Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine


Wednesday, July 25th, 2001

Pall Canada tabs manager
Pall Canada Ltd. has hired Leigh McDemott as business unit manager to cover the Canadian municipal water market. Leigh comes to Pall with broad experience in membrane technologies and water treatment for a wide range of industries including pharmaceutical process water and mining wastewater. He earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Western Ontario.

Aqua-Pure names new CEO
Jacob Halldorson, on behalf of Calgary, Alberta-based Aqua-Pure Ventures Inc.’s board, appointed Clifford Alexander, former COO, as company president and CEO. Alexander joined Aqua-Pure as COO in October 2000. With over 17 years experience in Canada, the United States and South America, he has experience in refining, chemicals, petrochemicals and municipal and industrial water treatment.

Zenon CEO gets AWWA prize
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) in May presented Dr. Andrew Benedek, chairman and CEO of Zenon Environmental Inc., with this year’s George Warren Fuller Award. The award recognizes the service of one of its members with respect to his/her engineering skill, diplomatic talent and leadership.

Naltex adds to sales team
Naltex announced the addition of Cliff Loveland as senior sales executive. He will operate out of the Detroit area. Naltex is a major manufacturer of extruded thermoplastic netting for the filtration industry.

CET buys stock from ex-VP
CET Environmental Services Inc. reached an agreement in May to purchase a significant block of its common stock from Douglas Cotton, the former director and executive vice president of the company, as well as settle certain issues surrounding his resignation last September. The company will purchase Cotton’s common stock, which amounts to 631,514 shares or approximately 10 percent of the outstanding shares.

B&V names new president
Black & Veatch Corp., of Kansas City, Mo., appointed Dwane Stone as president of the company’s process division. Stone earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Houston. Black & Veatch is a global engineering and construction firm specializing in the fields of energy, water and information technology.

Tribuno promoted to VP
Scott/Bacharach Instruments LLC, of Exton, Pa., announced the promotion of its controller, Al Tribuno, to vice president of finance and operations. Tribuno has more than 14 years of finance experience. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ursinus College and is working toward his master’s in business administration at Penn State University.  

Uniloy gains unit manager
Ronald Lamanna has joined blow-molding manufacturer Uniloy Milacron, of Manchester, Mich., as business unit manager for molds, parts and services. He will be responsible for strategic planning and development of the company’s third party, aftermarket parts and customer service business segments. Lamanna holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Grove City College.

Buetow becomes Pentair VP
Pentair Water Technologies announced the promotion of Kathleen Buetow to vice president and general manager of Ashland Operations (Hydromatic and Myers), a unit of Pentair Pump Group. She has over 13 years in the pump industry serving in varying management roles with Myers. The Pentair Pump Group manufactures and sells products under Aurora Pump, Fairbanks Morse, Hydromatic, Myers, Layne/Verti-line, Water Ace and Shur-Dri brands serving the commercial, industrial, municipal and residential markets.

2 appointed at Solvay
William Barnes was promoted to vice president of human resources, regulatory affairs and purchasing, at Solvay Interox Inc. Previously, he was director of logistics at Solvay. He joined the company in 1988. Barnes holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the College of William and Mary, and a master’s degree in chemistry and a doctorate in analytical chemistry from Purdue University. Meanwhile, Dan Magid was appointed to logistics and e-commerce director. Previously, Magid was marketing director. He has been with Solvay since 1979. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Texas, and a master’s degree in business from the University of Houston.

Ask the Expert

Wednesday, July 25th, 2001

Removing microsporidia

Question: Kelly Reynolds wrote the article, “Microsporidia Outbreak Linked to Water,” in the January 2000 WC&P issue.

Would you find out whether or not a filter that is certified for “cysts” by NSF will remove microsporidia? Since microsporidia are 0.5 to 1 micron, it appears to me that a 0.5 micron filter such as the Multi-Pure or Amway would remove them. Let me know.

I also want to thank you for doing such a fantastic job with WC&P. Your articles are timely, relevant, and well written. I look forward to receiving each issue.

Deanna DeLong
Beaverton, Oregon

Answer: Testing on microsporidia has only begun and removal rates are not fully quantified. Since most microbes are pliable, even pores smaller than the nominal size can pass the microbe, and until we can state with authority by testing the possible removable rates, merely filtering through smaller pores is not an assured method.

In search of water efficiency

Question: I have a Watermate water softener. It’s about 14 years old. The water seems fine, but how do I know it’s doing a good job? Also, with the recent drought, I run low on water when it cycles. How much water does it take to regenerate a typical system, and are some more water conserving than others?

Lee Test
Bellbrook, Ohio

Answer: Fourteen-year-old equipment is likely approaching its expected life—particularly if you’re looking for water efficiency. Today’s equipment may offer a lot more in terms of monitoring and control instrumentation, i.e., demand initiated regeneration, etc., that not only saves water but improves on the salt efficiency. Have the water tested before and after it enters the unit to find out how well it’s performing. Sometimes simply having a unit serviced by a knowledgeable professional technician can improve its efficiency with a few adjustments or resin cleaning. There are so many softeners that brine in the “counter-current” mode saving water and salt, it’d be hard to mention all. Some brands are Technetic, Kinetico, ECO and DWC-Plus. Even a newer Watermate likely will be more water conservative.

Global Spotlight

Wednesday, July 25th, 2001

At a June 15 meeting, the Florida Water Quality Association was to announce its board of directors for 2001-2002. Mark Kuyawa, of Atlantic Filter Corp., president; Kavey Water Equipment’s Larry Eaton, vice president; Alan Sayer, of Sayler WaterCare, secretary; and Pentair Water Treatment’s Dave Beeman, treasurer. 💧

Bomar Water Inc. has relocated its DI manufacturing and regeneration facility to Tampa, Fla. The new address is 4807 Anderson Road with a zip code of 33634. The phone number is (813) 901-5622. 💧

Antiscalants SpectraGuard and SpectraGuard Super-Concentrate from Professional Water Technologies, of Escondido, Calif., are now certified to ANSI/NSF Standard 60 requirements. Underwriters Laboratories completed the testing. 💧

Denver-based IHS Engineering, a provider of technical standards, specifications, logistics and parts information, has made engineering handbooks available to almost 700 universities nationwide. 💧

Carbon Enterprises Inc. will host a grand opening and ribbon cutting event on July 12 for its new, state-of-the-art, 20,500-square-foot facility. It will feature new computer and communications systems. 💧

Sharp Water Inc., a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corp., purchased in May its second EcoWater dealership in Florida. Absolute Water Care Inc. serves the Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee counties. 💧

NSF International gained acceptance from the Standards Institute of Israel and Ministry of Industry and Trade by satisfying Israel’s new testing regulations for imported drinking water treatment units. 💧

The American Consulting Engineers Council in May changed its name to the American Council of Engineering Companies, thus keeping the same acronym. 💧

Advanced Medical Technologies Inc. has signed a master franchise agreement with Menzies on Main Pty Ltd. to develop WaterStar franchise offices throughout Australia and New Zealand. 💧

Clearly Canadian has teamed up with Reebok International to launch “Reebok Fitness Water” in a half dozen markets. 💧

The Georgia Water and Pollution Control Association in May awarded Miller Brewing Co.’s Albany brewery a 2001 Pollution Control Award for outstanding environmental protection of its wastewater treatment facility. 💧

Crane Environmental delivered two Cochrane brand deaerators in April to the U.S. Navy for use on the new aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. 💧

Torrington, Conn.-based InterGis, a developer of routing and scheduling solutions for client server, desktop and web-based routing systems, has contracted with Phoenix-based Puretec, an RO and water softener service company. 💧

Pepsi Bottling Group Inc., the largest distributor of PepsiCo Inc. drinks, announced in April a 53 percent rise in first-quarter profits. Bottled water is growing at a rapid clip, but comprises only 1 percent of U.S. case volume. 💧

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. acquired South Bend, Ind.-based Environmental Health Laboratories in April. EHL is one of the nation’s leading facilities for compliance testing and analysis of drinking water. 💧

Standard 61 approved for softeners

At a May 9 meeting, an NSF International joint committee approved use of Standard 61 for use in Standard 44 – Cation Exchange Water Softeners. WQA technical director Joe Harrison noted in the WQA Newsfax an interest in seeing NSF adopt Standard 61 as an alternative method of materials safety extraction testing for all drinking water treatment units (DWTUs), saying it will make certification more efficient/less costly for members and satisfy more stringent requirements pursued by plumbing code bodies. That would require more study though, the committee felt. It also discussed changes to ANSI/NSF Standard 55 to make that a broader microbial water purifier standard to include all bacteria, cyst and virus claims. Such claims now under Standard 53 would move to the new Standard 55. Clearer language also will be developed for product literature defining RO efficiency and recovery ratings in Standard 58.

