Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

Guest Viewpoint

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Dear Readers,

It’s my distinct pleasure to continue a long-standing tradition in the partnership between the Water Quality Association and Water Conditioning & Purification International by writing the February edition of Viewpoint. I’d like to take this opportunity to invite every one of you to attend our annual convention and exposition, WQA Aquatech USA, which will be held in Las Vegas, NV, April 21-24. Whether you make it a point to attend every year or haven’t been to WQA Aquatech USA in a few years, we think you’ll be pleased with the improvements we’ve made; they are strategically designed to deliver even more value to participating companies and attendees.

WQA Aquatech USA has always been an unrivaled event for accessing information relevant to the water quality improvement industry. This year, we’ve taken a new approach by developing five different learning tracks to accommodate the varying needs of industry professionals.

The Water Treatment Basics track is ideal for anyone new to water treatment or seeking a review of introductory concepts. Participants will learn about common water- borne contaminants, installing equipment according to basic codes and several types of common treatment technologies.

The Residential Applications & Regulatory Matters track focuses on regulatory trends and technologies at the forefront of modern residential water treatment. Participants will learn about innovative advancements in electrochemical water treatment, ion exchange and water conservation.

The Commercial Applications track highlights the specific needs of various sub- sectors of the commercial water treatment market. This track also features a behind-the- scenes tour of water technology behind the Las Vegas show Le Rêve – The Dream, which utilizes a one-million gallon water tank!

The Process Water Applications track is designed to build the learner’s technical capabilities to pursue the ‘middle market’ between commercial and heavy-industrial applications. We will cover such topics as reverse osmosis system design, water reuse in beverage manufacturing and plumbing and instrumentation diagrams.

The Business Operations & Management track offers information and techniques to help water treatment industry professionals improve work performance and grow their business. This track is ideal for representatives of dealer companies with limited experience in the water treatment marketplace.

The learning and exchange of ideas that will take place at WQA Aquatech USA won’t be limited to the educational sessions. If you’re looking for technical advice, the trade show is a great place to find it. We will facilitate ‘Ask the Expert’ Q&A Roundtables in special lounge areas on the trade show floor. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about select products and services directly from the experts in a relaxed, informal setting.

If you want to build your credibility and expertise by pursuing professional certi- fication through WQA, you’ll have ample opportunities to experience WQA’s Modular Education Program (MEP) first-hand. There will be a MEP Café next to the WQA booth and you will have an opportunity to log in and test out the new program at several edu- cational sessions. WQA Education & Professional Certification staff will be on hand to explain how to leverage the MEP in achieving professional certification.

Whether it’s at our educational sessions, networking with fellow industry profes- sionals or checking out the latest products on the trade show floor, we’re confident you’ll leave WQA Aquatech USA with plenty of valuable information that can help you grow your business. I encourage you to visit www.wqa.org/Aquatech for more information or to register for WQA Aquatech USA 2015. I look forward to seeing you there.

David Westman
Interim Executive Director, Water Quality Association

Human Perception is a Failed Indicator of Water Quality Concern

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

By Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD

More than 15 million Americans routinely consume drinking water from a private groundwater source(1). Private drinking water wells are generally sourced by groundwater supplies but are still subject to contamination due to agricultural operations, overland flows and septic-tank effluents. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports an increased proportion of waterborne disease outbreaks associated with private household drinking water supplies over the last 30 years, where groundwater causes the majority of documented US waterborne outbreaks. Whereas public water systems are subject to routine testing to ensure quality compliance with state and federal regulatory standards or quality, such standards are not confirmed or enforced with private drinking water systems.

Your water, your responsibility

Any system that serves fewer than 25 people at least 60 days per year and has no more than 15 service connections can qualify as a private water supply and is, therefore, outside of the US EPA’s jurisdiction for maintaining the regulatory standards, including routine monitoring. Numerous government agencies, including the CDC, US EPA, US Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Ground Water Association, all recommend private well owners check their drinking water frequently to confirm its safety. Routine monitoring is not only advantageous for determining the current water quality but for developing a baseline of expected levels for specific indicators. Changes in the chemical or physical properties of the supply may be the first red flag indicating a human health risk.

Any system that serves fewer than 25 people at least 60 days per year and has no more than 15 service connections can qualify as a private water supply and is, therefore, outside of the US EPA’s jurisdiction for maintaining the regulatory standards, including routine monitoring. Numerous government agencies, including the CDC, US EPA, US Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Ground Water Association, all recommend private well owners check their drinking water frequently to confirm its safety. Routine monitoring is not only advantageous for determining the current water quality but for developing a baseline of expected levels for specific indicators. Changes in the chemical or physical properties of the supply may be the first red flag indicating a human health risk.

A recent survey of research conducted over three decades indicates that the prevalence of coliform bacteria ranges from 15 to 85 percent in private well waters. More recently, 10 percent of 538 well water samples collected in a Virginia study tested positive specifically for fecal bacteria.3 Such positive frequency suggests a common and chronic condition of impairment for groundwater supplies, warranting routine monitoring and intervention.

Quality indicators

Standard water quality markers include total coliforms, fecal coliforms (i.e., E. coli), pH, nitrates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).4 In general, the presence of total and fecal coliforms is not a direct health risk. Instead, it indicates the potential for a breach in the quality of the water. While it is not uncommon to find total coliforms in natural environments, a dramatic increase in their numbers could indicate a quality change in the water supply. Fecal coliforms and E. coli, on the other hand, are of more concern, given that they indicate contamination with animal or human feces. Feces carry other, more harmful microbial pathogens that, when ingested, may cause serious illness, such as diarrhea, hepatitis or even death.

Table 1. Top causes of outbreaks in wells(2).

  • 1. Hepatitis A
  • 2. Giardia
  • 3. Campylobacter, E. coli (tie)
  • 4. Shigella
  • 5. Cryptosporidium, Salmonella (tie)
  • 6. Arsenic, gasoline, nitrate, phenol, selenium (tie)

Water pH is another quality indicator that affects the taste, smell and appearance of water. The generally accepted pH range for groundwater is 6 to 8.5. Water that is below neutral (pH = 7) is considered acidic and water above pH = 7 is referred to as basic. Highly acidic water can be caustic to pipes, causing heavy metals like iron, copper and lead to leach and enter the water supply. Over time and at increased levels, these exposures can be toxic to the consumer. Basic water, or hard water, is not a serious health concern but is a nuisance in regard to scale buildup on fixtures and surfaces and reduction of the efficiency of soaps and detergents. Use of neutralizers and water softeners are common interventions to adjust water that ranges far from the ideal neutral pH of pure water.

Nitrates are problematic in excess amounts (>10 mg/L), especially to infants and children. Fertilizers, wastewater effluent, leaking septic systems and runoff from agricultural feed lots are all potential sources of nitrates. Unpolluted natural waters typically have nitrate levels below four mg/L. VOCs commonly contaminating well water supplies are chemicals from industrial or fuel-related sources, such as benzene, carbon tetrachloride, toluene, trichloroethelene and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).4 An understanding of the risks in your particular geographical area is important in deciding for which VOCs to test. Local health departments and US EPA regional reports provide sources for determining contaminants of concern in your area.

Taste- and odor-failed indicators

Recently at the APHA 142nd Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Public Health Association in New Orleans, LA, a researcher from Virginia Tech presented new information on homeowner perceptions of quality and risk related to private water supplies (5). A recent study of almost 15,000 private household well samples collected by the Virginia Cooperative Extension Program found that homeowners did not routinely test their water unless a problem was perceived at the tap. Unfortunately, triggers of a problem at the tap are generally related to taste and odor issues that are not necessarily predictors of a harmful water quality problem.

