Bowen & Bowen responds to claims of contaminated Crystal water bottles
Monday, June 8th, 2015
In Volume 25 Issue 18 of The San Pedro Sun (“How safe is our bottled drinking water”), it was reported that a black viscous matter was found inside one of the 16oz Crystal water bottles. This was brought to our attention by a local establishment who purchases Crystal water bottles by the case. Since then Bowen & Bowen Ltd, producers of Crystal water issued an official statement: “At Bowen & Bowen, maintaining the highest possible standards of service and quality has always been, and always will be, our driving priority. We continually review our processes and engage with our suppliers and customers to ensure that these standards are met. Demonstrating our commitment to quality, all of our beverage production facilities are international certified by ISO, HACCP and FSSC. We take all customer feedback seriously. Any report of a defective or substandard product is reviewed internally, and in cooperation with independent and government agencies. We are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to guarantee our products are of the highest quality.”
In a further attempt to clarify matters, Bowen & Bowen also extended an invitation to The San Pedro Sun to visit its water plant in Ladyville. We were given a thorough tour of their water plant, which boasts state of the art mechanism, aimed at guaranteeing the safest and cleanest drinking water. Senior personnel from the plant were kind enough to explain the processes water goes through before hitting the market. From the Water Treatment Plant (First stage of water purification) the tour promised to be interesting and educative. According to Brew Master Nolan Michael, water goes through carbon and sand filters which takes out and traps any impurities in the water. All equipment in this first stage is completely automated as pointed out by Michael. “After the water passes through this first purification process it is already suitable by the World Health Organization standards for drinking,” said Michael. Nevertheless, this is not the end of the water purification process, subsequently there was more to come to guarantee the most clean and safest drinking water. Michael stated that according to the World Health Organization standard for drinking water, it is 500 ppm (parts per million total dissolve solids), Crystal bottled water at the first stage of purification is at 1.5 ppm.
According to Bowen & Bowen, even though the water is good for drinking at this stage, it is still treated with Free Chlorine (Chlorine available) through continuous electronic monitors. This equipment plots charts showing the adequate amounts of free chlorine required, which is between 1.1 pmm to 3 pmm. Then, the water is pumped in to two elevated tanks from where it is delivered to the Crystal Bottling Company via gravitational force.
We were taken to the bottling area where Water Plant Manager, Manuel Lanza continued the tour explaining the rest of the processes to bring bottled water to our stores. Lanza indicated that due to the double reverse osmosis the water goes through, its quality exceeds all standards locally and internationally. “In the first reverse Osmosis unit, 85% to 99% of total dissolve solids (TDS) is removed and in the second osmosis it further removes any lingering particles present in the water,” said Lanza. He further explained that after ozonation and ultraviolet light sterilization, the water is stored for a minimum of 48 hours before it is distributed to customers countrywide.
Crystal maintains that its facilities are state of the art and up to date: from ozonators, tripex multi – tech filters to a chamber with ultraviolet (UV) light, Bowen and Bowen is committed to providing Belizeans with the highest quality of drinking water. Lanza, would like to extend the invitation to anyone who may want to know more about Crystal Water to tour the facility. For more information contact Bowen and Bowen at 227-7031 or [email protected]
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