Meanwhile, on May 1, the Universal Plumbing Code adopted a new section, “Sizing of Residential Water Softeners,” that includes a table stating that a ¾-inch connection will serve up to two bathrooms in a home and a 1-inch connection will serve one with up to four bathrooms. The code recognizes that a softener serving over four bathrooms would have to be engineered for the installation. IAPMO, which oversees the code, took this action after reviewing WQA’s new report, “Analysis of Indoor Peak Demands in Single-Family Housing.” It delayed a ruling on whether to reinstate Gold Seal standards from the code until a report is completed in September. In other news, an Irvine Ranch Water District/AWWARF salinity study to determine relative contribution to waste streams of different sources has been delayed until January 2002.

NSF buys safety company
NSF International in May acquired Cook & Thurber, LLC, a leading provider of process-based product safety and quality audits for the food, beverage, animal feed and packaging industries. Combining Cook & Thurber’s processing industry expertise with NSF’s existing food safety services could allow NSF to offer the most comprehensive quality, sanitation and safety auditing services available. Operating under a new name, NSF-Cook & Thurber, a division of NSF, will maintain its headquarters in Madison, Wisc.

Hague debuts RO warranty
Columbus, Ohio-based Hague Quality Water International launched a 25-year limited warranty for its entire line of residential RO systems. Covered: the dispensing faucet, filter and membrane housings and caps. If a storage tank is found to be defective, Hague will repair or replace it at no charge for five years from date of installation.

USFilter settles lawsuits
USFilter Corp., of Palm Desert, Calif., said in April it settled lawsuits for patent infringement against Watertown, Mass.-based Ionics Inc., a supplier of water treatment and water purification systems. Ionics will pay USFilter an undisclosed sum for the patent infringement. The patents covered various products and methods for production of high purity water used in the microelectronics, pharmaceutical, biotech, food and beverage, and power industries. Two  suits involved the company’s continuous electrodeionization technology and a third concerned its RO technology.

Two companies slash jobs
Philadelphia-based Rohm and Haas said in May it expects to cut as many as 1,260 jobs as part of a restructuring plan. The specialty chemicals company hopes to save $200 million annually by late next year. It said the cuts would likely result in a loss of 6 to 7 percent of employees. Rohm and Haas isn’t the only chemical company looking to trim staffing. Also in May, Dow Chemical Co., of Midland, Mich., said it also plans to cut 4,500 jobs, or 8 percent of its work force, doubling earlier job-reduction estimate as it looks to bolster savings from its purchase of Union Carbide. Dow hopes to cut annual costs by $1.1 billion by early 2003, more than twice its $500 million projection when the Union Carbide deal was announced in 1999. In other news, nanofiltration technology from Dow is helping to rehabilitate domestic water treatment at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada. By next year, the area will have a total of four new water treatment facilities producing 916,000 gallons of fresh water per day. Lake Mead attracts over 9 million visitors a year and is home to over 5,000 permanent residents. To supply water to residents and visitors, the National Park Service maintains water treatment plants in order to make purified drinking water from lake water. Meanwhile, Dow’s Liquid Separations business group announced a worldwide price increase of its DOWEX ion exchange resins effective June 15. The price will rise an average of 5.6 percent across the range of products. Prices for resins sold in Europe will rise 10 percent.

Osmonics gets ISO mark
Osmonics Inc. said its headquarters’ facility in Minnetonka, Minn., was awarded ISO 9001 Certification from SGS International Certification Services for the second time. Meanwhile, Sterlitech Corp., of Kent, Wash., acquired the silver metal membrane product line from Osmonics in May. Sterlitech is one of the largest manufacturers of inorganic membranes in the world.

Aquafine goes high tech
Aquafine Corp. announced in May its expansion into a new, custom-built headquarters—the single largest manufacturing facility for industrial UV products in the world. At 20910 Avenue Paine in Valencia, Calif., it will give the company 110,000 square feet of office and factory space.

Pregnancy safe from arsenic
Pregnant women exposed to average levels of arsenic in tap water need not fear harming their fetus, according to results of a new study, but the researchers recommend testing drinking water for arsenic if it comes from a private rather than a municipal well. Researchers led by Dr. Melinda Wilkins of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented their findings in April at the organization’s 50th Annual Epidemic Intelligence Service. In related news, the USEPA is reporting that 12 percent of Michigan water systems are estimated to contain arsenic levels above 10 parts per billion. Only two other states have a higher percentage.

Laws would handcuff UV
Manufacturers of UV disinfection systems could face new disposal or labeling laws if legislation introduced in New England states and New York were to pass. The legislation, aimed at restricting just about every commercial use of mercury, has been sponsored by hazardous waste officials in a coordinated campaign. UV equipment manufacturers who would like to serve on an ad hoc task force addressing the issue have been encouraged to contact the WQA public affairs department.

Hercules completes sale
Hercules Inc., parent company of water treatment chemicals distributor BetzDearborn, sold its peroxy chemicals business to GEO Specialty Chemicals Inc. in late May. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The peroxy chemicals business was part of Hercules’ Resins division, with operations in Gibbstown, N.J., and Franklin, Va. As part of the transaction, Hercules will also produce certain peroxy products at its Brunswick, Ga., and Beringen, Belgium facilities. Also, Hercules closed the sale of its 50 percent interest in Hercules-Sanyo Inc. to SANAM Corp., a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd. Hercules-Sanyo is in the toner resins business.  

Zenon gets large orders
Zenon Environmental Inc., a global leader in membrane-based water treatment technologies, said it has secured orders above $17 million for its ZeeWeed water treatment systems. Some of the communities to purchase the technology for drinking water treatment are located in Alberta, Oregon, Missouri and Puerto Rico.
Bowl game seeks sponsor

The Culligan Holiday Bowl was in preliminary talks in May with several companies interested in sponsoring the college football game should Culligan not renew its four-year contract. It’s set to expire next year. Company names being considered are under wraps, but added sponsorship costs are more than seven figures per year for a four-year period.

IMS teams with USFilter
El Cajon, Calif.-based Innovative Medical Services (IMS) announced that USFilter will provide equipment to the company’s Nutripure® water dealer program. IMS has created a marketing program that offers existing independent water treatment dealers a line of residential water softening and other point-of-use water treatment equipment for sale to the public under IMS’ Nutripure brand. In other news, IMS has signed MarketLink Corp. in May as the first Nutripure master dealer. Based in Schwenksville, Pa., MarketLink is a direct sales and marketing organization specializing in marketing quality water filtration and conditioning equipment in the Philadelphia area and other East Coast locations. Before

On Tap launches 1st issue
Based out of West Virginia University in Morgantown, National Drinking Water Clearinghouse (NDWC) has published its first issue of On Tap magazine. With its release of the Spring 2001 issue, the magazine hopes to provide “drinking water news for America’s small communities.” Previously, NDWC oversaw two newsletters, On Tap and Water Sense. They have been incorporated into the new publication.


Canada besieged by Crypto
The potentially deadly parasite lurking in the water supply of a small Canadian prairie town has affected hundreds of people across the country, Saskatchewan’s medical officer said. Officials said there were 44 confirmed cases of a flu-like illness caused by water tainted with Cryptospridium as of mid-May in North Battleford, a community of 1,400 located in west-central Saskatchewan. Attention was focused on a sedimentation chamber at one of the town’s two water treatment plants, which stopped working properly for about a month in March and April. Meanwhile, politicians in Canada’s House of Commons voted to establish enforceable national water quality standards to replace voluntary, loosely respected guidelines.

STS awarded bottling deal
Aqua Golden Mississippi, an Indonesian-based water bottling company, has awarded STS/Universal Aqua a contract that will expand AGM’s facility’s production of five gallon bottles by an extra 1,200 bottles per hour. AGM is owned by P.T. Tirta Investama, which is a joint venture with the Danone Group, one of the largest bottlers in the world. STS/UA will be designing a fully automated turnkey washer, filler and copper system specifically designed to meet AGM’s requirements.

Pall picks Canada rep.
Pall Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Pall Corp., chose MAAK Technologies in May to represent Pall’s advanced membrane filtration systems in the Ontario municipal water market. MAAK will bring Pall’s growing line of filtration systems to water suppliers in Ontario. Pall entered the municipal drinking water market four years ago. In other news, Pall Canada selected DWG Process Supply Ltd. to represent Pall’s membrane filtration systems for the western Canadian municipal water market.   

Clorox set to buy company
Clorox Co. resurrected its plan in May to form a household cleaning products joint venture with Brazil’s Bombril S.A., though at a lower price than previously announced. Clorox said it would pay $175 million for its 50 percent stake in Clorox-Bombril S.A. Clorox has been looking to Latin America as an area to expand its business. The companies are expected to finalize the transaction in July or August. Based on preliminary estimates, the company said the transaction will modestly reduce Clorox’s fiscal 2002 earnings per share.  

Italy tabs Zenon for plan
A community in Italy has chosen Canada-based Zenon’s technology to treat municipal wastewater for a thriving metropolitan region. The project, valued at approximately $10 million, is expected to be complete by August 2002. Once built, nearly 10 million gallons of wastewater will be treated per day and allow the community to safely discharge the water back into the environment.

Buzz created by water store
Rome’s Termini railroad station has a new watering hole with international waters called the Aqua Store. Aside from Italian waters, there are also waters on sale from other countries such as Glen Eagles (Scotland), Appolinaris (Germany) and Perrier (France). The store also gives advice to customers as to which mineral waters are healthy, according to BottledWaterWeb.com. The store estimates 1,500 customers visit it daily.