In 1981, a two-year study by the Illinois State Water Survey found that the level of odors in finished municipal surface water supplies was weakly correlated with 20 commonly used biological, chemical and physical water quality parameters.6 Changes in taste and odor constituents were predictable based on seasonality, not necessarily as a function of water pollution. Odors were most notable between the months of May to October when warmer temperatures create anoxic conditions in water, where dissolved oxygen levels decrease, correlating to increased odor production. A similar study was conducted in a public municipal groundwater supply by researchers at the University of Arizona. Here, complaints from the consumer triggered a water quality analysis in the home. Like the Virginia study, consumer perceptions of poor water quality did not significantly correlate with true quality concerns (unpublished data). The bottom line is that human perception is not a reliable water quality indicator.

Barriers and solutions

Recent data indicates that private wells are frequently contaminated but not being routinely monitored for harmful contaminants. Homeowners appear to be concerned about their water quality when tastes and odors change. Taste and odor changes, however, are often temporary and not consistent with the occurrence of harmful bacteria or chemicals. While costs and accessibility may play a role, causes of homeowner resistance to routine water quality monitoring is not clear. More research is needed to determine what barriers contribute to a lack of safety compliance in private water supply management. Educating consumers that good tasting and smelling water may not be free of harmful microbial and chemical contaminants is expected to help remove some of the commonly held, but faulty, water quality perceptions.


  1. US Census Bureau, Current Housing Reports, Series H150/07, American Housing Survey for the United States: 2007, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2008.
  2. Water related diseases and contaminants in private wells, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, 7 April 2014. [Online]. Available: www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/diseases.html. [Accessed 12 1 2015].
  3. Allevi, R.P.; Krometis, L.H.; Hagedorn, C. et al, “Quantitative analysis of microbial contamination in private drinking water supply systems,” Journal of Water and Health, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 244-255, 2013.
  4. Well Testing, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, 3 May 2010. [Online]. Available: www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/ testing.html. [Accessed 9 1 2015].
  5. Pafitis, Natalie, “BMC Public Health Back from APHA in New Or- leans,” BioMed Central, 2 December 2014. [Online]. Available: http://blogs. biomedcentral.com/bmcseriesblog/2014/12/02/bmc-public-health-back- from-apha-in-new-orleans/. [Accessed 11 January 2015].
  6. Shundar, L. and Evans, R.L.“Relationships between Odor and Commonly Measured Water Quality Characteristics in Surface Water Supplies,” Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, 1981.

About the author

Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds is an associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Public Health. She holds a Master of Science degree in public health (MSPH) from the University of South Florida and a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Arizona. Reynolds has been a member of the WC&P Technical Review Committee since 1997. She can be reached via email at reynolds@u.arizona.edu.

Efficiency of Water Softeners under NSF/ANSI 44

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

By Rick Andrew

In this day and age of potential bans on water softeners due to concerns about salinity, efficiency is a very hot topic. But one might wonder, exactly what does efficiency mean in terms of water softeners? Obviously it must relate to how efficiently these systems soften the water, but how does this translate to something measurable? Fortunately, this question has been answered by the NSF Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units through NSF/ANSI 44 – Residential cation exchange water softeners. The standard describes the requirements and test methodology used to determine efficiency of water softeners.

A note on scope

Before delving into efficiency, it is necessary to be clear on the scope of the standard. NSF/ANSI 44 covers residential cation exchange water softeners. Although other technologies that are sometimes used for the purpose of reduction of scale and/or reduction of hardness exist, these technologies are not addressed by this standard, which is limited to cation exchange technologies. Further, the standard defines residential water softeners as those having an inlet not exceeding 1.25 inches (31.75 mm) in nominal pipe size (NPS). Systems utilizing larger control valves fall outside the scope of what the standard defines as residential. Finally, only POE regenerating systems are covered by NSF/ANSI 44. Disposable cartridge-type POU systems sometimes used for softening for coffee brewing or other purposes are not POE and are not regenerating, so they fall outside the scope of the standard.

What is efficiency?

NSF/ANSI 44 defines efficiency in terms of minimum performance according to two different inputs: salt and water. Softeners must meet minimum performance criteria for both salt and water usage in order to be considered efficient. This usage is expressed in terms of the relationship of the amount of hardness removed from the water to the amounts of salt and water used to regenerate the softener. These relationships and the criteria for efficiency are described in Figure 1. The standard also disqualifies time-clock type softeners from being efficiency rated. Although these softeners may indeed regenerate quite efficiently, they will continue to regenerate on schedule regardless of the amount of actual water usage. A softener that regenerates and uses salt and water even when it still could have plenty of softening capacity because not much water has been used does not really meet the ‘eyeball test’ for an efficiency rating. With this in mind, the joint committee limited efficiency ratings only to demand-initiated regeneration (DIR) type softeners.

Testing for efficiency

The data used to determine whether DIR softeners are efficiency rated is generated during the softening capacity test, in which a softener is regenerated with a known amount of salt, according to a salt dosage specified by the manufacturer. The volume of water required for regeneration is measured. The softener is then operated at 50 percent of the manufacturer’s rated service flow, treating water with 20 grains per gallon of hardness. The test is stopped when the treated water hardness rises to one grain per gallon. At this point, the amount of hardness treated can be calculated because the hardness of the untreated and treated water is known and the volume of water treated has also been measured. Because the amount of salt and volume of water used for regeneration are also known, the calculations for efficiency can also be performed and the efficiency rating can be determined.

Relationship between efficiency and salt dosage

The efficiency of softeners varies with the amount of salt used for regeneration. A minimum amount of salt is required to effectively regenerate the resin. Beyond that minimum effective salt dosage, there are diminishing returns in terms of salt efficiency: the higher the salt dosage, the lower the salt efficiency. In fact, there is a point at which additional salt used in regeneration will not achieve any more softening capacity and will simply be rinsed out of the system. For this reason, many DIR water softeners meet the requirements for efficiency ratings at lower salt dosages, but not at higher dosages. This can be a challenge for softener manufacturers who wish to promote both high efficiency and high capacity. In these cases, the manufacturer must be sure to clearly associate these claims with a specific salt dosage. In fact, NSF/ANSI 44 specifies that efficiency-rated softeners shall not deliver more salt or be operated at a sustained maximum service flowrate greater than their listed rating.

Efficiency is optional

Efficiency is not required for certification to NSF/ANSI 44; however, it may be required by state or local regulations. This is true especially in western states that have water salinity problems, such as California. And states that currently do not have efficiency requirements for softeners may be moving in that direction. California actually requires an efficiency of 4,000 grains of capacity per pound of regenerant salt as opposed to the 3,350 grains of capacity per pound of regenerant salt required by NSF/ ANSI 44. This difference is sometimes called ‘California efficiency’ as opposed to efficiency in general.

Opportunities for improvement

Having criteria for efficiency tied to specific salt dosages makes sense for traditional softeners that operate based on a salt setting that is programmed or otherwise set by the dealer or end user. One can program the salt setting and know how efficiently the softener will operate. Recent advances in electronics, however, have led to a number of intelligent softener valve options that vary the regeneration parameters based on water usage. These systems are flexible in how they operate, so as to best serve the end users in making sure they don’t run out of soft water, while at the same time, operating as efficiently as possible per the algorithm used in their programming. Having an efficiency rating based on specific salt dosages, however, may not make as much sense for these systems that regenerate with varying amounts of salt. There has been a fair amount of discussion among manufacturers and certifiers regarding potential changes to the efficiency-rating approach used in NSF/ANSI 44. These discussions are likely to continue, possibly resulting in updated criteria and test methodologies to determine efficiency for advanced softener technologies.

About the author

Rick Andrew is the General Manager of NSF’s Drinking Water Treatment Units (POU/POE), ERS (Protocols) and Biosafety Cabinetry Programs. He has previously served as the Operations Manager and, prior to that, Technical Manager for the program. Andrew has a Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He can be reached at (800) NSF-MARK or email Andrew@nsf.org.

Michiana Water Conditioning Makes Smaller Look Very Successful

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

By Denise M. Roberts

Michiana Water Conditioning
2314 Sterling Avenue
Elkhart, IN 46516
Tel: (574) 295-8494
Employees: Five



Joseph Ayrea and his wife Barb launched family-owned and operated Michiana Water Conditioning in 1974, with a small storefront in downtown Elkhart before moving to a larger location in the late 1970s. Jon Ayrea, company head and spokesman, grew up in the family business, working during breaks from school and over summer vacations. He became a full-time employee in 1988, eventually taking over in 1993 after an illness slowed his father’s involvement in day-to-day operations.

