\nThe key ingredient to SodaStream home soda: filtered water.\nCarbonated soft drinks have roots that date back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The first US patent for "soda water" was awarded in 1809. Experimenting with water carbonation and flavors continued until 1886 when pharmacist John Pemberton mixed coca with soda to develop the world-famous Coca-Cola. Today soft drinks represent an estimated 25% of the beverage market. Americans drink an average of 49 gallons of soda per year, surpassing bottled water with an average of 34 gallons consumed per person a year. Soda-making is rather simple. Water, infused with carbon dioxide (about 94%), and sugar\/syrup (6%) are the two main ingredients. But until recently, the cost of the machinery limited people from making their own soft drinks at home.\n\nWater Filtering Process of Major Soda Manufacturers\nCertain beverages become favorites because people enjoy the taste. Major soda manufacturers go to great lengths to filter the water used in the production of their beverages. Water contains both naturally occurring contaminants as well as chemicals that are introduced into your water. These contaminants can dramatically affect the taste of your beverages and may be potentially harmful to your health. Below are the four basic steps used in the water filtering process when creating those great tasting soft drinks we all enjoy.\n\n Clarify\n\nThis process rids the water of any impurities like organic matter, bacteria, or suspended particles that might degrade taste and\/or color.\n\n Filter\n\nNext, water runs through a sand filter, removing any particles that remain from the clarification process.\n\n Sterilize\n\nWater is pumped into a storage tank, where chlorine is added as a disinfectant.\n\n Dechlorinate\n\nWater is run through an active carbon water filter. In addition to removing any remaining organic matter, the active carbon water filter de-chlorinates the water.\nHave you ever accidentally swallowed a mouthful of pool water while splashing around? If so, you've experienced the awful taste of chlorinated water. In 2005, nearly 86% of the US population used a public water supply. Of these municipal supplies, nearly 98% used chlorine or its derivatives to disinfect the drinking water. Dechlorination, the last step in the filtration process, may be the most important in the entire filtering process. Soft drink manufacturers are going to great extent to produce purified water for their sodas, and you can do the same by ensuring that your SodaStream sparkling water is of the highest quality.\n\nTips for Making Better Home Soda and Sparkling Water with SodaStream\nAs SodaStream states on their website, you can now "turn tap water into sparkling water in under 30 seconds," and we have gathered a few tips that will help to improve the taste of your SodaStream sparkling water:\n\nUse very cold water to carbonate the water (CO2 is better absorbed into colder water). Here's a great Oasis water chiller.\nAfter carbonating, let the bottle sit for a minute while still attached to the machine\nSodaStream Water Filter; Use Only filtered water\n\nIf you plan on using the chlorinated water straight out of your tap for your SodaStream machine, you may find yourself very disappointed with the results. If the taste of your unfiltered tap water is unappealing, then you're likely not experiencing goo coffee, tea, or sparkling water either.\nThere are many ways to clean up the taste of your tap water. Even a simple, convenient water filter pitcher can generate great tasting water. Many households today use some level of water filtration in the kitchen, whether it's an under-the-counter drinking water filter system or a water filter inside a refrigerator for dispensing water and ice.\n\nSodaStream Water Filters\nYou can begin reducing chlorine in your tap water with a simple carbon based water filters shown below. \nRefrigerator Filters: Most people's home refrigerators are equipped with a water filter system. This is an easy source to get filtered water for your System.\nWater Pitcher Filters: Simply fill these specially designed water pitchers from your tap. As you pour water from the pitcher into the SodaStream, it runs through the carbon-based filter, dechlorinating the water.\nCeramic Water Filter Systems: Ceramic filters offer a high level of filtration through the use of a silver impregnated ceramic media and a granular activated carbon media. Ceramic filters are available as a countertop filter or under the counter systems.\nContaminants reduced\n\nChlorine\nTaste and odor\nBacteria\nCrypto\nArsenic\nLead\nPesticides\nViruses\n\nIf you would like a higher level of filtration for homemade soda, then you should consider ceramic filtration in a counter-top system or our newest technology, ultrafiltration (UF).\nUltrafiltration Water Filter Systems: Easy to install under your sink, does not require electricity, and there is no water storage tank.\nMajor soda bottlers use more than just activated carbon filtration methods. Many bottling plants utilize a multi-level filtration process that clarifies and purifies the water, but one Coca-Cola bottler has recently implemented ultrafiltration (UF) technology. Ultrafiltration membranes have increased the plant's capacity and efficiency by producing 10 times less waste water compared to the use of reverse osmosis. This new technology adheres to Coca-Cola's strict raw water input, not to allow more than 0.05mg\/liter of chlorine or turbidity levels below 0.2 NTU's (3).