Trojan posts record UV pact
Canadian-based Trojan Technologies Inc. signed a $15 million contract in May with the Jefferson County Commission Environmental Services Department in Alabama. The contract is the largest UV disinfection treatment contract awarded in the industry. Trojan will supply its UV disinfection technology to treat up to 360 million gallons per day of municipal wastewater and sewer overflows during storm events. In other news, Trojan agreed in late April with  Netherlands-based N.V. PWN Water Supply Co. to collaborate in the design and installation of a UV treatment systems at a drinking water treatment plant in Andijk. Meanwhile, Trojan announced its financial and operating results for the six-month period ended Feb. 28, 2001. For the period, revenues grew 13.8 percent from $29.3 million in the prior year to $33.3 million.

USFilter donates MF systems
USFilter donated the use of two microfiltration systems for water purification to the city of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, which is combating contamination of its water supply from Cryptosporidium. The systems were installed by tapping into the current water distribution system at the city’s Civic Centre and Fire Hall. The systems work by filtering the water through polymeric membranes with microscopic pores, which trap and remove Cryptosporidium oocysts, Giardia cysts and other pathogens. North Battleford’s 14,000 residents had been boiling their tap water since April 25, when a boil water advisory was issued by the city. By mid-May, 61 residents in the region had been diagnosed with Cryptosporidium infection and thousands have suffered nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps.


Wednesday, July 25th, 2001

Multilingual tools for water treatment in Latin America

Dear Editor:
Can you help me?
My company, Intexma Inc., is an OEM [original equipment manufacturer], designing and manufacturing the Watersource™ brand reverse osmosis systems for over 10 years and providing technical service and support to RO owners/operators of these systems regardless of brand or vendor. All of our business activities are in the Caribbean and Latin America.

I am putting [together] a teaching seminar for my own people and for certain engineers and plant operators to include [topics on] softeners, ion exchange and filters. I am looking for teaching material that I can use starting with the very basics of the explanation of the softening and filtering process, components used, sizing, etc. Do you have or can you refer me to somebody that has material that I can translate and use for this purpose?

I am also looking for computer software that can automatically tell you the sizing and specs needed to select softeners and filters after inputting the required information (something somewhat similar to the software we get from the major membrane manufactures for membrane projections).
Thanks for your help.

Roberto Torricella, President
Coral Gables, FL

Editor’s response: We have a variety of technical articles on our website that may prove useful and for which you can request permission to use in your seminars, including articles about software for carbon filtration systems by Dr. Henry Nowicki, a member of the WC&P Technical Review Committee. Visit the “Archive” at www.wcponline.com to browse previous months’ tables of contents as far back as 1998. I can also forward you annual story lists as a single document by year, which can be done via a “search/find” function for particular words or phrases. We would require that credit be given to WC&P as the publisher of the articles. Simply email or fax us your requests for those you’d like to review.

As for RO, I might recommend that you get a copy of the Water Quality Association manual, “A Practical Application Manual for Residential, Point-of-Use Reverse Osmosis Systems,” which was written by former CUNO/Water Factory Systems founder Robert Slovak. It’s a guide for installers, technicians, service managers, sales people and water treatment dealers. While it isn’t translated into Spanish, the WQA has been in the process of translating several of its more basic instruction books into Spanish over the last couple of years. You can inquire about that with Mark Rowzee, WQA education director, or Anne Parissidi, educational program coordinator, at (630) 505-0160.

David H. Paul Inc., of Farmington, N.M., also has developed a variety of materials for several courses he offers on water treatment technology topics. He does charge and they often venture more into municipal and industrial process and wastewater areas, but we’ve heard good things about the programs he’s associated with at several community colleges in the Southwest.

Lastly, you should be aware that the first issue of Agua Latinoamérica—a new magazine from the publisher of WC&P—was mailed in June. It’s in Spanish with select technical articles in Portuguese as well. Similar to WC&P, we’ve put together a group of water treatment experts—including Slovak who splits his time between Reno, Nev., and São Paulo, Brazil, where he serves as a director of a small company—to serve as an advisory council and technical committee. Other groups represented on the committee include NSF International, the Pan American Health Organization and the Asociación Interamericana de Ingeniería Sanitaria y Ambiental (AIDIS). The new magazine approaches water treatment moreso from a commercial/institutional/light industrial application perspective that hopes to help groom a growing residential market. The articles may also prove useful to your endeavor. And we welcome any contributions you may want to offer editorially. This can be in the form of small news briefs on contracts your company has won or projects successfully completed; promotions or new hires at your offices; new phone numbers or websites; new products, catalogs or services, etc. If you or your staff have the time, we’d even love to publish any case studies or technical articles that you may like to present to us.

For an overview of the new magazine, visit its new website: www.agualatinoamerica.com. You may also subscribe 

The Encyclopedia of Water: Hoping to Become the Authoritative Resource

Wednesday, July 25th, 2001

By Janet Lehr

Last August, McGraw-Hill published a 1,700 page desk reference titled The Standard Handbook of Environmental Science, Health and Technology, which my husband, Jay, and I edited.

Somehow, during the process of our delivering the text to McGraw-Hill, an agent from John Wiley & Sons heard of our project and approached us with a proposal to assume editorship of their four-volume work, The Encyclopedia of Water. After a few days of reflection on the task at hand, we accepted the offer. We then had to write a proposal to John Wiley & Sons to sell it to their audience before we could begin work. This in itself was a good process because it made us focus on just how we would make this project a reality and who our readers would be.

In recent years, we’ve written books and taught short courses with nearly 300 water experts. It was these experts that we contacted first. We asked for their contribution to the water encyclopedia as well as their help in spreading the word around the world. We also contacted every major U.S. university that teaches water resources and we posted our project on every major water-related newsgroup on the web. We’re building the encyclopedia on its own website (www.wileywater.com) and it’s our intent to utilize the full resources of the world’s leading water experts in development of the encyclopedia, much the same as the now widely popular computer operating system, LINUX, was developed by a large community of computer hobbyists. We believe the project will be a huge success if we triumph in casting the widest net over the world’s water resource community to gain the greatest cross section of talented experts to make significant contributions.

Seeking contributors
With this in mind, we’re also making an effort to reach graduate students at universities around the world that provide advanced degrees in water-related topics. While graduate students may lack years of experience, they are commonly on the cutting edge of their specialty areas and thrive in a true research mode. Therefore, we believe that many of them would be capable of making a contribution while enjoying the process, which could result in their first serious publication contribution listed on their resumé.

An outstanding precedent for the development of an information resource of this magnitude was established long ago by the editors of the first edition of The Oxford English Dictionary. Its development is chronicled in the recent non-fiction book Professor and The Madman by Simon Winchester. Through now archaic communication methods, the community of English speaking scholars were contacted with a request to contribute words to the dictionary, now famous for its breadth and depth. It’s available online at www.oed.com.

The Wiley Encyclopedia of Water website initially contains about 1,400 entries in its table of contents. Visitors to the website are invited to contribute articles fulfilling informational requirements suitable for the items on the published outline. They also are encouraged to suggest additional subjects, which they or others may address. An editorial board approves all such contributions. Jack Keeley, retired groundwater research chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency office in Ada, Okla., is heading our editorial board and will slowly add other water experts over the next year.

No stone unturned
The intent of this book is to create a fully comprehensive depository of all information relating to the scientific and technological aspects of the world’s most important natural resource—water. When one enters the word “water” into Amazon.com’s search engine, over 3,500 titles come up, many of which don’t clearly explain what they’re about. If one enters the words “water supply” into BarnesandNoble.com, 637 titles come up, most of which split hairs of minutiae, leaving little substance per book. The role of water in science, engineering and society requires a one-stop location to find whatever information is available on the cutting edge of the 21st century, as well as the resource’s history.

Encyclopedias on a wide variety of technologies and scientific disciplines have existed for many decades. No one has attempted a real “encyclopedia of water.” A publication by that title was published most recently by Lewis Publishers in 1990; however, its 808 pages contained more of an eclectic collection of public domain tables and charts that didn’t contain a single narrative sentence. The Lewis book is utilized as a resource for useful public domain data; however, the focus of our Encyclopedia of Water will be to provide expert narrative on all water-related subjects.

We anticipate having more than 2,000 subject headings in the encyclopedia, which will likely utilize up to four volumes of 1,000 pages each. The goal will be to complete the compilation of material within 2-1/2 years and make the four-volume encyclopedia set available to every major library in the English speaking world. The publisher expects to initially print 1,000 copies. We anticipate John Wiley & Sons will make the encyclopedia available on the Internet on a fee basis as well as CD-ROM.

Experts in all fields
All contributions to the encyclopedia will be written by scientists, academia and professionals in the water treatment industry with established expertise in the particular fields they address. Most topics will be prepared as short digestible entries much like Wiley’s Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, making it easy for users to find the required information quickly, without the need to search through long articles. Some subjects, though, will be treated at considerable length. Shorter items will be cross-referenced with all related longer pieces contained therein. This cross-referencing will enable the reader to get as much information as needed at the desired level of detail.