“I have two boys aged eight and 10,” said the younger Ayrea. “Although I like the idea of working with them someday, they’re both still just too young to know what they want to be when they grow up. That gives me time to see what future path we all may take where the family business is concerned.” Ayrea has remained in this business because he has a deep sense of enjoyment of what he does. “Since we were so small for so long, I’ve always had a very hands-on approach with the customers and consider many of them friends as well. It’s always busy and, when you’re self-employed, it’s hard to get away sometimes, but I love the flexibility of being my own boss.”

Michiana Water Conditioning’s staff of five serves Elkhart, Saint Joseph and LaGrange counties in northern Indiana, as well as several townships in southern Michigan. Ayrea, one salesperson, one installer and two part-time delivery people ensure customers are taken care of as quickly and efficiently as possible. The vast majority of the business is residential water treatment. The company offers a full line of water softeners and conditioners, RO drinking water systems, bottled water, water coolers, softener salt and delivery service, in addition to repair service for many makes and models of water softeners on the market. “We run into the normal hardness and iron issues for this part of the country,” says Ayrea. “Hardness is in the 16- to 25-gpg range and iron anywhere from a trace to up to three to four ppm. We are happy to represent The Evolve Series by Water-Right, which offers equipment for standard softening, as well as the Crystal Right media that can filter up to 10 ppm iron. We make available city water-specific systems as well as battery-operated and solar-powered systems that garner quite a bit of attention with the Amish communities in Elkhart and Lagrange Counties.”

Remaining successful takes lots of hard work, creativity and perseverance. Challenges abound in any business environment, as Ayrea knows only too well. “The biggest challenge we’ve faced was the economy over the last six years or so. Like everyone else, you learn to adapt. I think any company that survived such a deep and long-lasting recession came out stronger on the other end. We chose not to pursue any new products or services during that time, focusing instead on just continuing to provide the best products and service possible. 2014 was our best year ever, so I’m extremely happy and proud of our efforts. Consistent performance, good products and the will to keep going are key elements in our business strategy. Giving up was not, and is not, an option.” Keeping in front of a core audience of prospective clients is another pivotal factor. “We just started running a commercial for the first time ever, so I’m excited to see the results from that. Facebook marketing is also new to us. Things are looking positive, though, and in the next five years, I plan to hire a second installer and probably a full-time delivery person.”

Business strategies must change and evolve to reflect industry needs and conditions. The intervention of modern technology into the mix is helping companies ramp up to meet the demands of our society. “I’ve noticed that customers continue to become smarter and more enlightened about their health and welfare, which is always a good thing, because water is one of the single most important aspects of both,” Ayrea said. “There was a time when the big-box stores caused concern for many in this industry, but as customers continue to learn more about treatment systems and service, I think that is beginning to change. No system or treatment option takes care of itself, so service after the sale is the number-one advantage we have over the big-box systems. It’s also exciting to see what’s on the horizon as far as salt-less systems. My guess is that’s still awhile down the road, but like anything else, we’ve got to wait and see what happens. As with everyone else, I’m always concerned about legislation, especially when it comes to the environment. I think it’s up to the manufacturers to continue to improve the efficiency of their systems, as well as the public to understand what the benefits to soft water are compared to hard water. In this category of thought, knowledge truly is power and we are here to help our customers make the best and most informed decisions.”

With an open mind and an innovative spirit, Ayrea has taken the helm to keep the company moving forward in a positive direction. His parents may not have realized it at the time, but it appears they created a legacy, a company that is well-placed to become a multi-generational enterprise rooted in success.

Self-regenerating Water Softener Rebates and Bans Update

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

By H. Martin Jessen and Michael T. Mecca

Several communities are still actively taking action to regulate self-regenerating water softeners (SRWS) to reduce salinity levels in wastewater, which in turn, is causing high water treatment costs or discharge issues. The most publicized has been the Los Angeles Sanitation District’s (LA SAN) ban on the installation of SRWS and the mandatory removal of all SRWS in their Santa Clarita sewer shed. Other areas include the Inland Empire Utility Agency (IEUA) and the recently adopted ban on new installation in Hollister, CA and Scottsdale, AZ’s program offering rebates to remove a SRWS, replace a SRWS with an exchange tank or upgrade an old SRWS with a high-efficiency model.

The Pacific Water Quality Association (PWQA) has talked about these programs and has considered a study to evaluate the degree to which the programs have achieved their stated objectives. For example, some in PWQA claim that the LA SAN program has failed in its objective to lower the chloride level to the target in their discharge permit.

As prelude to any decision, PWQA undertook a fact-finding mission to learn what has actually happened. To do so, the three governmental entities mentioned above were contacted—Hollister’s ordinance was just enacted so no data is available yet.

Santa Clarita, CA

Phase I of the Santa Clarita Rebate Program began on November 30, 2005. From that date until March 31, 2007, residents were eligible for a rebate of either $100 or $150 if they replaced a SRWS with a qualified alternative unit.

Phase II of the rebate program began on April 1, 2007, which offered higher rebate amounts. Residents who took the rebate in Phase I were made ‘whole’ with an additional rebate payment so that their total rebate was equal to those who waited until Phase II (in Table 1, the total rebate amount is reported in the year the first check was sent). During the voluntary removal program from April 1, 2007 to December 31, 2008, the district provided rebates for 100 percent of the reasonable value of the AWS. In the November 4, 2008 general election, voters in Santa Clarita approved an ordinance that spelled out further phases to remove SRWS, including another rebate plan. Since January 1, 2009, LA SAN has provided rebates for 75 percent of the reasonable value of the SRWS. All SRWS were required to have been removed as of June 30, 2009, the end of the six-month grace period. In addition to the rebates, the district also provided free removal and disposal of the units.

In an effort to further lower chloride levels, LA SAN has begun a home-inspection program to identify remaining SRWS. To date, 200 have been identified. Fifty percent of the homeowners contacted have refused LA SAN access to their home. (The agency continues to offer any rebate that a homeowner is eligible for under the 2007 Phase II program.) LA SAN has not issued any fines as allowed in the ordinance passed in November, 2008. It has reported that 8,100 rebates have been issued to date. Table 1 indicates the average rebate paid out by year since the program was enacted. $6.5 million has been spent on the entire program including staff, public education, administration, etc. LA SAN reports that removal of these SRWS has resulted in a 55- ppm reduction in chloride levels. It also reports that source water chloride levels are up substantially from the baseline when they embarked on the SRWS removal effort. As a result, they are still above the discharge limit needed to comply with their discharge permit. LA SAN also is not certain how many SRWS remain in service in the community.

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board recently approved chloride limits for the LA SAN water reclamation plants. These new limits are currently under regulatory review. The revised chloride limits to the Santa Clara River are a 100 mg/L, three-month blended average (flow weighted average from the Valencia and Saugus WRPs) effective July 1, 2019. Until then, LA SAN has higher interim limits.

In summary, removing the 8,100 SRWS has not enabled LA SAN to lower chloride levels to meet their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The agency is now making plans to build a membrane plant to treat a portion of the wastewater and blend the product water back into the overall waste stream so the blended water will meet the new NPDES permit level. Because of the 55- ppm reduction (attributed to the removal of SRWS), LA SAN will treat a smaller portion of the water at the Valencia Plant than if the reduction had not been achieved. LA SAN’s original claims were that this course of action would eliminate or greatly reduce the need or cost of secondary water treatment at the plant level. We are unable to determine how much better that number would be without the change in source-water quality.

