Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

Untimely passing of Jeremy Holt

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

On August 23, Jeremy Ray Holt of Gilbert, Arizona, passed away unexpectedly. He was born May 7, 1970 in Orem UT to Ray and Jeana Holt and graduated from Orem High in 1985. Known for his great sense of humor, Holt was an avid reader and especially loved spending time with his family. He enjoyed cooking for and entertaining his many friends and family.

Holt’s roots in the water treatment industry went deep. His grandfather, Albert M. Rowley, Sr. founded Intermountain Soft Water in the early 1950s. Holt was employed by B&R Industries at the time of his death.

Survivors include Holt’s wife Gina, sons Anthony and Benjamin, daughters Jessika and Chelsey; his parents, brother Jeffrey, sisters Jenifer Horn and Rhonda Stout; grandmother Lucy Rowley and many others. He was preceded in death by grandparents Albert M. Rowley, Sr. and Ernest and Thelma Holt.

Funeral services were held August 27 in Gilbert. Donations can be made at the Arizona Federal Credit Union, account #779984 in the name of Jeremy Ray Holt.

Seven Decades of Dedication to Water Quality

Friday, April 20th, 2018

By Denise M. Roberts

2447 W. Main St.
Rapid City, SD 57702
Tel: (605) 343-7123
Fax: (605) 343-3589

3355 E Colorado Blvd.
Spearfish, SD 57783
Website: www.watertree-rc.com
Email: grobinson@watertree-rc.com
Employees: 24
Vehicles: Five
Motto: “Water. It’s what we do. Let WaterTree make one thing crystal clear—your water.”

In August 1939, a gentleman named Col. Cliff Coffey opened his own Culligan Soft Water dealership in Rapid City, SD, one of the very first dealerships started. Col. Coffey hired a young man named Herb Hamlet to help sell the portable exchange service.

Before the units had arrived, Hamblet had already signed up 150 new customers and, by November, had 300 customers. Realizing that the dealership was growing too fast and it could not financially keep up with his sales, Hamlet went to Minnesota to open a new dealership for two men from Rapid City who decided it was a good business to join.

Several years later when Col. Coffey decided to retire, Hamblet, as silent partner and Dewey Ruel purchased the Rapid City dealership. It wouldn’t be long before another dealer entered the picture to take the company into the future.

From Rockford to Rapid City

Having spent eight hours swimming in the Pacific Ocean during WWII after his aircraft carrier was torpedoed, Darrell ‘Robbie’ Robinson continued to serve in the US Navy and Naval Reserve until 1952. During his active duty service, he met and became best friends with Stu Lytle. After the war, Lytle purchased a Culligan dealership and in the early 1950s, invited Robinson to come to work for him in Rockford, IL.

It wasn’t long before Robinson was given the opportunity to have a dealership of his own in the town of Byron, IL. Byron was a small community and rather than invest in a facility there, he hauled portable exchange softeners to the Rockford plant for regeneration

By 1954, Robinson and his wife Bee (Elizabeth) decided the Chicago area was not where they wanted to raise two boys. Robinson enjoyed the business; he decided to seek another location where he could advance in this relatively new industry. He was offered the opportunity to manage a dealership in Watts, CA or become part owner of Col. Coffey’s original dealership in Rapid City.

Raised in California, Robbie knew he didn’t want to raise his family there and he also preferred to own the business rather work for someone else. In August 1954, the Robinson family packed up their belongings and moved to Rapid City.

Disaster provides momentum to grow

A flash flood on June 9, 1972 created several new challenges for the Robinsons. All that remained of the building when the water receded was the roof, a side wall, part of the front and some of the office interior walls. Within a week after the flood, the facility was back in operation. Within three months, it was again totally enclosed.

This, however, was not the end of the flood saga. Due the creation of the Flood-Way, the family business was forced off its property and had to build another facility. Robinson took charge and started building the current facility, to which they moved in September 1977. (WaterTree has since added a 13,000-square-foot warehouse at this location.)

The original building houses the showroom, main offices as well as the bottling and DI plants. Two separate businesses operate at this location: WaterTree Water Conditioning and The Pool and Spa Center (WaterTree branched into the pool industry shortly before 1956; Culligan exited the US segment in the late 1960s.). The company also maintains a branch sales office for both companies in Spearfish, SD.

Another generation of change

Early in the 1980s, Robbie and Bee retired to spend time with their grandchildren. Their three sons, Gary, Stu and Jim took over running the company; all have worked in the family business for as long as they remember. “It’s where life took me,” Gary said. He started pounding tanks as a little boy and through the years, delivered, installed and sold water treatment equipment.

In 1986, the company began bottling drinking water as American Bottled Water. It wasn’t long before Culligan USA decided it needed to be in the bottled water business and the company changed its label to Culligan Bottled Water.

In 2006, after 67 years as a Culligan dealership, WaterTree was faced with the difficult decision of becoming independent. Concerns with territorial and royalty issues prompted a necessary change in business format. WaterTree’s presence in the Rapid City and Black Hills area was strong and the family felt certain the business could weather the transition.

The Robinsons put their faith and dedication into doing what was right for the company, the employees and most of all, the customers. It moved forward with a supplier they felt confidant was at the forefront of water technology and wholly dedicated to that industry; WaterTree became a Hellenbrand dealer and it proved to be a perfect fit.