Potential contributors are required to post brief summary resumés in a special section of the Wiley Water Encyclopedia website, as well as a short list of their major water related publications before receiving clearance to work on an encyclopedia contribution. Upon that approval and the subsequent completion of their contribution, it will be posted on a special section of the website where it will be peer reviewed by the editor and others before being officially accepted and entered into the encyclopedia.

Compensation for contributors will consist of a byline in the encyclopedia and a listing in promotional literature. Additionally, contributors would receive honoraria of $100 toward the purchase of Wiley books for each accepted entry.

We urge all readers of WC&P to pass this information to their colleagues and visit our website where you can become contributors to a truly monumental work on collective water information of the 21st century. The deadline for contributions for possible inclusion is November 2003. The project is scheduled for completion by December 2004.

About the author
Janet Lehr is president of Environmental Education Enterprises Inc. She is working on the Water Encyclopedia, a project of John Wiley & Sons publishers, as an editor. She can be reached at (740) 368-9393, (740) 368-9494 (fax) or email: e3@e3power.com

POE Applications for a Microbrewery: A Case Study

Wednesday, July 25th, 2001

By Ed Closuit

Summary: RO is the preferred technology for many commercial/light industrial applications where feed water purification and final product water consistency are essential. Growth of U.S. microbreweries has created an opportunity for this application. The following case study offers an additional area of interest in that the feed water to the microbrewery is product from a local municipal RO plant.

Beer, by definition, is an aqueous solution, 91-to-97 percent of which is water. The importance of water quality in beer production cannot be understated and was the driving force behind consideration of a particular reverse osmosis (RO) water purification system for brewing.

The Outer Banks Brewing Station, in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., is a microbrewery with a projected need of up to 3,000 gallons per day (gpd)  of purified water to support production of 500 gallons per batch of its brewed products. A microbrewery is a brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels (17,600 hectoliters) of beer per year. Raw water supplied to the microbrewery from the local municipal RO plant lacks the quality and consistency needed for optimal brewing.

Importance of water source
Long before the water chemistry behind the brewing process was scientifically understood, great breweries sprang up in the proximity of excellent water sources. If the local water source was inadequate for proper brewing, the beer produced would be of poor quality. Either the brewery moved to a better source of water, adapted their brewing techniques, or they perished.

Water profiles from the classic brewing regions are surprisingly different from each other, accounting for the evolution of unique beer styles from those areas (see www.barandbeer.com or www.ebraumeister.com for beer types). It was the early trial and error compensating methods in addition to the presence of certain mineral ions that determined the style of beer that evolved from an area. When certain Munich brewers moved to Prague, they were amazed at how light and delicate their beers turned out from essentially the same recipes and ingredients used in Munich.

What’s most important to the brewer is the effect the brewing water has on mash pH. Malt enzymes are very particular about temperature and pH, and mashing is essentially an enzymatic process. Proper mash pH, usually preferred at around 5.2-5.4, can be achieved by several means. In the early days of brewing, methods were mostly limited to malt composition and biological acidification. Modern breweries may add food grade acids such as lactic acid or phosphoric acid to adjust the mash pH.

London water is high in carbonate ions, which tends to drive the mash pH up, but dark roasted malts acidify the mash and the balanced pH results in excellent porters. North of London in an area called Burton Upon Trent the water has extremely high levels of dissolved minerals, especially gypsum, which lowers mash pH, thus enabling a balanced mash with minimal dark malts resulting in exceptional pale ales.

It’s interesting to note here that both Prague and Burton Upon Trent produce world class light beers while Prague has very low total dissolved solids (TDS)—around 31 parts per million (ppm)—and Burton has exceptionally high TDS (around 1,226 ppm). The reason they both work for brewing is the overall balance of ions and especially the residual alkalinity (RA):

RA values less than 1 are considered good brewing water. By this formula, Burton Upon Trent water is actually superior to Pilsner (Prague) water. In fact, the practice of adding gypsum to brewing water to achieve a lower mash pH is still sometimes referred to as “Burtonization.”

There are many subtleties to managing the ion balance. While it’s essential to keep the mash in the right pH range by whatever means, the presence of certain minerals does have an effect on flavor and character of the beer. Many minerals have a positive effect on brewing up to a point, after which they’re detrimental, causing excessive saltiness, sourness or bitterness. Yeast requires a proper balance of calcium (Ca) with magnesium (Mg) for optimal fermentation along with several other nutritional requirements. Thus, absolutely pure water would not make very good brewing water. But by using RO as pretreatment for brewing water, the brewer can add back minerals to suit any style of beer he or she is trying to create or duplicate.

Along the outer banks
The Outer Banks Brewing Station opened in May 2001. The beers produced by the microbrewery were to be sold initially through its 215-seat restaurant, with limited distribution of its products in kegs and bottles in 2002. Brewmaster Scott Meyer planned to use RO water, possibly custom salted, in the kitchen in addition to the beer production. He said, “I expect that if we pay as much attention to the water that is used in our sauces, stocks, and breads as we do to the water used for brewing, we can improve on our foods.”

To produce the highest quality product for his patrons, Meyer determined that a point-of-entry (POE) water purification system would be essential to meet the following objectives:

  • Reduce the TDS and chloride concentrations from the raw water to acceptable levels. Chloride concentrations must be below 25 milligrams per liter (mg/L) for optimal brewing.
  • Reduce the pH to enable precise pH control of the treated water prior to brewing.
  • Provide low TDS permeate as make-up water for cleaning solutions. Acid and alkali cleaners are made much more effective if they’re made up with low TDS water. “Beerstone” and other mineral deposits can be very difficult to remove.

Source water control
Raw water to the Outer Banks Brewing Station is supplied by the Kill Devil Hills municipal water plant. As shown in Table 1, the Kill Devil Hills plant utilizes RO to reduce the TDS from local surface water supplies from 4,380 mg/L TDS to a final blended product of about 400 mg/L TDS. Water from the municipal plant has been treated after the RO process with chlorine and caustic chemicals for residual disinfection and corrosion protection, respectively.

Meyer decided to use RO in his water treatment system as well to give him control of the brewing water parameters. The purified water would give him a “blank canvas” on which he could add back mineral salts in measured quantities tailored to the different beer styles he produces. Additionally, RO removes about 97 percent of sodium nitrate from the water. Nitrates reduce to nitrites in solution, which are toxic to yeast.

As brewmaster, Meyer turned to local dealer Le Bleu Water Treatment for a complete water purification solution. A process designed to accommodate all the purified water needs of the brewery was formulated by Le Bleu and the Outer Banks Brewing Station. As illustrated in Figure 1, the raw water is pre-treated with KDF media for chlorine and organics removal prior to treatment by the RO unit, which is sized to produce 3,200 gpd of product water. Permeate or product water is output to brewing process tanks for adjustment with brewing salts. The concentrate or reject water from the RO unit is stored in separate tanks for outside use, such as irrigation. Concentrate recycling was deliberately excluded from the RO equipment as it was determined better control of the brewing process parameters could be maintained while increasing overall system recovery by blending pre-treated water with permeate.

The RO system includes dual high-flow (low-pressure) 4-inch × 40-inch membranes to maintain the required production in the event the feed water temperature drops below the optimal 77°F. Stainless steel pressure vessels, control panel and high-pressure pump were installed on the RO skid for corrosion resistance and to provide an appearance consistent with the restaurant and brewing equipment of the facility.

Brewing beer is a complicated process, combining craft and science. Brewmaster Scott Meyer and his local water treatment dealer have conceived a water treatment system tailored to the needs of a modern microbrewery. Reverse osmosis is a critical element of this system since it provides the brewmaster with the highest quality raw material upon which he can perform his craft.

The author would like to thank Joel Walker, a water specialist with Le Bleu Water Treatment, and Scott Meyer, one of the owners of the Outer Banks Brewing Station, for their assistance on this article. Walker’s company is a division of Le Bleu of The Outer Banks, a water treatment equipment and bottled water supplier in Harbinger, N.C. He had over 16 years experience as an independent water treatment contractor prior to joining Le Bleu last year. Meyer is a certified brewmaster through the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology in Chicago.


  1. Institute for Brewing Studies, Craft-Brewing Industry Fact Sheet, Chicago.
  2. The website: http://www.beertown.org
  3. The website: http://www.brewing techniques.com/library/backissues/issue6.1/williams.html
  4. Water analysis courtesy of Health Department, Dare County, N.C.; sample taken March 3, 2001.

About the author
Edward Closuit is president of Haliant Technologies, a reverse osmosis equipment manufacturer based in Sarasota, Florida. Closuit received a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Florida in Gainesville and a master’s degree in business from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. He has many years of experience in manufacturing water treatment equipment and was previously president of Environmental Products USA Inc.

An Open-Loop Recirculation Flow Pattern: Eliminating Water Waste in Membrane-Based POU Applications, Part 1 of 2

Sunday, July 15th, 2001

By Ted Kuepper, Robert Lovo and Mark Silbernagel

Summary: Even the most widely used water technologies in the POU/POE industry have drawbacks. Chief among these often is the amount of water wasted in the process. A no-waste membrane system design has been introduced as a practical alternative. Some of the system’s positives relate to its open-loop recirculation flow pattern.

