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Soft Drink Wastewater Treatment

Soft drinks include any nonalcoholic beverage except tap water. They are sweetened beverages with a water base and usually have added flavors, carbonation or color. The soft drink industry uses a significant amount of wastewater throughout production and manufacturing, making wastewater treatment vital.

Types of Soft Drinks

The processes for making different types of soft drinks vary, and so do the contaminants in the wastewater. Common types of soft drinks include:

  • Sodas
  • Seltzers
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Mineral waters
  • Iced tea
  • Energy drinks
  • Citrus drinks
  • Plant-based waters

These drinks commonly come in plastic or glass bottles or cans. Regardless of the type of beverages produced at a soft drink plant, wastewater systems are critical for protecting the environment and safely reusing resources.

Contaminants in the Soft Drinks Industry Wastewaters

Making soft drinks results in several types of contaminants, including:

  • Chemical oxygen demand
  • Biological oxygen demand
  • Total suspended solids

These umbrella terms encompass numerous contaminants found in wastewater throughout the manufacturing process. The list of potential contaminants is extensive and includes:

  • Fructose
  • Fats
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Flavoring agents
  • Dissolved sugars
  • Coloring agents
  • Oils
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Preservatives
  • Sodium
  • Detergents
  • Sucrose
  • Syrups
  • Potassium
  • Wasted drink
  • Nitrates
  • Machine lubricants

Other common contaminants include lactose, grease, caustics and bicarbonates. Each of these products can enter the wastewater throughout several parts of the manufacturing process.


Soft drink manufacturing and production have several processes. Each of these steps has the potential to release contaminants into the wastewater. In general, bottle washing is one of the largest culprits. However, other processes in the soft drink industry include:

  • Heating
  • Cooling
  • Product filling
  • Cleaning in place
  • Manufacturing
  • Blending
  • Packaging
  • Carbonizing
  • Sanitizing floors

Wastewater treatment systems are critical for soft drink facilities to ensure contaminants are removed from the water before it is released or reused elsewhere in the plant.

Soft Drink Wastewater Systems

The best type of wastewater system for a soft drink plant depends on whether the existing system requires an update or an entire replacement. Wastewater system options include:

  • Retrievable systems: Add a retrievable system to an existing wastewater treatment operation to increase treatment efficiency. These systems make cleaning easier because one section of the grid can be lifted while everything else remains in operation.
  • Fixed aeration systems: A fixed aeration system can also be a viable option for soft drink plants. Fixed systems last for long periods and require less maintenance.
  • PTFE membranes: Multilayer PTFE membranes are excellent solutions for this industry. SSI Aeration, Inc.’s membranes have an EDPM substrate and a PTFE surface layer to promote efficiency and longevity.
  • Moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR): MBBR systems lower operating costs and save space by operating within smaller reactors. They are also easy to control because they mainly rely on microorganisms.

Choose SSI Aeration, Inc.

The soft drink industry requires proper wastewater treatment systems to ensure the released water is free from contaminants. SSI Aeration, Inc. offers several specialized wastewater treatment options to handle facilities’ wastewater needs.

Contact SSI Aeration, Inc. or call 845-454-8171 to get started!


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