A new, thriving company

Today, brothers Gary and Stu own the business. Gary runs the water treatment division with 12 employees while Stu manages the pool and spa division with another 12 employees. Gary’s daughter, Becky (the marketing coordinator for both companies) represents the third Robinson generation.

“We are prouder than ever to have stepped aside from the name brand and grown our own name,” Gary Robinson beamed. “We and our customers have gained many benefits with the changes we made.”

WaterTree will continue to build strong brand awareness. On the horizon and in the future, Robinson sees increased emphasis being placed on drinking water. “People are becoming more aware and concerned about what they are putting in their bodies,” he noted. “For the industry as a whole, I see growth in multiple sectors.

“Water quantity and quality is getting worse, resulting in more people needing our services. Its not just a luxury anymore, its becoming a health necessity. There are always possibilities with new, legitimate technologies and we are dedicated to offering such when they become commercially available.”

Commercial and Industrial Water Treatment

Friday, April 20th, 2018

By Greg Reyneke

Water has a dramatic effect on most commercial and industrial processes. Water quality can often be the single most important factor contributing to the success or failure of a process.
Whether the application requires filtered, softened, conditioned or purified water, opportunities abound for the astute dealer to succeed in this sector of the market. Hotels, motels, laundromats, carwashes, factories, government buildings, military installations and offices are looking for experts who can help them with their water quality requirements.

Residential, commercial or industrial?

What’s in a name? In this case the difference between success and disaster. Residential water softening has a simple symptom of failure with predictable consequences—hard water that inconveniences the homeowner.
In commercial and industrial water treatment, the consequences of failure can be quite severe. The consequences of failure are really what differentiate commercial and industrial applications.
If a softener fails for a carwash, the cars aren’t quite as clean; if the softener in a laundromat fails, the clothes aren’t quite as clean. But if a softener fails for an industrial boiler, the consequences can be catastrophic.
One can then logically deduce the following:

When you’re evaluating the client’s application, be sure to ascertain the consequences of failure. This will ensure that expectations are met for deployment, longevity and redundancy.

Things to consider
As with anything, the first step to success in the commercial/industrial (C/I) field is to understand what you’re working with. You need to learn about the process that you’re treating water for, understand the environment that your equipment will be in and also understand the legal implications of the work that you’re doing.

Process water quality requirements

Each process has certain specific water quality criteria. Whether you’re simply creating a particular quality of water as specified by the project engineer or you’re acting as a problem solver to eliminate complicating factors from their water, it is important to understand the actual water quality required and to create a reasonable set of expectations for yourself and the client. Consult with the manufacturer of equipment used in your client’s process to ensure that you consider their operational water quality requirements for optimal performance as well as warranty validation.

Site survey

Visit the jobsite, meet with your prospect and observe the potential location of the treatment equipment. This frequently overlooked step will save you numerous complications and hassles, as well as demonstrate to your prospect that you are committed to serving their needs.
The site survey will help in further understanding the process and developing a complete logistical snapshot of the project. Make sure to ask the following questions:

  • How far is this jobsite from my office (travel time for installation and service)?
  • What time of day can the installation team have access to the facility?
  • What times of day are convenient to the client (if any) for us to install a bypass loop?
  • Are there any dimensional constraints to the system (doorways, height, floor space)?
  • Are there any weight limitations (equipment to sit on a platform or to be wall-mounted)?
  • Is there an adequate electrical supply for water treatment equipment?
  • Is there an adequate drain for the water treatment equipment?
  • Are there any specific environmental challenges to deal with (temperature, humidity, vibration, intrinsically safe environment)?
  • Are there any specific drainage restrictions for this project (acid/alkaline discharge, discharge salinity, etc.)?

Are there any specific legal requirements to meet for this particular project (increased liability insurance, HazMat, OSHA, local licensing, corporate procurement programs, union participation, tribal authority, security clearances, GSA, state purchasing agencies, etc.)?
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. It makes much more sense to ask questions now than to wish that you had later.

Process water and operational requirements

Define what your client wants and what you can reasonably deliver.

  • What is the quality of water required?
  • What flow rate is required?
  • What delivery pressure is required?
  • How many hours of runtime will be required per day/operating cycle?
  • How much water will be used per day/operating cycle?
  • Is any major change (increase/decrease) in water consumption to be expected in the near future?
  • What level of redundancy is required?
  • Does any of the equipment require an ASME stamp?
  • Is an engineer’s stamp required for the equipment design?
  • How soon does the client expect the system to be installed and fully operational?
  • Who will maintain this system?
  • What are the consequences of failure?
  • What payment terms does the client expect?

Reasonable expectations are the key to healthy commercial/industrial relations. Your C/I client has a dramatically different set of expectations than a home-owner. Plan for an escalated response to all service issues, as well as a more critical analysis of product water quality.

Water sample analysis

Draw samples of the client’s raw water and have them tested for organic and inorganic impurities that will have an effect on the process. Also, check for those contaminants that could interfere with the treatment process itself.
The following minimum testing panel is recommended, regardless of the application to get you started:

  • Hardness as CaCo3
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • TDS
  • pH
  • Total alkalinity
  • Free chlorine
  • Total chlorine

Perform additional tests as needed, especially if the water supply is non-municipal.
Armed with an influent water quality analysis, you’re ready to compare the raw water against the process water requirements. Use appropriate certified testing facilities as needed; one should never skimp when it comes to water testing for commercial and industrial applications.