Point-of-use (POU) reverse osmosis (RO) drinking water systems and point-of-entry (POE) ion exchange water softeners are two of the most universal water treatment technologies used today for residential, commercial and industrial applications. These systems, however, have operational characteristics that create significant concerns if they’re installed in water-scarce regions of the world. These concerns include:

Salinity and efficiency
This is illustrated by an investigation conducted by the city of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority. The study found the increase of salinity, due to salt brine regeneration of conventional water softeners, to be 234 milligrams per liter (mg/L) in the wastewater of a community of 6,731 households.1,2 It was concluded that water softeners contribute 44 percent of the total salt increase in this particular test community’s domestic wastewater (534 mg/L total salt increase was found in the wastewater evaluated). Such results may vary depending upon softener penetration in the market served.*

A salinity increase in a community’s wastewater—regardless of the source—directly impacts the cost to reuse and recycle wastewater in the future. In June 1999, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation produced a Salinity Management Report that estimated costs associated with salt removal from domestic wastewater and recycled water.3 Based on this report, the annual cost to remove 234 mg/L salt from the domestic wastewater of the community investigated in the San Diego study was estimated at $475,000 and $650,000. Therefore, a membrane-based water softener, which doesn’t increase the salt content of domestic wastewater, has the potential for significant cost savings for those communities that wish to implement water reuse options in the future.

Membrane-based demineralization systems do an excellent job of softening water without the addition of salt. They do concentrate salts in the waste stream (also referred to as the brine or concentrate stream) that are generally discharged to a drain—but they do not increase them. Membrane-based systems, however, aren’t used for water softening applications today primarily due to the quantity of water wasted by conventional membrane processes, such as RO and nanofiltration. This paper describes a membrane process design that doesn’t waste water and thus has the potential to provide a real alternative to conventional salt-regenerated water softening equipment. In addition, the no-waste design also saves significant amounts of water when it’s used in drinking water purification applications.

Membrane separation
All cross-flow membrane-based water treatment technologies—RO, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration and microfiltration—create two streams of water as a result of their process. Using RO as an example, the two streams exiting a membrane element are: 1) desalinated (or demineralized) product water that has passed through the membrane; and 2) concentrate or brine that has flowed across the membrane surface. This waste stream is necessary to flush salts and minerals away from the membrane so they don’t accumulate and cause fouling of the membrane surface. A buildup of salts and minerals in the feed water to an RO membrane must not be allowed to occur continuously or dissolved substances can concentrate, precipitate and form a solid on the membrane’s surface. If this occurs, the membrane can become irreversibly fouled and may have to be replaced. As previously noted, this characteristic of the RO membrane process poses a significant challenge to reducing waste effluent. It’s also the primary reason why RO membrane systems aren’t used in several POE applications (for example, water softening) as they waste relatively large quantities of water relative to the amount produced.

To reduce the amount of water used in the RO process, several techniques have been created. One is the “closed loop recirculation flow pattern.” This technique recycles a percentage of the waste brine into the feed water of an RO system. By doing this, the overall recovery of the system is increased while the percentage of water wasted can be decreased depending upon the circumstances. In addition, the flow rate across the RO element remains at or above the membrane manufacturer’s recommended minimum flow rate for dynamic (and in some cases turbulent) flow. The recovery of an RO system is defined as:

Membrane System Recovery = Product Water Flow Rate × 100 percent
Feed Water Flow Rate

Water waste factors
As concentrate/brine is recycled back to the feed water of the RO elements, less new feed water is required and consequently system recovery increases. Because of concerns over fouling from precipitating salts and minerals concentrated on the membrane surface with higher recovery and the resulting need to replace elements, many small RO systems use a conservative nominal recovery of 20-to-30 percent (a nominal three to five gallons of water wasted for every gallon of demineralized water produced). This level of recovery has shown to be suitable for drinking water systems for residential and commercial applications, but has kept membrane systems from being used in other applications that require higher water production rates, such as water softening.

Another factor that greatly exacerbates water waste, particularly in POU drinking water RO systems, is that these units typically store product water in an air pre-charged, pressurized water tank. Product water delivered to the tank must overcome the pre-charge pressure (initially) and, more significantly, overcome an ever-increasing back-pressure in the tank as water fills the storage tank. It’s been estimated that this characteristic of non-pumped RO systems causes the actual amount of water wasted in actual usage to be much more than the nominal three to five gallons for each gallon of demineralized water produced.4 This is largely because most small RO systems are built for simplicity and low cost and understandably must sacrifice efficiency to achieve these goals. An important aspect of investigation for this article was to document the actual quantity of water wasted in a conventional POU residential RO system to determine the problem’s magnitude.

Design description
The process design described here is an evolution of the conventional, closed-loop recirculation flow pattern created to produce a membrane-based system that has an apparent 100 percent recovery capability. It also can operate most efficiently to purify a municipal water source in various applications where conventional system efficiencies are low and subsequent water waste is high.

This development is called an “open-loop recirculation flow pattern” and is shown in Figure 1. This new flow pattern allows an RO system’s concentrated salts and minerals to accumulate inside a recirculation tank, which is also connected to piping that feeds other water use fixtures. The recirculation tank provides a buffer volume to permit continuous production of demineralized water even when water isn’t being used by water fixtures.

Also shown in Figure 1, product water is delivered into a flexible bladder that occupies the top of the recirculation tank. Since the bladder is sitting in a tank pressurized by municipal line pressure, product water can be delivered without the need for an additional re-pressurization pump. This “water-on-water” feature allows delivery of membrane-produced demineralized water to be consistent at municipal line pressure without fluctuations common with re-pressurization systems and air pre-charged storage tanks.

No-waste positives
An important characteristic of this no-waste membrane design is that the volume a full product water bladder occupies in the recirculation tank effectively sets the recovery of the RO system even when a location’s water fixtures aren’t being used. To explain this feature further, if a full product water bladder occupies 50 percent of the re-circulation tank volume, then recovery for the system is limited to 50 percent even if no water is being used by water fixtures (and as long as additional purified water isn’t required). This ability to determine and set the recovery of a membrane system that doesn’t waste water greatly reduces the likelihood of membrane fouling. This feature of the design is an important advantage over previous attempts to re-use water with POU membrane processes.

Use of a bladder to store and dispense product water in the design functions the same as a water-on-water tank. But use of a bladder inside a recirculation tank is unique because it sets the recovery rate as water is produced without water being used in the building. Prior attempts to create a no-waste system by placing concentrate in the piping weren’t successful because water had to be used continuously to prevent premature membrane fouling. This wasn’t realistic since a normal residential situation, for example, calls for a drinking water system to operate (to fill a storage tank) while no water is being used in a building (such as when everyone goes off to work in the morning). The no-waste system described here operates effectively under those conditions because the recirculation tank volume dilutes salt and mineral concentrate enough to allow water production without additional dilution. Eventually, residents come home and use water that further dilutes tank contents to start the process over again.

In a no-waste design, this use of water fixtures permits periodic dilution of concentrated salts and minerals that build up during an RO membrane process. In this way, effluent from a membrane system doesn’t go directly to drain, but instead is diluted and re-used throughout a location’s plumbing system for other than the highest purified water applications. This usually means purified water is used for drinking, cooking, ice making and dishwashing, while diluted concentrate is used for toilets, sink faucets, showers, ice-making equipment cooling, and landscape irrigation. In an open-loop recirculation flow pattern process, this separation of water usage is inherent in the design and is performed without making plumbing changes to a building’s piping system. This is another important distinction from previous attempts to create a no-waste membrane system design.

In addition, the open-loop recirculation flow pattern design creates an RO system with extremely flexible features that can accommodate a wide variety of applications and product water flow requirements. This is demonstrated by the fact that the design can create small capacity no-waste undersink drinking water systems for residential use, as well as large capacity no-waste water softeners and purified water systems suitable for large commercial businesses such as office buildings and hotels.

In this article, we’ve laid out the concept of an open-loop recirculation flow pattern and its benefits in improving the water efficiency of membrane systems such as POU RO units. Part 2 next month will discuss limitations and test results in applying such a concept in the field in California.

* Editor’s note: Readers should bear in mind that in 1999 compromise legislation passed in California, Senate Bill 1006 reinstated a community’s ability to ban household water treatment equipment—namely softeners and ROs—but added caveats that require communities first assess total contributors to increased wastewater salinity and address reductions from all contributors. As part of the compromise, softener manufacturers agreed to significantly improve the salt efficiency of their equipment. It is WC&P’s and the Water Quality Association’s position that homeowners should have the right to improve the quality of water in their homes.


  1. Rancho Bernardo Water Softener Impact Study, San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego, March 1989.
  2. Rancho Bernardo Water Softener Impact Study-Phase 2, San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego, February 1990.
  3. Salinity Management Study-Final Report, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, June 1999.
  4. Conversation with Bob Riley, Research chemist and owner of Separations Systems Technology, San Diego, September 1998.

