Frozen Dessert Equipment Introduction

100_3795Ice cream, yogurt, and other frozen dessert machines/dispensers are potential water wasters.  Some of this refrigeration equipment is designed to use water to remove heat from the compressors and product through single-pass cooling.  In addition, many operators use dipper wells to provide a constant flow water bath to clean and warm the serving scoops.  There are water saving opportunities where this technology and practices are employed.

Single-pass water cooling of any refrigeration equipment should be prohibited. Refrigeration equipment (i.e. refrigerators, walking coolers, ice cream and yogurt machines, and similar equipment) should be air-cooled or be fed with water from a closed cooling water loop (using heat exchangers).


Dipper Wells

Dipper wells are used throoughout the food service industry to rinse and warm scoopers and serving utensils between uses by food servers.  Besides frozen dessert service, some cafetrias also use dipper wells to hold the scoops, spoons and ladles at the steam tray food service stations.  The dipper well consists of a small basin or trough (usually 0.5 to 5 gallons capacity), a water valve connected to a potable water supply, and an overflow drain located slightly below the top of the basin.  The valve allows water to fill the basin and the overflow drain allows the water to exit, keeping the basin filled and water constantly replaced.  Unfortunately this design allows the water to constantly flow, even when fresh water is not needed. 

                                          FMP 117-1060 Side Mounted Dipper Well

In most cases, the flow of water in the dipper wells are notoriously set at excessive flow rates.  In addition, the water is allowed to flow even when there is no need or demand for rinsing the utensils.   Some establishments allow the water to flow even when food service is not in operation.  In many cases, each dipper well can use more than 300,000 gallons of water per month.   There are no known health codes that specifically require the use of dipper wells or require any set flow rate of the water used at dipper wells. 

Water efficiency standards require dipper wells to use no more than 1 gallon of water per minute, and include a shut-off valve at each dipper well.  The most efficienct models use a metering valve which simply requires the operator to push each time fresh water is needed in the  basin or trough;  this is proven to be convenient, effective and efficient in water use and food service.