Equipment selection

Work closely with your equipment vendor to ensure that you specify an appropriate solution for this project. Who is liable if the incorrect equipment or technology is specified and what recourse do you have to protect yourself?

Service and maintenance

While periodic service is important on residential water treatment systems, it is critical on commercial and industrial systems. Consult with the equipment manufacturer on preventative maintenance schedules and discuss it with the client to ensure the equipment is properly maintained.
The goal is to fix problems while they are cheap and easy with a minimum of operational downtime. If the system includes consumables like acid, caustic, coagulants, chlorine neutralizers, SP-5000, disinfectants or performance enhancers, be sure to create a consumables replacement schedule to facilitate easy procurement by your clients.

Documentation, contracts and purchase orders

Carefully document the expectations of both parties with a procurement and installation timeline. Peruse all purchase orders and letters of engagement before accepting them to ensure that the terms are as originally negotiated and that you understand lien releases, delay penalties and other commercial terms that may be a surprise to some.
Don’t be afraid to engage the service of a commercial attorney. Such a professional can advise you on your rights and responsibilities before entering into a contract.

Installation

Installation should be contracted or performed by your in-house installation team to be on time and within the criteria agreed to by the client. Be sure to adhere to all local codes as well as industry best practices.
Treat the client’s facility with respect by being punctual, clean and orderly on the jobsite. Respect their corporate culture and be sensitive to dress codes and jobsite behavior.

System startup and commissioning

While selection, sizing and installation are important, startup cannot be overlooked. This important step involves systematic pressurization, sanitization and flushing of the water treatment equipment as well as water-using piping, fixtures and apparatus to ensure a consistent baseline of operations.

Once the system has been commissioned, draw samples of the effluent product water and have them tested by the same testing facility as the original tests for uniformity. Save copies of pre- and post-treatment test data in your project file.

Operator training

Unless you’re planning on having one of your own employees on site 24/7, you’re going to have to train your client and someone on their staff for the proper operation and maintenance of the water treatment system. Take the time to train carefully as many problems are caused by operator error, which usually stems from inadequate training.

Documentation and drawings

Be prepared to provide three copies of all operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals to the client. Some clients may also require a ‘redline’ drawing (referred to as record drawings in some areas) that documents the final ‘as-built construction of the treatment device(s). For your own purposes, you should carefully document and photograph the installation location and each component in operational condition. This should simplify troubleshooting and training.

Commercial and industrial water treatment is not for everyone, so be sure that you carefully analyze the risks and benefits and the impact it will have on your company before you over-commit yourself. Take advantage of WQA’s new educational materials on the commercial/industrial sector and enjoy this exciting and challenging segment of our industry.

About the author

Greg Reyneke, CWS-VI, is currently General Manager at Intermountain Soft Water in Lindon, UT and serves on the WC&P Technical Review Committee. He also serves on the advisory board of the Smart Dealer Network, a trade association dedicated to helping independent water treatment dealers succeed and reach their full potential in today’s changing world.

Active Agents under NSF/ANSI 42 and 53

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

By Rick Andrew

A man plummets headfirst from the open, rear hatch of a diving military aircraft, barreling headlong toward the ground as he picks up speed to terminal velocity. He manages to catch up to the villain who leaped out of the craft mere seconds before him with the last parachute and the two begin a desperate mid-air struggle for control of the parachute.

They scream toward the ground as the man manages to snatch away the parachute from the villain just in the nick of time…

It sounds like this man is quite an active agent, perhaps serving one of many possible government spy agencies. Although this may be the case and he may have a very interesting tale to tell, this article is about a significantly different type of active agent. However, as we shall see, other types of active agents can have interesting tales to tell, as well.

Active agents are incorporated into POE/POU systems with the intent to be sacrificially released into the treated water. Although it may not be obvious from reading this definition, most active agents are utilized in POE/POU systems for purposes of reduction/oxidation reactions and/or for microbial control.

What kind of agent are we talking about?

NSF/ANSI 42 defines active agent as “A substance or medium added to or involved in a drinking water treatment process that requires direct or sacrificial release of the agent or its degradation product(s) to reduce specific contaminants in the water.” NSF/ANSI 53 has a very similar definition.

In essence, active agents are incorporated into POE/POU systems with the intent to be sacrificially released into the treated water. Although it may not be obvious from reading this definition, most active agents are utilized in POE/POU systems for purposes of reduction/oxidation reactions and/or microbial control.

Although there is theoretically an unlimited universe of possible active agents, in reality there are three commonly used active agents (see Figure 1).

Why identify active agents?

There is a purpose to defining and identifying active agents within the context of NSF/ANSI 42 and 53. All products conforming to these standards are required to conform to requirements for material safety.

These requirements involve a complete review of the formulation of all materials in contact with drinking water, followed by an extraction test. The extraction test consists of a static exposure of the product to test water under specific conditions, followed by a comprehensive analytical battery to assess the potential for any contaminants to leach from the product at levels of toxicological significance.