About the authors
Ted Kuepper, Robert Lovo and Mark Silbernagel are members of Pacific Research Group, of Ventura, Calif. and developed the Zero-Waste Membrane System described in this article. Kuepper can be reached at (805) 985-3057, (805) 985-3688 (fax) or email: ted@isle.net.

Creativity: Let the Juices Flow in the Workplace

Sunday, July 15th, 2001

By William Blades

Many people refuse to use creativity. Logically, they talk themselves out of doing new things. Their left brain interferes with the right. It’s like stars during the day. They’re out there, but the sun interferes—outshines them.

Creativity is taking a generic offering and putting a twist on it to differentiate your offer. Zany is going much further “out there” to dramatically augment your offer. Being creative, or even zany, is a challenge because only one in 100 people is very creative. If you aren’t very creative, but you work at it, then that makes two out of 100.

How to work creatively
Mornings are the best time to be creative. You’re usually fresher. By day’s end, you may have experienced rejection, stress, fatigue and some other surprises that cause chaos. Get up 15 to 30 minutes earlier than normal to think about a particular challenge. Pour your coffee and get away from all distractions so there isn’t anything interfering with your thought process. You’ll not always get the idea that morning, but the challenge has been placed into your subconscious. It may come out that morning, later in the day or the next day, but it will happen. One tidbit to think about tomorrow morning…what do chickens think we taste like? Hmmm, that wasn’t in the hit movie “Chicken Run.”

A tip—keep a pen that lights up next to your bed. Why? Some of your best (and zany) ideas come when the brain is at ease. That’s why you get those good ideas when you’re just drifting off to sleep or when you first wake up. When you rest your body, your brain is also resting and recharging; but during the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep stage, your brain is still processing daytime information. Your brain is like a computer. Put information in, let it process a while and retrieve it. Don’t think, “I’ll remember it when I wake up.” You usually won’t. Pick up the pen and write it down before you forget.

The adage “You are today what you will be in five years depends on two critical things—the people you meet and the books you read,” is true. Regarding people, invest time with people that are more creative than you. If you aren’t very creative, you have a weakness to work on—so be wise and seek help. Some co-workers look at creative sales and management types as being “out there.” Yes, and you must suffer the man-child cheerfully. They’ll keep your organization out of a box—and improve your bottom line. “That will not work here” is not in their vocabulary. The book, magazine and newspaper you don’t read may hurt you. Mark Twain said, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” Read everything you can get your hands on.

Take a walk. Exercising also increases the blood flow to the brain. Have you ever gone walking or running and come up with a great idea? Exercise induces endorphins, which induce thought-provoking ideas. That’s why I always have a pen and paper when I walk the dog.

Ideas to try
Read your newspaper with a goal of searching for creative ideas. I read in the Phoenix newspaper of a salesperson who learned that his client’s wife had given birth so he delivered a gift—for the 2-year old! Cool. I learned something new. I would have delivered a gift, but for the wrong kid.

Another thing I read told about a minor league baseball team that had “Laundry Night.” All fans had to do was buy a game ticket and drop their load of laundry off at the turnstiles. On the way out, they picked up their laundry—washed, dried and folded. It was a big success especially with the college kids. Providing soap suds created more beer suds sold at the concession stands. It’s called “give to get.”

Arrange for a mobile car-washing company to arrive in your client’s parking lot and wash every contact’s vehicle. Friday is the best day because most people like a clean vehicle on the weekend. Earn the nickname “Mr. Clean” for taking someone’s business away in a sanitary manner.

Get a food product labeled with your name on it. Salsa is the top-selling condiment (surpassing ketchup). Seek out a small, private labeler of salsa and get a label reading “Sally’s Gourmet Salsa.” Your ingredient statement would go on one end of the label and your mission statement on the other. Your photo should go in the middle. If you are willing to be zany, your photo can be a spoof of sorts, which results in “Sally’s Sinful Salsa.” This has worked out well in the water treatment industry by using private-label bottled water in place of salsa. In such cases you may change the label to read “Pauline’s Pure as the Driven Snow.”

When money matters
Perhaps these ideas are too expensive? Arrange for a “shoe shiner” to set up a workstation at your client’s office. Worried about being called a cobbler? I wouldn’t. Beats being called a peddler any day. Why do you see shoeshine stands at airports and hotels? Because that’s where the busy people are. Your competition will look on you as a heel because you took the shine off them.

Go to church. Why? It’s not only a peaceful environment, but even church bulletins contain interesting comments as in any publication. An example: “What is hell? Come early to hear our choir practice.” Watch for anything humorous and mail it to someone who appreciates humor. Think of clients at all times and not just when it’s time to sell something. Church is an excellent place to meet future prospects to follow up with later.

Pick a large, prospective client that you’ve been calling without success, and send a nice gift for her office. Your note might read, “Even though I haven’t met your expectations yet, I wanted to express my appreciation for your time and consideration this past year.” Or, “For putting up with me this past year.” A gift in appreciation for them rejecting you makes no logical sense. Or does it? Depends on the potential reward.

Better to give than receive
Stop giving Christmas gifts like everyone else does. Instead, give a gift on the anniversary date of when you first landed a client. I suggest you stop the monotonous habit of even signing a batch of Christmas cards. Most clients don’t remember from whom they did—and didn’t—receive holiday cards. The cards get taped around a door until they come down in January. Instead, send a card today and monopolize the person’s desk for a while.

CEOs and managers, likewise, shouldn’t wait until year-end for giving gifts and bonus checks. You should do special things for your employees all year. Treat your great ones as if they were clients helping your sales and profits—because they are!

Even finance personnel can be more creative in their business outlook. Have one, and only one, join you at your next convention and have her join you for breakfast meetings, stand all day at the booth and dine and entertain clients with you. Give her a challenge of doing something creative at the convention.

The next time they receive an expense report for something creative, they may understand and appreciate your efforts. Remember, I said “may.”

Pamper yourself
Massages are becoming more of a need than a want in this stressful world. I spoke at quite a few conventions recently where exhibitors offered 15-minute chair massages. The line looked like opening night for a blockbuster movie.

Several 15-minute massage session will cost you around $150. Really cheap compared to hosting eight people for dinner or golf. Why not do it quarterly for those special clients? After a massage, most people are very relaxed and groggy. A great time to ask for an order! “Uh, yeah. OK, whatever,” would be a likely response.

A note to CEOs and managers: Why not provide this valuable service to your people in-house? Remember, a great leader is a great servant who takes care of his people.

Messages from oxymorons

  • “Working vacation”—Don’t work on vacation time. Relax and let your brain recharge, but keep a pen and notepad nearby at the pool, ocean, lake or stream to jot down ideas.
  • “Definite maybe”—Creativity definitely wins every day over maybe doing something a little differently later when it’s more convenient.
  • “New classic”—Be new in your offerings. Almost all of the classical methods of selling and leading are outdated and routine.
  • “Terribly pleased”—Being creative pleases almost everyone. Being the same as everyone else is boring… and a terrible waste of untapped talents. Be pleasing by thinking, “How am I going to make a difference in my client’s business and life today?”
  • “Butt head”—Don’t just sit there doing the same thing. Use your head. You could accomplish your profession with one arm. Even one leg. People do it all the time. You do, however, need to max out your No. 1 attribute—your brain. Use it or lose it.

Knowledge is what you learn after you know it all. Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison both gave a similar statement, which said we utilize less than 1 percent of our potential. I believe them and I hope you do, too.

If you aren’t overly creative, take little steps to be so. When you see that one idea works, you’ll try another… and another. Then you can go for the whole enchilada because you’ll be energized by the victories creativity brings you.

I loved John Kennedy’s response when he was asked why Americans were spending so much on NASA’s rocket programs, which were failing miserably at the time. He replied, “We choose to go to the moon; not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.” Developing creativity may seem hard in the beginning, but almost everyone has the capability to do it.

When the Soviet Union initially beat us to outer space, Kennedy boldly said, “We will land a man on the moon and bring him back successfully.” He made the commitment first and then put the creative people to work.

Make the commitment and stick to it, but be ready to be called “zany” and “out there.” A simple commitment to make is—“I will do a minimum of one creative idea weekly.” Beats being called “routine” or “mundane” any day. And it’s profitable in the long run.

About the author
William “Bill” Blades, CMC, CPS, is a professional speaker and consultant specializing in sales and leadership issues. He is based in Scottsdale, AZ He can be reached at (480) 563-5355, (480) 563-0515 (fax), email: bill@williamblades.com or website: http://www.williamblades.com.

Air Sizing—A New Approach to Tanks

Sunday, July 15th, 2001

By Jim Fuller

Summary: Residential water treatment dealers may take it for granted when installing a tank for a reverse osmosis (RO) unit that there’s more than water to consider when determining the proper pressure for sizing purposes.

Air sizing. Air sizing? What would any self-respecting water quality professional need to know about air sizing? Answer: everything. You need it every time you troubleshoot a problem job. It explains the energy absorption of water hammer arrestors, and you use it every time you size a water storage tank. Be it non-pressurized or pre-pressurized, sizing the proper tank involves the knowledge of sizing air.