Inland Empire Utility Agency

The IEUA passed an ordinance in 2012 banning the installation of new SRWS and offering rebates to remove existing SRWS. In addition to the ordinance, the agency asked each local utility to adopt an ordinance mirroring the IEUA requirements. Its objective, apparently, was to create redundant uniform standards. Currently, four utilities have adopted the mirroring ordinance:

  • Montclair
  • Upland
  • Fontana
  • Cucamonga Water District

Three have not adopted the ordinance at this time:

  • Ontario
  • Chino
  • Chino Hills

IEUA believes it has the authority to enforce the ban even without the communities enacting their own ordinance. To date, 700 rebates have been issued.
IEUA and the participating utilities are doing the following to control new installations of SRWS:

  • Informing builders and homeowners at permitting for new construction or re-modeling
  • Lowe’s and The Home Depot don’t sell SRWS in the cities that have enacted the ordinance
  • Promoting alternative technologies to the big-box stores

Thus far, IEUA has done nothing to try to limit salt sales. The agency is working through realtors to inform sellers and buyers about the rebate in an attempt to get a previously installed SRWS removed when a home is sold. The time may come, however, when having a SRWS in an area with a ban in effect will be a selling point.

Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale has launched a program to reduce salinity in their wastewater because the municipality is having difficulty meeting the specification for TDS and sodium in the reclaimed water it is contracted to deliver to golf courses. The city reports that it is facing an $80-million capital upgrade to the water reclamation plant and that upgrade will cost $6-8 million a year to operate. Scottsdale also reports that SRWS are adding 400 ppm to the TDS of wastewater entering their water reclamation facility.

In response, Scottsdale has enacted a three-tiered program of rebates to homeowners who want to participate in the program.

  1. Tier one is a $50 rebate to anyone who replaces an old, inefficient SRWS with a new, high-efficiency model.
  2. Tier two is a $100 rebate to anyone who removes an existing SRWS and replaces it with an exchange tank.
  3. Tier three is a $125 rebate to anyone who removes an existing SRWS and goes without soft water.


We all realize the issues and challenges high TDS water causes for downstream users of recycled water. It is too early to tell if these programs will achieve their desired objectives. To date, only LA SAN has monitored TDS in wastewater to quantify the results. IEUA and Scottsdale indicate that their programs are too new to see results yet. The challenge for the industry is to determine how we respond to reduce the impact of SRWS on wastewater TDS. Will ultra-high efficiency SRWS lower salt discharge enough? What other salt-source control can we help accomplish? What does the future of our industry hold in terms of new products or services? Please bear in mind, some of the material in this article is author opinion, formed during the acquisition of available information.

About the authors

H. Martin Jessen, Rayne Water Corporation and Pionetics Corporation and Michael T. Mecca, Performance Water Products, Inc., are both Past Presidents of the Pacific Water Quality Association and have been intimately involved with the softener issues and bans in the West. Their respective companies are involved in the manufacture and assembly of ultra-high efficient SWRS and purification devices and several Rayne Water dealers provide exchange tank soft-water service.

Softener Efficiency– It’s Not Just about the Salt!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

By C.F. ‘Chubb’ Michaud, CWS-VI

Softener efficiency

Water softener efficiency is a term generally used to rate a water softener by the relationship to its recovered capacity per pound of salt (NaCl) used in regeneration. Softeners of old might be rated at 3,000 grains per pound (gr/lb). This, of course, is borne out in the typical rating of 24,000 grains on an eight pound per cubic foot setting. Those familiar with the workings of a salt regenerated ion exchanger will recognize that the brine efficiency is very much related to the regeneration salt dose. The higher the salt dose, the higher the capacity, but the lower the efficiency in terms of capacity gain per pound of salt. That same softener, with a five-pound setting, might deliver 20,000 grains or 4,000 g/ lb and at 12 pounds, only 2,500 g/lb. This is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Capacity and leakage versus regeneration level


The push by regulators for better brine efficiency (to keep the unwanted higher brine levels out of the sewer system) have led to a general reduction in factory brine settings to achieve the high-efficiency rating definition of 4,000 gr/lb (1).

Currently, many of the western states are caught in a severe drought condition. At the same TDS in their treated sewage wastewater is rising, making it harder to resell (for non-potable uses)
or discharge (limitations on chloride discharge levels to water ways). This is bringing more pressure on salt use that has led to several recent automatic softener bans and restrictions. So, how much TDS does a water softener really add to the sewer line? The answer may surprise you.

How much TDS does a home water softener add to household waste water?

If a typical household with a family of four uses 75 to 85 gallons of treated (softened) water per day (gpd) per person, they will use 320 to 350 gpd or 10,000 gal/month. This is about 120,000 gal/year and that amount of water weighs one million pounds. If that water is 20 gpg hard, we have to remove 2,400,000 grains of hardness per year. Assuming we have an efficient softener that can deliver 4,000 g/lb, we divide the total hardness to be removed (2.4 MM grains) by the salt efficiency (4,000 g/lb) and we see that we will use 600 pounds of NaCl salt. If we put 600 pounds of salt in 1 MM pounds of water, we have an added TDS of 600 ppm. In most cases, this more than doubles the feed level. That’s without consideration for the actual efficiency or the reserve capacity. Older time clock systems may actually be double that figure. An added 600 pounds of NaCl adds 235 pounds (or ppm) of sodium and 365 pounds (or ppm) of chloride.

What is water efficiency?

There is another side to the softener efficiency ratings that often goes unnoticed. That has to do with the amount of water used per regeneration cycle. Some municipalities have stated limits that bounce around five gallons of water used in genera- tion per 100 gallons treated or 95-percent water efficiency. In the above calculation, and if we assume a capacity of 20 kilograins (Kgr) capacity/cu ft of resin at a five lb/cu ft setting, we will regenerate (2.4 MM gr/20 Kgr) = 120 cycles. At 95-percent water efficiency, we are allowed (120,000 gal x 5%) = 6,000 gallons of water for 120 cycles. That’s 50 gallons per cycle. Does your water softener do that? Again, there is no reserve and we are assuming high efficiency.

Obviously, the water efficiency of a softener will be influenced by the hardness of the feed. We will use the same number of gallons per year but the number of cycles will vary with the hardness. Let’s look at 15, 20 and 25 gpg TH in the feed and keep our salt setting and salt efficiency constant. 120 K gal at 15 gpg = 1.8 MM gr/yr. 20 gpg is 2.4 MM gr/yr and 25 gpg is 3.0 MM gr/yr. Dividing by 20 Kgr/cu ft/cycle, we have 90, 120 and 150 regeneration cycles respectively. Again, with 95-percent water efficiency, we have an allowance of 6,000 gallons, which calculates to 67, 50 and 40 gallons per cycle, respectively. Not many systems can even be programmed to regenerate on 40 gal/ cu ft. What steps can we take to get there?

Where am I?

If you check most owners’ or OEM manuals, you will find that they are quite generous in the amount of water used in regenerating their systems. This is especially true of the rinse volumes. A good backwash is needed to clean and reclassify the resin bed (to reduce clogging and pressure drop). An adequate backwash can be minimized but not eliminated. Brine and rinse can be calculated as well as fast rinses to minimize the total water used. Let’s compare.

Older mechanical systems(2) used a pre-rinse to purge the bed, a backwash, brine and slow rinse, fast rinse and a settling rinse to set the bed. The standard injector drew brine at 0.38 gpm and had a slow rinse of 0.45 gpm. All other rinses were at 2 gpm. The total water used per cycle was:

Pre-rinse: 2 gpm @ 5 minutes = 10 gal
Backwash: 2 gpm @ 10 minutes = 20 gal
Brine draw: (8 lb setting = 3 gal brine) 0.38 gpm @ 8 minutes = 3 gal
(24,000 gr/cu ft capacity)
Slow Rinse: (controlled by eductor) 0.45 gpm @ 60 minutes = 27 gal Fast Rinse: 2 gpm @ 10 minutes = 20 gal
Settling Rinse: 2 gpm @ 5 minutes = 10 gal
Total = 90 gallons/cycle

Newer electronic systems allow you to skip steps and run any cycle time desired.