Where active agents come into play is that when conducting this test and looking for leaching chemicals, it is nearly certain that any active agents will be detected. After all, they are included in the product with the intent that they will be sacrificially released into the treated water.

With this reality in mind, the Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units developed alternative criteria to assess the concentration of active agents that are released from products. In other words, active agents in the product water are not addressed during extraction testing, but rather through an alternate procedure.

Evaluation of active agents

Active agent concentrations are evaluated in accordance with the sampling schedule for the verification of a specific contaminant reduction claim. This means that when running one of the contaminant reduction tests to verify claims on the product, the treated water samples are analyzed to ensure that active agents are not being released from the product at concentrations that are too high.

The standards provide guidance on which contaminant reduction test to use for this purpose. It requires that the test that is likely to result in the highest potential extraction of the active agent should be used, considering specifically the chemical composition of the test water used for the contaminant reduction test and the duration of rest periods prior to the specified sample points in the test. The standards also require that at least one sample must be collected immediately after a rest period with a minimum eight hour duration. Two likely tests are suggested, as described in Figure 2.

The standards further note that it may be necessary to run contaminant reduction tests other than those required to verify performance claims specified by the manufacturer for purposes of active agent evaluation. So, although a manufacturer may not claim bacteriostasis on a given product, this test may be conducted for purposes of evaluating the concentration of active agents being released into the product water.

The maximum allowable concentrations of the common active agents are described in Figure 3.

Not like in the movies, but noteworthy nonetheless

The parachute glides to the earth, not smoothly though, because it is bearing the weight of two men. Although our hero has subdued the villain after fighting it out with him for control of the parachute in mid-air, he is uncertain what adventures await him. He has, in fact, landed a good twenty miles inside hostile territory, with rough terrain and several patrol units between himself and friendly forces…

Okay, so POU and POE active agents are not quite as exciting as active agents in the movies. However, they do play several important roles in POU/POE water treatment.

Knowing how to properly evaluate the concentrations of active agents released by these products is critical to understanding NSF/ANSI 42 and 53. This evaluation involves assessment of the concentration of active agents under contaminant reduction test method conditions as opposed to static extraction testing conditions. This knowledge is exciting in its own right, especially for manufacturers of products that incorporate active agents.

About the author

Rick Andrew is the Operations Manager of the NSF Drinking Water Treatment Units Program for certification of POE/POU systems and components. Prior to joining NSF, his previous experience was in the area of analytical and environmental chemistry consulting. Andrew has a Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He can be reached at 1-800-NSF-MARK or email: Andrew@nsf.org.

PWQA 52nd Annual Convention and Western States Trade Show

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Financial Reality Check – A Critical Step in Choosing an Arsenic Treatment System

Monday, December 14th, 2009

By Beth Thomas


Thorough risk management assessments need to be included for commercial, industrial and community systems. This is especially true when treating contaminants that have serious health effects like arsenic that may have coverage exclusion clauses in the liability policy.


A 10-gpm arsenic removal system in series configuration in New Hamsphire

A successful US EPA project: 100-gram arsenic removal system in series configuration in Arizona.

More and more communities and individuals are in the process of selecting arsenic treatment systems to meet US EPA standards. A critical and often frustrating step is answering the question, “How much will a system cost and what will the on-going maintenance and operating expenses be?”

As owners of many arsenic treatment systems are discovering, initial system capital cost is only one part of the total cost equation. Most items of analysis will apply to systems of any size, from POU systems to those for community water companies.

The approach is not much different than the questions one would ask for any other type of water treatment system. The initial price of the system, including the design, pilot testing (if required), permitting costs, equipment, site preparation, installation and start-up and commissioning costs are usually known from bids or sales proposals.

These costs will vary depending on the size of the unit, the treatment technology chosen and the degree of complexity based on the features that are added. Other costs at the time of purchase include the cost of financing the purchase and liability insurance for community systems, whether private or public.

A 50-gpm arsenic, iron and manganese removal system in parallel configuration in Maryland

Risk and maintenance

Thorough risk management assessments need to be included for commercial, industrial and community systems. This is especially true when treating contaminants that have serious health effects like arsenic that may have coverage exclusion clauses in the liability policy.

Once the system is in operation, maintenance expenses occur. These expenses are not covered in the system warranty. Frequency depends on the amount of water used and the quality of water being treated. Failure to perform these services may result in poor water quality or system failure.

The price and schedule for these services and components might have been discussed in the original sales proposal or listed in the operations and maintenance manual. If not, the water treatment company from whom the system was purchased can provide the information.

For residential units, this will mean filter cartridge, membrane or media replacements and control valve service. Larger systems may have chemical feed costs, media replacements and equipment maintenance schedules to be considered.

Periodic water analyses should be performed to verify that the system is performing as required and that the arsenic is being removed. This may be done by an in-house maintenance person or contracted to a water treatment professional. These maintenance and laboratory costs should be considered and budgeted when totaling the true cost of a system.

For community systems, a state-licensed operator is required to maintain the system and perform routine system field tests and laboratory sampling. These operations must be logged and reported to the appropriate state agency. The level of operator license and sampling frequency depends on complexity of the system and number of people served.

Maintenance tools, testing equipment and laboratory tests, consumables like chlorine, pH adjustment chemicals, coagulation additives, filters, media replacement expenses and the operator’s salary are part of the on-going expenses of the system.

