionally, service calls only offer a temporary solution; a water filtration system can address the scale issues on an ongoing basis and lessen recurring maintenance needs.
John Howard, business development manager with Antunes, understands firsthand the impact of a quality water filtration system from his experiences working with operators. Here’s one example:
“I was working with a specialty coffee shop located on the west coast ― where water quality is among the worst in the United States in terms of hardness and high TDS. The shop operator had documented maintenance costs for its coffee brewing systems, both drip coffee and espresso coffee, which totaled more than $7,000 per year — a majority spent on service calls for deliming or descaling.
After consulting with the operator and installing a scale inhibitor and water filtration system, the shop’s annual maintenance costs were reduced by 75 percent. A valuable byproduct of the installation was increased revenue that can be attributed to a significant increase in the quality of the coffee beverages from the improved water.”
Operations that employ a properly designed and maintained water filtration solution will yield positive results in three areas:
- Equipment will operate at peak performance, functioning as the manufacturer intended.
- Water quality will improve — impacting the flavor of ingredient water used for beverages and water-based foods, such as soup. A proper water filtration system can also address the need for certain amounts of minerals in the water in order to achieve the proper taste profile — espresso, for example.
- Demand can be met when lime scale is well managed, which is particularly important for ice machines and espresso machines. With the machine’s interworking clear, operators will be able to get the ingredient water needed to operate efficiently.
With reduced service calls and downtime, fewer replacement parts and better ingredient water for beverages and food, water filtration systems save operations money by protecting equipment and improving overall water quality.
Need to better understand your operation’s water quality? Read this article on determining water quality.