Backwash: 2 gpm @ 7.5 minutes = 15 gal
Brine draw: (5.0 lb setting = 2 gal brine) 0.2 gpm @ 10 minutes = 2 gal
(20,000 gr/cu ft capacity)
Slow Rinse: (controlled by eductor) 0.3 gpm @ 50 min = 7.5 gal Fast Rinse: 2 gpm @ 5 min = 10 gal
Total = 34.5 gallons/cycle

Based on our 95-percent water efficiency, the older mechani- cal system using 90 gallons to regenerate has to produce 1,800 gallons of softened water to comply. With 24 Kgr capacity, it would, therefore, be limited to treating feeds at 13.3 gpg hard- ness or less (13.3 x 1,800 gal = 24,000 grains). Our electronic unit using a water saving 35 gal/cycle only has to produce 700 gallons of treated water to comply and with a capacity of 20 Kgr/cu ft, it can treat feedwater up to 28.6 gpg hardness (28.6 x 700 = 20,000 grains).

In Figure 2, the green box represents the hardness range that can be treated while maintaining water efficiency at 95 percent. The red line representing a 5 lb/cu ft regeneration level (see Figure 1), however, is probably the only option for both brine and water efficiency.

Figure 2. Treatable hardness levels versus water used in regeneration

Where do I want to go?

The modern electronic softener controls are perfectly suited to help improve both salt and water efficiency. By adjusting the salt dose down to 5 lbs/ cu ft, one can achieve 4,000 gr/lb efficiency. If one would like to be able to claim efficient operation up to 25 gpg, you would be limited to using only 40 gallons of water to regenerate. A 20,000 gr softener would produce (20,000/25) = 800 gal of soft water per cycle. If five percent is allowed to regenerate, you are limited to (800 x 5%) = 40 gallons. 4,000 gr/ lb and 40 gal/cycle is a respectable goal.

How do I get there?

For most system configurations, an adequate backwash can be achieved with a 7- to 8-minute cycle. Backwash flow should be about 5 gpm/sq ft of tank surface area and will vary with water temperature. Using as small an injector as is practical will lengthen the draw time for brine, which will help increase brine efficiency. You will need at least 12 to 15 minutes of actual brine contact. Your slow rinse can be reduced to about one empty tank volume (a 9 x 44 will contain 12.5 gallons). Fast rinse can be reduced to five minutes. This should keep you at about 40 gal/cycle.


Designing home water systems for better brine efficiency by reducing the brining level will reduce overall capacity per regeneration cycle. Reducing the capacity means that there will more regeneration cycles required. This reduces water efficiency. Therefore, adjustments to the regeneration time cycle must be made to avoid water waste. While brine efficiency and water efficiency do not go hand in hand, they can be made compatible with a little planning.


  1. Water Quality Association. Brine Efficiency Standard.
  2. Fleck Operation Manual, mechanical valves, circa 1999.

About the author

C.F. ‘Chubb’ Michaud is the Technical Director and CEO of Systematix Company of Buena Park, CA, which he founded in 1982. He has served as chair of several sections, committees and task forces with WQA, is a Past Director and Governor of WQA and currently serves on the PWQA Board, chairing the Technical and Education Committees. Michaud is a past recipient of the WQA Award of Merit, PWQA Robert Gans Award and a member of the PWQA Hall of Fame. He can be reached at (714) 522-5453 or via email at AskChubb@aol.com.

Principles of Filtration: How do Filters Filter Anyway?

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

By Larry Henke

*Editor’s Note In memoriam, WC&P International presents one of Larry Henke’s detailed and informative articles on filtration. A founding member of the Technical Review Committee, Henke will be deeply missed. See the People department in this issue for his obituary.


Filtration has long been an important technique in water treatment. It’s used to remove iron deposits from water, to clear up waters turbid from silt, inorganic sediments and biological materials, both living and decomposing. It’s a primary method of separating fluids from solids—and is often not well

The most common perception of filtration is one of straining, or sieving, as if the suspension is passed through a series of successively smaller screens or colanders with the particles being contained according to size. While this is a convenient visualization of filtration, it’s a misperception that leads to faulty filter design. Straining is only one of several mechanisms operating during the filtration process. A better understanding of these mechanisms is important to the design and operation of filters. So how do filters work?

In this discussion, we’ll focus on the mechanisms of capture in granulated media filters, and allow for the likelihood of similar mechanisms in case of fiber filters. We’ll also focus on capture of particulate, not ions in solution whose capture can be better described as by adsorption. Adsorptive media include granular activated carbon (GAC), activated alumina (AA) and zeolite, all of which are better referred to as “contactors,” not filters, although they do have limited filtration capabilities. Moreover, we’ll limit our attention to water filtration, although the principles apply to particles in air, wastewater and other fluids as well.

Match the filter to the task

First, let’s establish that there are different types of filters with different filtration applications. Fabric filters, such as bags or cartridges, are composed of fiber that allow for capture into a fixed matrix that is replaced when filled. Membranes exclude particles by establishing pore sizes smaller than the particles (here, straining is the primary mechanism). In the case of granulated media, some capture is accomplished by straining, but most is by other means of attachment to the collector grains.

Filters composed of granulated media can capture material throughout the depth of the bed, and can be cleaned by backwashing. Some membrane filters use a crossflow pattern of water flow so that the rejected debris is continuously swept away. Bag and cartridge filters made of porous fibers, ceramics or a combination of materials generally must be replaced when dirty, although they can sometimes be chemically cleaned.

Pre-coat filters with diatomaceous earth, or slow sand filters that rely on formation of a cake or schmutzdecke (literally, “dirty layer,” a layer of biological growth, exopolysaccerides, or slime, and captured debris), are cleaned by scraping or replacing the media. Membranes can also filter by forming a cake. A cake is a layer formed by the removed particles themselves. Membranes can also be designed to have a cleaning cycle but, when heavily fouled, they too must be chemically cleaned or replaced.

It’s also important to note that nature seldom presents particles in a uniform manner. Filters are usually faced with a large variation in the nature, composition, and shape and size of the material being collected. From a spectrum of sizes between 0.1 micron (μm) to 20 μm or more, a range of compositions consisting of organic and inorganic flocs—microorganisms and particles that drift in and out of solution depending on conditions—filters face a wide array of materials.

Transport and attachment

Filtration physics is commonly divided into two steps—transport and attachment. Transport is the means by which a particle is moved by the fluid through the filter and into proximity to the granule, fiber or membrane. Attachment is the means through which the particle is captured. In the simple case of sieving, capture occurs because the particle is too large to pass through the pore between the granules or grains, the fibers or the semi-permeable membrane surface. As particles are captured in the pores, the pores themselves become smaller and efficiency improves. As efficiency improves, the headloss—or pressure across the filter—increases until the filter is fully clogged and cleaning is necessary. If this is the only mechanism, however, particle capture could be easily quantified by measuring the sizes or pores. That’s not the case, though, as particles much smaller than the pores are captured.

Getting the particle there

Transport is usually further divided into diffusion, straining, interception, inertia, sedimentation and hydrodynamic action. Transport mechanisms describe the path of a particle through the filter. As a particle approaches a collector grain, the fluid is directed around the grain and through pores between grains. Although water is normally moving slowly (laminar flow), the particle will move in response to the flow stream, the effect of collisions with other particles and water molecules, and rotational forces on the particle itself (which depend additionally on the particle’s shape). As this would suggest, a precise mathematical description is elusive for any filtration application and is outside the scope of this article; however, filter scientists have generated a number of models to illustrate the various mechanisms.

In the instance of cake filtration and as the cake is formed, you would expect the pores to become smaller and smaller. This is the case, which explains why cake filtration improves in quality just before the filter fails. Moreover, the compression of the filter cake plays a role in filtration. An example would be applications involving slow sand or biological filtration beds where a layer of collected contaminants is formed at the top that acts as an additional filter.

In granulated filters, though, the filter grains withstand pressure applied by the flow, and attachment mechanisms are such that particles many times smaller than the filter grain can be captured. The pore between the filter grains is, of course, dependent on the size and shape of the grain. In the ideal case of spherical grains, minimum pore size can be mathematically calculated to be 15.47 percent of the size of the sphere.