These expenses need to be calculated and budgeted as part of the selection decision for any system. Failure to do so can have serious consequences for the community’s budget and the people being served.

A 450-gpm arsenic and iron removal system in parallel configuration in Michigan.

Demonstration process

The US EPA has done two rounds of demonstration projects throughout the country to prove the efficacy of various arsenic treatment media and techniques. These demonstrations succeeded in their goal of identifying emerging treatment technologies and vendors who have been successful.

An arsenic treatment technology decision tree was created and posted on the agency’s website as a selection tool. However, it does not adequately address all of the concerns covered here. Treatment selection will impact both capital and operating costs of the system.

Part of the US EPA’s analysis on these projects is the cost of on-going operations. Two systems in Arizona demonstrate the need to consider these costs. One system began the test using an iron-impregnated activated alumina-based (AA) media as the media of choice.

While AA is low cost and does remove arsenic (V), the throughput capacity is not nearly as high as other media. Therefore, multiple change-outs of the product were needed over time and the operating expense became too costly to be a feasible option for the community. The AA media was subsequently replaced with another higher capacity iron-based media that had more than five times the capacity.

Activated alumina-based media, while suitable for a few applications, has only 10-15 percent of the capacity to exhaustion (in bed volumes) than higher performing granular ferric oxide media. It also requires a longer empty-bed contact time to perform, which means larger vessel design, more media to accomplish the same result and higher capital costs and footprint. 

For each site visit to replace media, the labor, material and disposal costs can easily equal the cost of the media itself. To make the process more economically feasible, AA can be regenerated onsite. However, this requires caustic and acid which are expensive, add complexity, create potential safety concerns and require a higher level operator.

In contrast, the second site nearby (also north of Phoenix, Arizona) with higher arsenic concentrations averaging near 60 ppb, employed a high-capacity granular ferric oxide media that exhibited both higher removal efficiency (consistently treating to below the MCL) and total adsorption capacity, which resulted in significantly lower life cycle costs when considering all factors such as frequency of media replacement, media costs, transportation and disposal.  Media pricing per cubic foot for the iron media was higher, but the greatly longer run length resulted in significantly lower total O & M cost. This system has been in operation since June 2004 with only a single media replacement.

SCWS problems

According to Dustin Hardwick of the California Rural Water Association, some small community water systems have been forced into receivership or closed down and taken offline due to operational failures that put the health of the population in jeopardy. In some cases, this has been due to operating costs that exceeded the budget or special funding.

Owners may be unwilling or unable to raise the water rates to cover the total expenses of the system, or simply unaware of all of the costs. A small community in California’s Central Valley is currently out of compliance because proper maintenance and media replacement has not occurred as scheduled, placing the residents’ health at risk.  

Driven by affordability issues, the community is facing consequences of their MCL violation, including potential fines from California DPH that can be as high as $3,000 (USD) per day, when systems are out of compliance. In places like California, it has also resulted in systems being forcibly merged with nearby communities, which means the original owners’ investment was lost and the homeowner has to pay higher water rates.

A small community US EPA demonstration site in Texas successfully operating since 2006 is now non-compliant in 2009 because the media needs to be replaced and there is no money escrowed in the community’s budget to accomplish it. Money was not, unfortunately, set aside for this expense over the months since the system was put into service and loans or other financing are not available for a consumable item like media.

Based on the expected lifetime of the media, the average monthly operating cost per homeowner for media replacement and maintenance was less than $20 per household.  At the time of the start-up, this extra cost was deemed by their Board to be too much to pass on the system’s one hundred customers.

A similar community in northern Illinois was able to avoid this situation by amortizing the media replacement costs over the life expectancy of that media. This amount has been added to monthly billing rates since the system was brought on-line. The extra money collected was set-aside in a special account for when media has to be replaced.

Based on the 190 connections in the Subdivision, an assessment of approximately $7/month per connection was figured to cover this ongoing incremental expense. When properly planned, this cost was deemed reasonable and affordable for the average homeowner in the community.

Selection process

There are other issues to consider during the selection process that are not directly related to costs but will affect those costs in the long run. The number of media providers for arsenic treatment has decreased as some have gone out of business or the media have not proved effective over time.

As an example, certain ion exchange resins impregnated with iron are no longer viewed acceptable by regulatory agencies in some areas due to concerns about poor performance, odors, arsenic leakage, changes in water chemistry or sudden release of contaminants from the media. Others have simply proven to be too expensive to operate, mostly due to lower capacity than predicted.

This may mean higher media replacement costs and equipment modifications. In some cases, the availability of grants or other ’free’ money led owners to make quick decisions without adequate due diligence on optional treatments.

Many community water systems have applied for stimulus funds for new systems or for additional equipment to meet the arsenic requirements. They have learned that much of this money is in the form of low-interest loans or a combination of loans and grants. That means the cost of the loan should be considered in the total cost analysis.

It is also true that it is not as easy for small systems to obtain this money as it is for the larger municipal systems, so other sources should also be considered. Part of the evaluation of funding must be a consideration of what happens when that money runs out and operational costs continue.

