What are Ozone Systems?

Patrick Lynch
Patrick Lynch
Ozone systems use an electrical charge to generate water-purifying ozone.
Ozone systems use an electrical charge to generate water-purifying ozone.

Ozone systems are designed to purify water by removing debris, sediment, and bacteria. They can also be used to ensure that food is free from contaminants, and certain systems have also been designed to sanitize areas to make sure they are safe for processing meat and other products. These systems are becoming more popular as the ability of ozone gas to kill harmful microbes such as bacteria becomes more widely known.

Ozone systems are used because ozone gas is over 50 times more powerful than chlorine, the oxidizer most commonly used to sanitize processed food. It kills microbes more than 3,000 times faster than chlorine, and unlike chlorine, it leaves no toxic byproducts behind. Ozone gas works so well as a sanitizer because once it becomes exposed to pollutants like fungi, viruses, and mildew it will react with them, destroying them in the process.

Ozone gas has been used worldwide for more than 100 years to purify water systems. In 2001, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decreed that ozone systems could be used with food as well as water. This has opened the door for food processing plants to use ozone systems to remove bacteria from produce.

Ozone systems can be used on water by pumping water from an outside storage tank through an injector which introduces the gas into the water as it flows past. A stainless steel tank is used to store the water which has just been treated with ozone gas for several minutes. This is to ensure that the transfer of gas to water is successful.

Ozone systems are extremely effective in treating the water of rural areas that are suffering from adverse sanitary conditions. It is not uncommon for small communities to have water that contains sulfur and iron which leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. Ozone gas has been used effectively in numerous neighborhoods where this has been a problem as changing the procedure from large to small scale is easily done.

Poultry is especially susceptible to contamination in the form of salmonella, listeria, and E-coli. Such contaminants cause millions of people to suffer from food poisoning each year with thousands dying because of it. Meat processing plants use ozone systems to ensure that their facilities remove all traces of bacteria. Ozone gas not only destroys microbes faster than any other chemical, but it also turns into oxygen after it has completed its process, which means that no residue remains.

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Discussion Comments


One of the good things about an ozone system is that it doesn't seem to leave the taste that chlorine does. I hate drinking water that tastes like it was ladled out of my neighbor's swimming pool. And sometimes it does taste that bad, simply because they don't regulate it properly.

I don't think you have that kind of problem with an ozone water purifier because ozone turns to oxygen after doing its job, and so doesn't leave any kind of taste, that I've noticed.

I would pick ozone over chlorine any day.


@KoiwiGal - I agree with you that chickens should be treated better, for everyones' sakes, but I think that most food should be treated by ozone systems anyway.

It's better to be safe than sorry and the fact is that even natural or organic forms of farming are going to lead to manure sometimes getting on the food, whether it's vegetables or chickens or something else.

Using fail proof methods of eliminating bacterial contamination just seems like common sense to me.


One of the reasons that chickens are so vulnerable to bacterial contamination is the way they are raised and then treated in the slaughterhouse.

It's good that they can manage to purify the chickens so that people don't get sick when they eat them. But, ideally, they would combine that with better husbandry and packing practices.

Chickens are often kept in huge numbers, so bacteria can easily spread.

Even if they are kept in a "barn" they might be packed together so that they can't help but get fecal matter on themselves.

They are usually slaughtered in plants which try to get through the chickens as efficiently as possible, without regard to much food safety (assuming that people will cook the bacteria away).

Again, if they are adding ozone systems as a way of making sure that eating chicken isn't going to harm people, that's good, but if they were to do it properly in the first place, I'm not sure it would be necessary.

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    • Ozone systems use an electrical charge to generate water-purifying ozone.
      Ozone systems use an electrical charge to generate water-purifying ozone.