Particles are moved through the bed in the fluid subject to inertial forces—their own tumbling movement through the fluid— and gravitational forces acting on them. Gravitational forces are those apart from the force of the moving water itself. In addition, molecules of water impinge on the particles to move them about randomly, also known as Brownian motion. Some particles will impact on the top surface of a collector grain and stay there. Others will impact on or around them, and will attach to the top as well, building a “dome.”

Some particles will move through the pores and will hit the sides of the grain where they may attach to the side. A particle in this position is subject to subsequent detachment through inter- action with other particles or through water scour, or scrubbing force of the water.

Brownian motion can send a particle into the bottom of a collector grain as well. Thus, a collector grain isn’t restricted to capture only on its top or in the pores. It’s helpful to remember that water molecules are several magnitudes smaller than the particles and many magnitudes smaller than the collector grains. A water molecule has an approximate spherical radius of 3.15 angstroms (Å)—1 Å = 0.1 nanometers (nm) = 0.0001 μm = 0.0000001 millimeters (mm)—so a 3-μm particle, which is the size of a Cryptosporidium oocyst, is 10,000 times larger. To put this in perspective, if the water molecule were the size of a grain of filter sand (0.500 mm), the particle would be five meters (16 feet) in diameter, and the collector grain would be about half a mile in diameter.

Following collision with a collector grain, attachment (and detachment) forces enter into play, since most particles in water are slightly electronegative. That is, they’re slightly out of charge balance because of additional electrons. As a result, they repel each other and are in turn repelled by the collector grains, which are also electronegative. While some media are positive at some pH levels, attachment is inhibited by electrical repelling forces. Since pH is a measurement of the concentration of hydrogen ions, which are positive (protons), the pH of the water is an important factor in attachment. So what does allow the particle to stick to the grain?

Again, as there are a number of transport descriptions, there are a number of attachment mechanisms and one or more may be involved in any single filter circumstance. It may be that in a single filter run, several possible mechanisms are employed. Opposite electrical charge will cause attraction for some particles, not only to the collector grain but to each other, thereby changing the size, shape, weight and inertia of the particle. But the “stickiness” is a function of several forces that occur between and among particles and collector grains, double layer forces and van der Waals forces (see EXTRA), among others.

Finally, it can be said that different contaminants require different mechanisms for a filter to work. Nature seldom offers a single constituent in a water suspension, i.e., a particular solution. Often, different mechanisms are required for the filter to perform effectively on the various contaminants and combination of compounds that may be present.

For example, positively charged iron flocs may attach by means of the “opposites attract” factor. Particles of calcium carbonate (calcite) or biological particles (electronegative) may collide with the filter collector, drive through an electric barrier and attach through van der Waals force. Electrically neutral particles of aluminum or silica may also attach through the weak double layer force, while ions of calcium surrounded by water molecules—in solution—will pass through entirely only to be later captured by a softener.


Filters are a complex of chemical and physical forces acting on particles to allow capture and retention. Knowing the composition of the water contaminants is essential to proper filter design, and an understanding of the methods of collection for different substances will help the water treatment specialist apply the appropriate filtration method to a water treatment problem.


  1. Cleasby, John. Chapter 8: Filtration in Water Quality and Treatment, Fourth Edition, McGraw-Hill, New York.
  2. Farina, C.; Santos, F.C. and Tort, A.C. A simple way of understanding the nonadditivity of van der Waals dispersion forces, American Journal of Physics, 67 (4), p.344-349, April 1999.
  3. Trussel, R. Rhodes and Melissa Chang. Review of Flow through Porous Media as Applied to Head Loss in Water Filtration, Journal of Environmental Engineering, 125 (11) p. 998-1006.
  4. Holstein, Barry R., The van der Waals interaction, American Journal of Physics, 69 (4), p. 441-449, April 2001.

About the author

Larry Henke, technical director at the Robert B. Hill Co., of St. Louis Park, Minn., near Minneapolis, has more than 20 years experience in the water treatment industry. He’s a graduate of the University of Minnesota and is a member of the American Water Works Association. Henke also has been a member of the WC&P Technical Review Committee since 1996. He can be reached at (952) 925-1444, (952) 925-1471 (fax) or email: lrhenke@email.msn.com

Dealer Dynamics: Responsible Water Stewardship

Monday, February 9th, 2015

By Greg Reyneke, CWS-VI

Potable water is arguably a nation’s most valuable strategic resource. Every drop of water that we use has a value of time, energy and human capital attached to it. From those costs comes a significant value, since all human civilization is built on access to water. Every function of our bodies and our modern convenient lifestyle depends on consistent access to clean water. Without it, humanity would simply cease to exist.

I’ve been reviewing snowpack, precipitation and average usage reports for various western states with my team this week and once again, the data doesn’t look very good. Digging deeper and looking at projections for aquifer replenishment rates as compared to drawdown, it’s impossible not to be concerned about the current water situation in the United States. Many people seem to forget that water is a shared renewable resource; one person’s wastewater will inevitably become another’s drinking water, and we have to start thinking inter-generationally about smart water management and conservation.

California is suffering through another drought, this one being described as the most severe since 800 AD and expected to cause a loss in excess of $2 billion (USD) to California’s economy. Texas continues to suffer a massive imbalance of usage as com-pared to refill with no relief in sight. The effects of drought are long-lasting and have a broad impact on all aspects of society. It is becoming quite common now to hear of homeowners and farmers whose wells have dried up, or their well water quality has degraded dramatically to the point where the water is not practically usable without significant pretreatment. While many will argue about why drought happens, the reality is that it does happen. We need to focus our attention on preserving, protecting and using this precious resource more efficiently.

In addition to our immediate problems with availability of fresh water, our aging infrastructure is finally being recognized as the problem that it has been allowed to become, through lack of funding, poor or non-existent maintenance and bad policy. It is estimated that as many as 850 water main breaks happen every day in the US, wasting millions of gallons of potable water and costing utilities as much as $50 billion in annual repairs.

In June 2014, President Obama signed the 10-year, $12.3 billion Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) to help improve the nation’s waterway infrastructure. This will, among other things, provide low-interest loans and loan guarantees to local governments for their water infrastructure projects. This is a very good thing, since the US Conference of Mayors has projected that necessary water and wastewater investments for the 20-year period starting in 2012 will total almost $5 trillion dollars.

Homeowners can no longer be wasteful water consumers; they need to actively reduce their consumption and practice sensible reuse wherever reasonably possible. In the commercial/industrial sector, the issue is even more important, because so much more water is used and effluent discharge criteria are becoming ever stricter. Every business is its own ecosystem of inflows and outflows that need to be monitored, measured and optimized to thrive in the 21st century. To borrow a term from Jim Lauria, this industrial watershed is going to change the water industry as we know it. Industrial users have to consider water use, conservation, reuse and alternative acquisition plans in their overall resource management and business resiliency planning. It can no longer be assumed that there is an endless supply of cheap, clean water available to industry.

Our responsibility as water improvement practitioners is simple: do more with less, and guide our customers toward embracing sensible water efficiency and reuse. Whether you are a residential water treatment dealer or you work on larger-scale projects, you can help to conserve water while improving your business. Here are some things for you to consider:

Proper sizing and selection
Pay attention to how you size water treatment equipment. Oversized water softeners and filter waste massive amounts of water and regenerant with no net benefit to the end user. Look carefully at the holistics of the application and use twin-alternating or differential-demand technologies where possible to allow for smaller columns and better water quality. Twin-alternating and differential-demand systems also eliminate the need for a reserve capacity (mandatory for single-tank applications) and wring every drop of performance out of the media bed(s) before regeneration is required.

Metered on-demand cleaning
Ion exchange softening technology has come a long way. We can practically and economically soften much more water with less salt and water usage than ever before. You should only specify systems that meter water consumption and clean when absolutely necessary. Usage of calendar-based water softeners must stop now.