Experience and stability

An evaluation of the experience and stability of the treatment system provider is a way to know the proposed system is the best available technology for the conditions at hand and that the supplier will be there when media replacement is due. Treatment system suppliers need to be very conscience of all costs and maintenance schedules and clearly communicate them in their proposals for client’s consideration.

Water treatment vendors for community water systems should be aware of the costs in relation to client’s situation to know when the costs will require a large rate increase to cover them. Suppliers may offer alternate technologies or provide assistance in finding funding sources.

Selecting a company with this experience is paramount to navigating through this process. Selection of an engineer is also critically important when dealing with regulatory agencies for permits, doing pilot testing and reports when required, managing site and building preparation and construction and evaluating treatment system proposals for the water system owner.

The lessons to be learned about the financial aspects when choosing arsenic treatment water systems are critical to the long-term success of any system. It is important to compare the operating costs as well as capital costs of each technology.

According to the US EPA website, over 4,100 community and non-community systems (schools, churches, factories) serving up to 13 million people have arsenic levels above the maximum contaminant level of 10 parts per billion arsenic. The budget planning process for small water systems having less than 500 connections (which represents the majority of communities dealing with this issue in the US) must include preventive maintenance expenses and media replacement costs and have money set aside for scheduled and unexpected events. Homeowners that are served by these systems need to be aware of these issues so that they (or their engineer, board, or representatives) can select the appropriate technology, make good business decisions, engage with the system suppliers, and understand total life cycle costs of any new systems that are considered for their community.  These considerations will improve the long-term success of systems, the owners, the residents, and the suppliers.

Important Questions to Ask a Vendor When Choosing an Arsenic System

Feasibility

  • What are the water quality limitations of this media/treatment technology?
  • Is my water quality a good match with the capabilities of this treatment option?
  • What kind of pre-treatment is needed?
  • Can the technology reliably achieve less than 10 ppb?
  • Is the technology likely to be permitted (or has it been)?

Experience

  • Is the product commercially and readily available?
  • How many installations or similar systems does this company have operating?
  • Does the media or process meet certifications or standards such as NSF/ANSI?
  • Are there other installations or case studies with similar water profile available for references?
  • Is the technology proven and can a performance guarantee be provided?

Space, residuals, other

  • What are the space requirements to house this equipment?
  • How flexible is the system? Easy to update or add-on?
  • What type of waste streams and quantities are associated with this treatment? Hazardous waste?

Costs

  • What are the capital costs of this treatment?
  • What are the typical O&M costs based on the specific water profile? ($/1000 gallons for comparisons)
  • How much operator time will be required to operate and maintain the system?
  • What warranties do you offer?

About the Author

Beth Thomas is a Project Manager at AdEdge Technologies in Buford, GA, a company specializing in design, development, manufacturing and supply of technologies that remove contaminants from process or aqueous streams, including adsorbent-based products, coagulation/filtration, oxidation/filtration, ion exchange and membrane filtration. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in science from Metropolitan State University in Denver, CO where she majored in biology and chemistry.

 

Viewpoint

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Surveys and Changes

Thanks to everyone who participated in our recent readership survey. The responses were great, and provided us some key content insights.

The primary areas of interest regarding feature stories focused on new RO and ion exchange technologies and competitive advantage areas. More information and focus on problem solving and filtration case studies as well as bottled water marketing.

While everyone has their favorite columns, On Tap, Ask the Expert and Chemistry Basics appear to be the most well received. Readers also appreciate news recaps on people, new technology and activities. In addition, advertising does show to be a key determinant in product decision-making.

We will use this information to help set our editorial calendar and our future focus for 2010 and beyond. Thanks to everyone for their input!

The winners of our survey drawing were Melanie Wolff-Pender and Joe Filipink. Both will receive $50 gift certificates to Amazon.com.

Some additional changes are also forthcoming in our editorial operation for 2010. I will be stepping back as Contributing Editor for WC&P at the end of December due to the increasing time demands of my other business interests.

Denise Roberts is being promoted to Executive Editor and she will take a more hands on approach in working with authors on content development while maintaining her production management role. Publisher Kurt Peterson will be taking a more active role in authoring this column on a regular basis, as well as working with Denise, customers/readers and the Technical Review Committee on valuable content.

I look forward to maintaining my involvement and relationship with this great industry and fine publication. At the same time, I encourage everyone to reach out to Denise and Kurt with your future ideas and input.

Thanks!

People

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Bruno appointed by EcoWater 

EcoWater Systems LLC appointed Joe Bruno to Business Development Manager. A 25-year veteran of the water treatment industry, he has been employed in a variety of sales, sales management and general management roles with Culligan corporate and independently owned dealer stores. Bruno also has an extensive background in sales training and personnel development and most recently, owned his own Water Mart store.