I’ve been teaching class after class of water storage tank sizing and application. The question that all students are asked is: “What’s the reason a tank is installed in the system?” The answers range from the tongue-in-cheek “to make more money…” to the practical “to store water.” While most answers are valid, the best answer any student put forth was by V. Hernandez from New York who said, “…to add a cushion of air to the system.” I thought about this answer for weeks, months and ultimately years, and Mr. Hernandez may have given close to the perfect answer.

Basic terms
Let’s start our discussion with some simple terms and definitions. The terms most used in our industry involve certain factors and pressures. Simplified definitions follow:

  • Gauge pressure: Pressure read from a gauge (such as a tire-type gauge) referred to in
    as psig, or pounds per square inch gauge.
  • Absolute pressure: The total pressure of the gas referred to as psia, or pounds
    per square inch absolute. It’s equal to the gauge pressure plus atmospheric pressure.
  • Atmospheric pressure: The pressure exerted by the atmosphere (14.7 psia at sea level).
  • Acceptance: The amount of water that enters between two pressure conditions in a
    storage vessel.
  • Acceptance factor (AF): The percentage (expressed as a decimal) of the total tank
    volume that stored water will occupy between two pressure conditions in a storage vessel.
  • Max. Acceptance factor (MAF): The maximum percentage (expressed as a decimal) of
    the total tank volume that stored water will occupy before the inner membrane is possibly stretched.

Boyle’s Law
About 350 years ago, scientist Robert Boyle discovered and presented a study on compressible gases. These findings were published in a book entitled The Spring of Air. By careful experimentation, he established Boyle’s Law, which states that the volume of a given amount of gas varies inversely with its pressure, if temperature remains constant. Boyle’s Law is most often expressed through the following:

Equation 1: P1·V1 = P2·V2

P1 : Pressure at initial state (condition 1)
V1 : Volume at initial state (condition 1)
P2 : Pressure at final state (condition 2)
V2 : Volume at final state (condition 2)

This means that as the pressure of gas is increased, the volume will decrease by the exact proportion. If you double the pressure, you’ll end up with half the volume. If you triple the pressure, you’ll have one-third of the original volume, and so on.

Consider a cylinder filled with air to one-gallon in size, and 0 psig of air pressure, as shown in Figure 1. Even though the gauge reads 0 psig, the air in the cylinder truly has some pressure relative to a pure vacuum. This pressure is atmospheric pressure, which is 14.7 psi at sea level. Boyle’s law is based on absolute pressure. Absolute pressure (psia) is equal to gauge pressure (psig) plus atmospheric pressure (0 psig). Figure 1 shows the cylinder fitted with a gauge that shows both gauge pressure and absolute pressure. As the volume of air is compressed, the pressure rises proportionally. Figure 2 reveals that as the air volume is “squeezed” and reduced to 1/4 gallon, the absolute pressure increased to 60 psia, which is equal to 45 psig.

The identical relationship occurs in a water storage tank. Instead of using a piston to compress the air, the incoming water is used. Figure 3 shows a 10-gallon tank of air at atmospheric pressure. As water enters the tank, the air volume is “squeezed” raising the pressure proportionally. To achieve a pressure of 15 psig (29.7 psia), the entering water must squeeze the cushion of air until it reaches 5 gallons. To further increase the air pressure to 30 psig (44.7 psia) the air cushion must be compressed to 3.3 gallons. This means 6.7 gallons of water had to enter the tank to compress the air to this volume and pressure. Another way to look at this example is that there is 5.0 gallons of water stored between 15 and 0 psig, and 2.7 gallons of water stored between 30 and 15 psig. As water exits the tank, the air cushion expands, and the pressure drops—exactly as expressed by Boyle’s Law!

Pre-pressurized vessels
Most tanks used in today’s home and commercial systems are pre-pressurized vessels using a flexible membrane to keep the air cushion permanently captured. This allows for more usable pressurized water storage per given gallon of tank. Consider the same tank of 10 gallons (see Figure 4). In this example, the tank will be pre-charged to 15 psig (29.7 psia). To compress the air to 30 psig (44.7 psia), the cushion of air must be compressed to 5 gallons. This means that 5 gallons of water entered the tank to squeeze the air cushion to 30 psig. The non pre-charged tank stored 2.7 gallons of water between 15 and 30 psig. The pre-charged tank nearly doubled the amount of water stored between these two pressures.

Because we’re ultimately searching for the amount of water stored in a storage tank, Boyle’s Law can be rewritten to reflect the water’s effect on the compressed air cushion:

Equation 2: Vw = V1· (1-P1/P2)

Vw is the volume of water needed to compress the air cushion V1 from absolute pressure P1 to P2.

Equation 2 is a common relationship used to size and apply a variety of vessels for water hammer energy absorption and water storage applications. Water hammer occurs when water flow is suddenly and abruptly stopped. This occurs in plumbing systems that use quick closing valves, such as flush valves and solenoid valves. The resulting rapid stoppage of flow creates a spike in line pressure that can severely damage piping and fixtures.

By definition, the term acceptance factor (AF) is introduced to replace (1-P1/P2). Thus, Equation 2 becomes:

Equation 3: Vw = V1·AF

Or, if you need to find the total tank size (V1) needed to store water Vw, then you may use:

Equation 4: V1 = Vw/AF

The term acceptance factor has long been used in our industry to help size a vessel for water storage. The acceptance factor has been simplified into tabular format, such as that shown in Table 1. The tables have made the selection quite simple, yet knowing the straightforward equation that’s the origin of the table will give you confidence of a correct answer every time.

Critical questions
Sizing a proper air cushion to support the water needed for the job can now be simplified by answering the following three critical sizing questions:

  1. How much water is needed in storage (Vw)?
  2. What is the low pressure required at the tank (P1)?
  3. What is the maximum high pressure at the tank (P2)?

Using Table 1 and Equation 4, we can complete the critical sizing for any application.

Example A: 12 gallons of RO water for daily usage must be stored in a vessel for use in a home. The minimum pressure required at the storage tank is 20 psig. A pump is used to transfer the treated water to the tank until a pressure switch shuts the pump off at 35 psig. What’s the minimum vessel size required to store the 12 gallons?

Solution: Answering the three questions for critical sizing shows:

  1. How much water is needed in storage (Vw)? Vw = 12 gallons
  2. What is the low pressure required at the tank (P1)? P1 = 20 psig
  3. What is the maximum high pressure at the tank (P2)? P2 = 35 psig

Using Equation 4 and Table 1, we can now size the correct initial volume of air needed (which, of course, is equal to the tank size needed to store our 12 gallons of water):

V1 = 12 gallons/AF

From Table 1, the acceptance factor AF = 0.30. The equation further simplifies to:

V1 = 12 gallons/0.30
V1 = 40 gallons

This means a 40-gallon tank (or larger) is needed to allow us to store 12 gallons of water between 20 psig and 35 psig. In terms of Boyle’s Law, a 40-gallon air cushion is needed, pre-charged to 20 psig. As water enters the vessel, the air is squeezed until the air cushion reaches 35 psig. To make this happen, 12 gallons of water enter the vessel to squeeze the air cushion to 28 gallons. The resulting air cushion is now at 35 psig and at rest. As water is used from the vessel, the air cushion expands and the pressure begins to drop. This will continue until the air cushion reaches its original state of 40 gallons, at which point the pressure will reach the initial state of 20 psig.

Boyle’s Law of compressible gases has long been utilized to size hydro-pneumatic water storage vessels for many different applications. Although many companies have simplified the physical law to make it easier for the layperson to use easy-tank sizing, the true professional wants the knowledge of what’s behind the charts and tables. With greater knowledge comes greater confidence. And, who knows, you may not have these simplified charts and tables, or the understanding and confidence to explain them, when you most need them.

About the author
Jim Fuller, president of the Wessels Company of Greenwood, Ind. is a mechanical engineer with 18 years of experience in the tank industry. Since 1908, Wessels has been a leading manufacturer and marketer of ASME and non-ASME tanks, pressure vessels and related products with major emphasis in the field of fluid control technology. Fuller has written numerous technical articles and serves as an instructor for sizing and application of vessels for water treatment, plumbing and heating systems. He can be reached at (317) 888-9800, email: jfuller@westank1.com or website: http://www.westank.com.

RO Systems for Surface Water Treatment: Judging the Progress Made in Brazil

Sunday, July 15th, 2001

By Sinésio Carvalho Soalheiro

Bahia Sul Celulose has a paper mill facility in Mucuri, a city located south in the state of Bahia in Brazil. This facility produces 570,000 tons a year of cellulose used in paper products. That requires a lot of water.

Mucuri is situated in the midst of a jungle with beautiful beaches nearby. With more than 26,000 inhabitants, the area is rich in tourism and offers a delicate blend of both urban and rural landscape.

Currently, the Bahia Sul mill generates 555 tons per hour of steam—or 280 cubic meters per hour (m3/hr) of demineralized water—used in its production process. With this large demineralized water usage, it was imperative to find cost-effective ways to minimize water production costs, increase reliability of the demineralized water supply and increase water production capacity, if possible. An additional variable was that the make-up or raw water source is a river containing high levels of organic matter and total dissolved solids (TDS) during some parts of the year.