Upflow efficiency
The benefits of upflow (countercurrent) regeneration have been recognized in our industry for half a century, but many practitioners still opt for the false economy of using downflow regeneration. Depending on the particular application and ion exchange resin selected, regenerant usage and water efficiency can improve by as much as 30 percent, along with improving the quality of the water, by simply switching to upflow regeneration.

Rise to meet the bacterial challenge
ASHRAE’s proposed Standard 188 highlights the fact that bacterial contamination in buildings from waterborne sources is a significant threat to human health and safety, and that bacterial growth in plumbing and appliances is far more widespread and pernicious than anyone thought. Employing extreme water-saving technology removes the luxury of frequent, extra-long backwashes, which minimizes bacterial growth in the media and can actually exacerbate bacterial contamination issues when improperly deployed. You should always use a high-quality media cleaner, disinfect all treatment equipment at least once a year and deploy a bacterial safeguard, such as UV sterilization or ultrafiltration after the primary treatment train.

Adapt to changing water chemistry
We all know that water quality will change over time, but our current situation of excessive groundwater pumping is exposing rapid changes in both inorganic contaminants and bacterial contamination. If you don’t use equipment that utilizes on-board media exhaustion sensors or on-line product-water quality meters, your service team should be testing raw water at residential projects at least once a year, and even more often for critical commercial/industrial applications. Make the necessary adjustments to maintain consistent water quality without wasting resources.Rainwater harvestNow that many US states have revised their previously draconian regulations, rainwater harvesting is simpler and easier than ever before. Instead of wasting water that falls from the sky, building owners can harvest this water, store it and use it for a host of beneficial applications. The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (www.arcsa.org) is a great resource for you to learn more about this exciting segment of our industry.

Stormwater capture and use
ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI 63-2013: Rainwater Catchment Systems was approved as an American National Standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on November 14, 2013. Now, instead of fretting about how to deal with new stormwater discharge, smart building owners are empowered to capture and reuse this precious resource while still meeting stringent environmental regulations and lowering their overall environ-mental footprint.

Graywater reuse
As legislation matures, we continue to see improvements in the design and adoption of graywater harvest and reuse systems in the US. It’s foolish to waste ‘gently-used’ water such as that from hand sinks and showers when it can be captured, treated and repurposed to flushtoilets or water plants. Graywater reuse not only reduces the amount of potable water used on a property, but it also will reduce the downstream infrastructure demand and environmental impact by lowering sewer outflows.

Wastewater Reuse
Many of us work hard every day to control the total suspended solids (TSS), biologic oxygen demand (BOD), pH and metal content of plant effluent from our clients’ facilities. Our industry has come a long way in enhancing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of these projects, but much of this water should be further treated and reused for cooling, cleaning and other in-plant functions that don’t require high-grade, potable water.

You can also help to improve national water efficiency by preaching and practicing fie simple principles of conservation at home and at work:

  1. Fix dripping faucets and leaky toilets.
  2. Install water-saving faucets, toilets and showerheads.
  3. Drink less bottled waterfilter it at home or in your business.
  4. Adjust sprinklers to eliminate overspray onto sidewalks and other non-permeable areas.
  5. Use a commercial car wash or bucket and sponge instead of hosing cars and trucks clean.

It’s time to get serious about preserving our precious water resources. It’s good for society, it’s good for the nation, it’s good for the planet and just as importantly, it’s good for business.

Additional reading

  1. John Seymour and Herbert Girardet. Blueprint for a Green Planet. Your Practical Guide To Restoring The World’s Environment.
  2. Jim Lauria, “Industrial watershed management – A 21st century view of water stewardship.” World Water Magazine, October 2014.
  3. Charles Fishman. The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water.
  4. Proposed New Standard 188, Prevention of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

About the author


Greg Reyneke, Managing Director at Red Fox Advisors, has two decades of experience in the management and growth of water treatment dealerships. His expertise spans the full gamut of residential, commercial and industrial applications including wastewater treatment. In addition, Reyneke also consults on water conservation and reuse methods, including rainwater harvesting, aquatic ecosystems, greywater reuse and water-efficient design. He is also a member of the WC&P Technical Review Committee. You can follow him on his blog at www.gregknowswater.com

Global Spotlight

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

 The US Food and Drug Administration has cleared AmeriWater’s (SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT) Heatsan dialysis heat disinfection system, an innovative design that can disinfect two separate distribution loops while providing hot water to dialysis machines.

North America

NIVUS honored with CIWEM Award
wcp_globalnews_feb2015In close cooperation with Severn Trent Water and Morison Utility Service, NIVUS GmbH was named winner in the CIWEM West Midlands and IOW Innovations Showcase. The winning flow measurement system, based on the ultrasonic time-of-flight measurement principal, provides very high accuracy at very low cost, featuring a significant reduction in the carbon footprint.

PWQA news roundup

The Pacific Water Quality Association (PWQA) will award an individual who is employed by a PWQA Member Company or is related to an individual that is employed by a PWQA Member Company a scholarship valued at $1,000 (USD). More information about the scholarship application can be found at www.pwqa.org. The organization will launch its annual Legislative Days (March 23-24) in Sacramento, CA, to give industry players the opportunity to meet their legislators in the company of fellow organization members and lobbyists. PWQA will provide training, including history of past legislation so that attendees are prepared to introduce themselves as experts in the water improvement industry. Please call the PWQA office (760) 644-7348, if you plan on attending.

FWQA convention details announced

The Florida Water Quality As-sociation announced its 2015 Conven-tion and Trade Show is scheduled for June 4-6 at Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando. The trade show will begin June 5. Educational seminars, also on that date, will offera range of top-ics, including chemical dosing, the newest media, water treatment for food service and light commercial applications and more. There will also be problem-solving roundtable discussions. A review of water treatment and service fundamentals on June 6 will wrap up the convention and WQA Certificatio Exams will be held that afternoon. For more information visit www.fwqa.com or contact Suzanne Trueblood, FWQA Executive Secretary, at (863) 644-6622 or email flwqa@aol.com.

WILO recertification announced

WILO USA secured a three-year recertification of its ISO 9001 quality management certificationand continua-tion of its ISO 14001 environmental management system certification. ISO 9001 standards provide guidance and tools for manufacturing companies to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer’s requirements and quality is consistently improved. Quality management principles include: customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approach, system approach to management, continual improvement, factual approach to decision making and mutually beneficial supplier relationships. ISO 14001 helps any company looking to control their environmental impact and improve environmental performance. This standard provides organizations with the element of an effective environmental management system that can be integrated with other management requirements and help organizations achieve environmental and economic goals.

WRF study validates hexavalent chromium treatment technology

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) recently completed bench- and pilot-scale testing to explore treatment process efficaciefor removing hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) from the Soquel Creek Water District’s groundwater supplies. The primary goals of this study were to evaluate Cr (VI) removal performance of strong-base anion exchange (SBA-IX) and to compare and validate commercially available SBA-IX resin performance in terms of Cr (VI) exchange capacity, regeneration quality and frequency requirements. These tests also investigated innovative brine management techniques, including brine reuse and treatment methods, which would render the spent brine waste less hazardous and reduce expenses due to costly disposal. The two-phase research, conducted with water from the Soquel Creek Water District San Andreas, well proved that SBA-IX can be effectie for Cr (VI) treatment under the given water quality conditions.

Blue I enters US pool market

The US residential swimming pools market has gained another player with a new partnership agreement between Blue I and Grand Materials of Phoenix, AZ. Grand Materials will begin by marketing Blue I’s Prizma water quality analyzer and controller, which is now wi-fi-enabled and supported by the iPrizma smartphone application for remote control and water quality reports.