Hotchkies new Toray marketing VP 

Toray Industries, Inc. named Jim Hotchkies Vice President of Marketing – Americas, for its UF and MBR technology series. With over 20 years of global advanced membrane technology experience, he will focus on developing the market for the company’s portfolio of advanced microfiltration, ultrafiltration and MBR membranes across the municipal, industrial and commercial development sectors in North and South America. He may be contacted at hotchkies.james@toraywater.com

Schleinz appointed to WQA Lab

Ann Schleinz, CWS-VI, joined WQA’s Gold Seal Product Testing and Certification Program as a Product Certification Coordinator. Previously, she was a Product Certification Specialist for Pentair. Schleinz, whose 16 years of industry experience with Pentair included domestic and international regulatory compliance, third-party product testing and certification, state registrations, internal ISO auditing, technical support and customer service relations, also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Peat named Bord na Mona Director

Bord na Mona Environmental Products U.S. Inc. appointed Raymond Peat as Director of Business Development, effective immediately. He will assume complete responsibility for development and implementation of all North American business development programs in support of the company’s residential and commercial wastewater and water reuse treatment systems. Previously, Peat was Director of Market Development at Premier Tech Environment, Past President of the National Onsite Wastewater Management Association, is active in a wide variety of industry events and associations, and is extensively involved in the Water Environment Federation.  

WEF board members announced

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) passed the gavel of leadership from President Rebecca West to incoming President Paul Freedman and announced its 2009-2010 Board of Trustees: Immediate Past President West; President-Elect Jeanette Brown; Vice President Matt Bond; Treasurer Chris Browning; Secretary and Executive Director Bill Bertera; Paul Bowen; Judy Jones; Deborah Houdeshell; Carl Janson; Betty Jordan; Terry Krause; Ed McCormick; Sandra Ralston; Leslie Samel; Cordell Samuels; Paul Schuler and Rick Warner (Reno, NV).

Messley named Resintech sales rep

ResinTech increased its sales support operation by hiring Matthew Messley as Midwest Technical Sales Representative. The 18-year industry veteran will be developing new sales for ResinTech, its Aries Filterworks Division and ACM Technologies, Inc. Messley will also provide technical assistance and recommendations to current clients as necessary. Previously, he was VP of DuPage Water Conditioning’s Wholesale Division. Messley’s expertise extends to application design, technical support and installation.

NGWA awards announced 

The National Ground Water Association recently honored several industry leaders and outstanding projects contributing to the furtherance of groundwater initiatives. Those receiving 2009 NGWA awards were Stanford University Professor Emeritus Irwin Remson, Ross L. Oliver Award; John Doherty, Ph.D., of Corinda, Brisbane, Australia, M. King Hubbert Award; Chemist John H. Schnieders, Ph.D., Robert Storm Interdivisional Cooperation Award; Professor Hans-Olaf Pfannkuch, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Minnesota, Life Member Award; Malcolm Pirnie Inc., Ground Water Outstanding Project Award; CDM, Outstanding Ground Water Project Award; Mary P. Anderson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of Ground Water®, the Keith E. Anderson Award; Beth L. Parker, Ph.D., of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, the John Hem Award for Excellence in Science & Engineering; Bernard Amadei, founding President of Engineers Without Borders-USA and Rachael Paulson, Founder of Hands on the World Global, Honorary Member awards; Roger E. Renner, MGWC, President of E.H. Renner & Sons Inc. Individual Safety Advocate Award; former NGWA President Tom Downey, President of Downey Drilling Inc., Standard Bearer Award; Tom Edwards, Eastern Regional Sales Manager for Cresline Plastic Pipe Co. Inc., Manufacturers Division Special Recognition Award; Vickie Ross, Sales and Marketing Manager for National Well Supplies Co. Inc., Supplier of the Year Award and Murray Einarson, PG, CEG, CHG, AMEC Geomatrix Inc., Technology Award.

John Borger, Jr. (1947-2009)

WC&P sadly announces the passing of industry veteran John Borger, Jr., retired co-owner and former President of San Dimas, California-based Evolutionary Concepts, Inc. (ECI). The San Clemente resident died in a tragic kayak accident near Dana Point Harbor in August. Passionate about family, fishing and reading mystery novels in the afternoon, Borger had taken up kayaking about a year ago.

Born September 19, 1947 in New Jersey, Borger served in the US Air Force in Vietnam. He was a dedicated member of the water quality industry for many years and a member of the Water Quality Association.

Borger is survived by his wife, Mary, stepdaughter Caryn Cadez, son-in-law Igor and granddaughters Morgan and Kaylee. He is also survived by brother and sister-in-law, David and Ann Borger of Mission Viejo and his beloved African gray parrot, Alfie. A Celebration of His Life was held at the San Clemente Golf Course on September 13.

The Basics of Water Chemistry Salts, Acidity and Alkalinity

Monday, December 14th, 2009

By Peter Cartwright, PE, CWS-VI

The basic chemistry fundamentals presented each month are not intended to be a comprehensive chemistry course, but rather basic instruction on chemistry as it relates to water and water treatment. It is hoped that your interest will be piqued and induce you to want to learn more. The desired outcome is that it will help you become a more effective and valuable water treatment professional. Please get back to us with any questions or concerns; we welcome your input!

Salts are chemical compounds composed of soluble components that become electrically charged when in solution. These charged components are collectively known as ions.

Those ions with positive charges (+) called cations, and those with negative charges (-) called anions. When acids and bases (substances that release hydroxide ions into the water and will also produce a pH in water above 7) combine, salts are formed.

Acidity and Alkalinity

Acidity is the measure of dissolved solids that are acidic in nature (pH<7).

Acidic waters contain several traits.

They have a sour taste (like fruit juice and vinegar) and they turn Litmus paper red when tested. They also can be corrosive and tend to dissolve many metals.