Plant background
Make-up water at Bahia Sul is produced by taking water from the Mucuri River and passing it through a chlorine detention tank to prevent algae and bacteria growth. This also oxidizes and breaks up organic compounds found in the water. The chlorinated water is mixed with ferric sulfate and lime prior to entering a precipitator. The precipitator clarifies the water, which is then filtered through gravity sand filters. The clarified, filtered water is next passed through activated carbon filters that remove organic matter and traces of chlorine that may remain in the treated water (see Figure 1).

The four reverse osmosis (RO) units at Bahia Sul’s station were installed in 1991. The setup can be seen in Figure 2. The RO system is rated at 80 m3/hr per train in order to supply two mixed bed demineralizer trains. In the past, membranes from more than one producer, including Filmtec, TriSep and Hydranautics, have been included in the mix used.

By late 1998, conditions of the installed membranes were such that a replacement was required. The plant was unreliable and the cleaning frequency was very high because of high levels of biofouling causing a high pressure drop on the system. Bahia Sul decided to try new fouling resistant (FR) membranes in one of the trains in conjunction with special operating and cleaning conditions. By March 1999, these membranes were installed on two trains. The reasons for choosing this approach were:

Technology & elements
The development of biofilms and the role they play in membrane processes may be the most misunderstood and underestimated factor in treatment of surface water and other industrial water systems by RO/nanofiltration (NF) technology. Simply stated, a biofilm consists of microbial cells (algae, fungal or bacterial) and the extracellular biopolymer—slime—they produce. Generally, bacterial biofilms are of most concern in RO industrial water systems because they’re responsible for membrane fouling. This is due to the minimal amount of nutrients required for many species to proliferate at an alarming rate. Under ideal conditions a single bacteria, reproducing every 20 minutes, can produce progeny in excess of 4.71×1021 colony-formation units (cfu) within 24 hours.

Microorganisms can be found in both bulk water and on the surface of industrial water systems. Bacteria attach to surfaces by proteinaceous appendages, and once they have “glued” the cell to the surface, detachment of the organism is very difficult. One reason bacteria prefer to attach to surfaces is the organic molecules adsorbed there provide nutrients. Once “stuck,” the organisms begin to produce slime. The amount of slime produced can exceed the mass of the bacterial cell by many times and tends to provide a more suitable protective environment for the organism’s survival.

Once bacteria begin to colonize surfaces and produce biofilms, numerous symptoms begin to appear that result in membrane fouling or decreased water treatment system performance. To reduce that risk, developmental FR elements were made available to Bahia Sul for testing during the summer of 1999. One train, 65 m3/h in capacity, had spiral-wound elements replaced FR elements and the other train was installed at the same time with standard elements in order to do a side by side comparison study. These elements have now been in operation for more than a year along with the original standard ones.

Total system approach
As is common of most surface waters, the Mucuri River suffers a huge shift in organic matter (OM) levels and TDS throughout the year. For example, OM could change between 1-10 parts per million (ppm) and TDS between 250-700 ppm. It’s very difficult to absorb these changes in pretreatment. That’s why a fouling resistance membrane would be desired. It’s clear, however, that any membrane technology couldn’t operate under these conditions for an extended period of time without significant performance decline. For close follow-up on the system, a special program was established to define specific operating conditions and cleaning procedures.

Operating conditions
The following operating parameters were established:

  1. Reject flow should be higher than 20 m3/h in order to achieve a turbulent flow on the brine channel to decrease the possibility of fouling (sweeping effect). This factor is related with the flux—or liters of water per square meter of membrane per hour—through the membrane surface.
  2. Maximum permeate flow should be 65-80 m3/h.
  3. Maximum percent recovery rate (permeate flow divided by feed flow multiplied by 100) should be 78 percent.
  4. Membrane should be cleaned when pressure drop increases by 15 percent.
  5. Clean each individual array. At the beginning, it wasn’t possible to perform this cleaning; however, Bahia Sul modified the pipelines to clean each array.
  6. Maximum pressure drop by stage should be 4.2 bar (avoiding membrane telescoping). Telescoping occurs when the central product water tube and membrane envelopes are pushed outwardly and unravel as a consequence of high pressure drop and/or high cross-flow velocity.
  7. Maximum flux should be 13 gallons per square feet per day (gfd)—one gfd = 22.23 liters per square feet per hour (L/m2/h).
  8. After reviewing feed water composition and RO recovery, it was decided to decrease the anti-scalant dosage from 3.75 ppm to 0.65-1.0 ppm.
  9. Data required normalization and a special computer program was provided by the membrane manufacturer.

Besides the above information, total organic carbon (TOC) is measured once a week and silt density index (SDI) daily.

Cleaning procedures
Because of the low feed flow through the carbon filters and the lack of frequent sanitation, a microbiological study was done in May 1999 to review the performance of the carbon filter. Levels of bacteria, cfu per milliliter (cfu/mL), were measured before and after the carbon beds. No cfu/mL were found before the filters, and between 1×103 and 1×104 cfu/mL were present after the carbon beds. This is a common problem in carbon filters without an appropriate sanitation program (see Figure 3). The carbon bed will remove any residual chlorine in the top portion of the bed. The bottom portion of the carbon bed will contain a significant amount of organic species and will promote rapid bacteria growth. This ready source of bacteria will eventually result in biofouling of the RO membranes.

Because of the high biofouling potential, an 11-step cleaning methodology has been used that involves high and low pH cleaning, disinfection with DBNPA—2,2 dibromo 3 nitrilopropionamide—and flushing with permeate water.

Criteria to stop the high pH cleaning was later implemented. This was based on the color of the cleaning solution after passing through the membranes. After passing a first load, it’s common to obtain a color between 300–800 Platinum-Cobalt (pt-Co) at 440 nanometers (nm). When the color drops below 50, the high pH cleaning is stopped.

Operational performance
Trains A and C have shown excellent, consistent performance since start-up in March 1999. The design throughput, pressure drop, normalized flow and water quality have been achieved with a product quality of < 6 microsiemens per centimeter (µS/cm) on the permeate. Figures 4-6 show salt rejection, differential pressure and normalized flow performance from start-up through 12 months of operation for Trains A and C.

After a year, pressure drops in the first stage changed from 1.0 bar to 1.8 bars in Train A (standard membrane) and from 1.0 bar to 1.5 bar in train C (FR membrane), which represents the longer life expected for FR membranes. This would take into consideration that Train C has been working to produce 20 percent more permeate water than Train A, as shown in Figure 7. Salt rejection and permeate flow are almost the same for both membranes.

After reviewing feed water composition, RO recovery and the Langelier saturation index (to predict CaCO3 stability), it was decided a reduction of anti-scalant consumption of 9,000 liter per year (US$36,000 a year) was feasible.

Since the RO system has been operating with new membranes and operating conditions, regeneration frequency of the demineralizers has been decreased substantially. They now need to be regenerated about every 12 days, compared to six days before. By extending time between regenerations, it’s expected to eliminate use of 14,250 liters of hydrochloric acid (35 percent HCl = 16.7 tons) and 17,100 liters of sodium hydroxide (50 percent NaOH = 26 tons) annually.

The success of this project is due to the following factors: special operating conditions, cleaning and disinfection procedures, membrane technology, close system performance monitoring/analysis and people training/commitment. In other words, a total system approach has been taken in order to improve system reliability. As a result of the excellent performance obtained, Bahia Sul decided to replace one more train with the new membranes.

The author would like to thank Rodolfo Bayona Plata, Latin American technical service and development product steward based in Midland, Mich. He can be reached at (989) 636-7418 or email: rbayona@dow.com


  1. FILMTEC Membranes, Technical manual, The Dow Chemical Company.
  2. Zahid, Amjad, “Reverse Osmosis: Membrane Technology, Water Chemistry and Industrial Applications,” Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1992.
  3. Coker, Steven, “Winning the Battle Against Biofilm Formation,” Technical Literature Form No. 609-00261-199x, The Dow Chemical Company.
  4. Technical Literature Form No. 609-24010-498QRP, FT30 Reverse Osmosis Membrane Biological Protection and Disinfection, The Dow Chemical Company.

About the author
Sinésio Carvalho Soalheiro is water treatment supervisor for Bahia Sul Celulose, which is a customer of The Dow Chemical Co. He can be contacted at…

Brazil at a Glance:

Location: Eastern South America
Area: 8,511,965 square kilometers (slightly smaller than the United States)
Population: 172,860,370 (July 2000 est.)
Languages: Portugese (official), Spanish, English, French
Climate: Mostly tropical, but temperate in south
Terrain: Mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt
Life expectancy at birth: 62.94 years
Government type: federative republic
Capital: Brasilia
Export partners: United States (18 percent), Argentina (13 percent), Germany (5 percent), Netherlands (5 percent), Japan (4 percent)
Import partners: United States (23 percent), Argentina (12 percent), Germany (10 percent), Japan (5 percent), Italy (5 percent)

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