Success for 2014 pool show

The 2014 International Pool I Spa I Patio Expo made a splash as it returned to Orlando, FL for the firsttime in seven years last November, bringing the region an impressive display of industry products, education and networking opportunities. The expo drew 11,103 attendees from across the country and around the world, a strong showing from the global pool, spa and outdoor industries. Attendees experienced a 148,600-square-foot exhibit hall packed with brand new industry product launches, innovative show floorfeatures and an unmatched line-up of on-floor events. The PSP Expo’s conference program, prize giveaways, celebrity appearances and many other new show features added to the success of this year’s event.


drinktec advisory board appointed

With the appointment of the Advisory Board, preparations for drinktec 2017 have now begun. So far, Volker Kronseder, Chairman of Krones AG and President of the Advisory Board was confirmed in office. The Advisory Board represents the interests of the companies exhibiting at drinktec. The dates for the next edition of the ‘world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry’ are September 11-15, 2017 in Munich, Germany.

Middle East

Mega desal plant contract announced

Energy Recovery, Inc. announced the company was awarded the Mirfa mega desalination plant project for its highly reliable PX pressure exchanger technology in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Mirfa has a production capacity of 136,000 cubic meters per day, tying with the Fujairah 1 Expansion as the largest desalination plant reference for energy recovery in the UAE. After the new technology is fully integrated into the plant, the project will have total power generating capacity of 1,600 megawattsand the capacity to deliver nearly 240,000 cubic meters of drinking water per day.


Water Expo China 2014 achieved record-high attendance

Water Expo China 2014, December 1-3, 2014 has been hailed as a major success. According to the organizers, the 2014 fair atracted 320 exhibitors from 24 countries and regions, as well as 24,408 visitors from 40 countries and regions. Domestic visitors numbered 20,802 and 3,606 were international visitors. The event welcomed 50 domestic and overseas visitor delegations with the support of various overseas and domestic government agencies and trade associations. Both new and returning exhibitors to Water Expo China saw the exhibition as an effective platform for business expansion in China.

Strongest global exhibitor participation at Eco Expo Asia 2014

Eco Expo Asia, held October 29 to November 1 closed its 2014 edition on a high note. The show saw its strongest global presence yet. In attendance were 308 exhibitors representing 22 countries and regions. These industry experts gathered to showcase a wide spectrum of innovative green products and solutions. By covering everything from energy efficiency and green building solutions to waste management and air purification technologies, the fair offered both trade professionals and the general public ways to facilitate sustainable development. The fair’s international environment was further bolstered by 10,817 visitors from 89 countries and regions. Visitors targeting location-specific exhibitors took advantage of various pavilions to streamline sourcing. Clustered by country, returning pavilions included Canada, Japan, Russia and Switzerland as well as Chinese mainland pavilions for Foshan, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Macau and Shenzhen. Sweden made its debut participation, along with the Netherlands and Korea pavilions.



Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Heckman named Sales Manager at Hydronovation

HydroNovation, Inc. announced that Terry Heckman, CWS-VI, has joined the company as their Western Regional Sales Manager. He brings over 27 years of residential and commercial water treatment experience, having worked previously for Nelsen Corporation, Pentair Residential Filtration, GE Water & Process Technologies, Osmonics and Autotrol in similar capacities. Heckman will use his extensive water background and industry channel partner contacts in commercializing the salt-free HydroDI™ water treatment technology to the residential and commercial markets. His comprehensive industry experience includes sales management, product training, water treatment equipment installation, troubleshooting and service, and development of marketing collateral for dealer network programs. Heckman will be based in Arizona and can be reached via email, terry@hydronovation.com or phone, (612) 803-3255.

Donahoe named Hellenbrand Sales Manager

Hellenbrand, Inc. recently named James ‘Jim’ Donohoe as Regional Sales Manager of the Eastern US region. He will provide ongoing support to the company’s current dealer base and also focus on new business development. Donahoe has 16 years of industry experience including sales, district management, regional management, multi-location business and sales management experience.

Worley named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

The father of HaloPure’s drinking water technology, S.D. ‘Dave’ Worley, PhD, was named as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Worley, a scientific advisor to HaloSource as well as Professor Emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry at the College of Sciences and Mathematics, will be inducted on March 20 during the NAI annual conference. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry from Auburn in 1964 and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969. Worley returned to Auburn as a faculty member in 1974 and in 2006, won Auburn’s Creative Research and Scholarship Award.


Palkon at IAPMO

The IAPMO Group announced the appointment of Thomas Palkon as Senior Vice President of Water Systems. He brings 18 years of hands-on experience in strategic development and implementation, program/process design and development, and business operations within the water treatment industry. As previous VP and COO of WQA since 2012, Palkon provided oversight and direction to all phases of the association’s operations, including sales/marketing, product certification, laboratory testing, facility inspections and professional certification. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as WQA’s Director of Product Certification, overseeing service to more than 400 companies and thousands of certified products. Palkon began his work at WQA as a laboratory chemist before promotions to Laboratory Supervisor and ultimately, Director. A Bachelor of Science Degree (biology) graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, he received his MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management, Chicago, graduating with distinction. In June 2009, Palkon was honored as one of WC&P’s Top 50 people in the water treatment industry.

AIChE conference director named

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) named Kristine Chin as Director, Conferences, a newly created position combining the development of meeting content with meeting operations. Chin will join AIChE’s senior executive team. She earned a Master’s Degree in chemical engineering at The Cooper Union School for the Advancement of Science and Art and joined AIChE in 2001 as Editor-in-Chief of Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP). She became Publisher as well as Editor in 2003. In 2007, Chin shifted her focus to take on the management of content development for the Institute’s meetings. Before joining AIChE, Chin had been the Editor of ePlant, as well as an editor for Chemical Engineering. Prior to that, she worked in an industrial research and development laboratory.

Ebelhar Named 2015 ASTM International Board of Directors Chairman

Ronald J. Ebelhar, PE, DGE, Senior Principal with Terracon, has been named chairman of the 2015 ASTM International Board of Directors. After earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky (Lexington), he joined McClelland Engineers in Houston, TX as a staff engineer in 1977. From 1987 to 1996, Ebelhar served as Division Manager and then as Vice President for Rust Environment & Infrastructure (and its predecessors, S&ME, Westinghouse and SEC Donohue), before becoming Vice President with H.C. Nutting in 1996. He assumed his current role when Terracon purchased H.C. Nutting in 2007. A registered professional engineer in eight states, Ebelhar joined ASTM in 1980 and is a Past Chairman of ASTM Committee D18 on Soil and Rock and several D18 subcommittees. He has served on the ASTM Board of Directors since 2010. Ebelhar is also a Fellow and member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a Diplomate, Geotechnical Engineering, in the Academy of Geo Professionals.

Bertler added to WWIF team

Wishing Well International Foundation announced that Mark G. Bertler has joined the WWIF team as a member of the Board of Directors and VP of Marketing. He brings over 25 years of water industry expertise in mergers and acquisitions, business development, operations management, business analytics, strategic planning and sales and marketing management, both domestically and internationally. Previously, Bertler has held positions with numerous Fortune 500 companies as a senior-level executive, including Pentair, Sta-Rite Industries and US Filter.


WC&P mourns the passing of Larry Henke

Lawrence R. ‘Larry’ Henke, passed away January 1 at the age of 76 in Minnetonka, MN, with his children by his side. A deeply respected and highly regarded member of the water treatment industry, his career encompassed such positions as Technical Director at Robert B. Hill Co. and a principal partner in Ionex, Inc., in addition to positions with Cherne Industrial and Honeywell. Henke was an independent consultant at the time of his death. He was also one of the original founding members of the WC&P Technical Review Committee. Henke’s wit and wisdom, extensive industry knowledge and willingness to educate others about water treatment was the hallmark of his participation. He was a member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the National Groundwater Association of Scientists and Engineers (NGWA). Henke graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1961 with an emphasis on physics and mathematics. He is survived by his children, Toni (Al) Plante, Tom (Nancy) Henke, Tracy (Mike) Stefan, Eric (Kat) Paavola, Chad (Julie) Paavola and Marc Paavola; 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and sisters Kathy Hasse and Nancy Carlson. Funeral service were held January 9 in Excelsior, followed by interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the American Diabetes Association are preferred.

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