A very complex subject, alkalinity is the quantitative capacity of water to neutralize an acid. Alkalinity is not the same as pH, because water does not necessarily have a high pH to have high alkalinity.

Alkalinity factors

Principal contributors to alkalinity in water supplies include the bicarbonate ion (HCO3-) and the carbonate ion (CO32-), the latter being common with natural waters in limestone areas. Alkalinity is also associated with high pH solutions (bases) and is most uncommon as hydroxide (OH-), except in municipal waters softened by soda-lime process.

Alkaline waters have a soda taste and can cause drying of the skin. They tend to oxidize metals and turn Litmus paper blue.

LSI

The Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) is a calculated number used to predict the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) stability of a water supply. This determines whether this water will precipitate, dissolve, or be in equilibrium with calcium carbonate.

LSI = pH – pH8

Where: pH = actual pH of the water pH 8 = pH at which water having the same alkalinity and calcium content is just saturated with calcium carbonate.

Some common chemicals with low solubility in water include: red rust ferric iron (Fe2O3), calcium carbonate scale (CaCO3) and calcium sulfate (Ca SO4).

About the author

Peter S. Cartwright, CWS-VI, President of Cartwright Consulting Company, of Minneapolis is a registered Professional Engineer in Minnesota. He has been in the water treatment industry since 1974, has authored over 125 articles, presented over 125 lectures in conferences around the world and has been awarded three patents. Cartwright has chaired several WQA committees and task forces and has received the organization’s Award of Merit. A member of WC&P Technical Review Committee since 1996, his expertise includes such high-technology separation processes as RO, UF, MF, UF electrodialysis, deionization, carbon adsorption, ozonation and distillation. Cartwright is also Technical Consultant to the Canadian Water Quality Association. He can be reached by phone (952) 854-4911; fax: (952) 854-6964; email: pscartwright@msn.com or on his website www.cartwright-consulting.com.

 

Total Water Quality Management – A Layered Approach

Monday, December 14th, 2009

By Greg Reyneke CWS-VI

The 21st century is a vastly different water marketplace than the pioneers in the water treatment industry faced a half century ago. Today’s consumer is highly educated, has access to vast information resources through the Internet and is concerned about net environmental impact.

Strong opinions abound in our industry on which technologies are best for various applications. Many dealers become so entrenched in a particular method that they lose sight of other technologies that are available for use as well as potentially ignoring the needs and wants of their customers.

In today’s market, one must be prepared to present a layered approach to water quality management. Allow your client an ‘ala carte’ selection of tailored water quality management options instead of pushing them into your favorite product.

Due to economic and environmental concerns, a multi-layered approach is necessary to provide the best balance of performance and cost while satisfying the needs of the customer. An abundance of technologies are currently available for the savvy dealer to fulfill consumer needs in a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable manner. These technologies can be applied incrementally in layers or individually as needed by the customer.

Dechlorination

Dechlorination includes the removal of chlorine and its carcinogenic byproducts. While chlorine serves a useful purpose in delivering water safely to your customer’s home, it becomes a disadvantage and potential health hazard when used inside the home. Most good dechlorination systems include activated carbon and REDOX media to maximize performance and minimize bacterial contamination.

Scale-control technologies

While not true water softeners, these devices are extremely effective at controlling the accumulation of hard water scale. Scale-control technology has become extremely popular recently, especially with an increased awareness of ‘brine discharge issues.

Properly designed scale-control systems effectively prevent hard water scale build-up without using traditional ion-exchange technology. Many customers will elect to incorporate scale-control technology and forgo a traditional water softener if they don’t want to deal with salt or have restrictive local ordinances. The only scale-control technologies that I ever specify or recommend are those that have been properly validated against the DVGW W512 test protocol.

Water softening

Ubiquitous in application, traditional ion exchange softeners are the most commonly recognized and misunderstood residential water treatment technology. Softeners completely remove hardness ions from water, addressing both hardness scale and soap interactions.

Ion exchange water softening is the best-value water quality improvement that most homeowners can currently make. A well-designed water softener includes metered on-demand regeneration, adaptive electronics and a mechanism for automatic disinfection.

Drinking water filtration/purification

Since more than half of Americans are currently dissatisfied with their municipal tap water and almost a quarter of refuse to drink tap water. There is a definite demand for appliances to address tastes, odors, conductivity and other concerns.

There are other issues in the US and globally that require other solutions. Activated carbon, ceramics, ultrafiltration and RO technologies are all available and appropriate for use in residential drinking water applications.

Specialty applications

Numerous technologies exist for specialty applications, like ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, distillation, ozonation, and electro-oxidation. Educate yourself on how they all work and where they can be integrated to give your customers the best water that they can afford.

By adopting a layered approach, the most appropriate technology is used for each part of the home. Why waste money softening water to flush toilets, when scale control technology will do a fantastic job without the environmental impact of legislative entanglements?

The layered approach will help your customer choose the appropriate technology or combination of technologies that is the very best for their situation.

About the author

Greg Reyneke, CWS-VI, is currently General Manager at Intermountain Soft Water in Lindon, UT and serves on the WC&P Technical Review Committee. He also serves on the advisory board of the Smart Dealer Network, a trade association dedicated to helping independent water treatment dealers succeed in today’s changing world and reach their full potential.

 

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