Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

Water testing kits

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

Silver Lake Research Corporation introduces its AquaScreen® line of at-home drinking water and pool/spa water test kits, which offer opportunities for everyone to regularly check the purity and safety of all their water. Features and benefits of AquaScreen include customized test kits for drinking water and pool/spa swimming water; sensitive, rapid test strips for lead and pesticide; ultra-sensitive tests for bacteria, ammonia, chlorine and nitrate/nitrite contamination; measurement of the water’s pH level and total hardness; accurate results in 10 minutes and ultra-simple test instructions.

Rather than testing water once per year at a minimum, AquaScreen provides an easy and inexpensive opportunity to test drinking or swimming water all the time, to keep families safe. These kits are perfect as a value-added product for water treatment dealers.
www.aquascreen.com
WWilliams@SilverLakeResearch.com
(626) 359-8441 x12

Wastewater treatment units

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

Messer’s BIOX drop-in mobile unit helps wastewater plants manage peak loads, maintenance downtime and aeration equipment replacement. It is suitable for all industrial wastewater treatment plants using aeration processes and ideal for small- and medium-sized plants. Its modular concept allows for flexible capacity management. Portable and lightweight, BIOX mobile can be installed without a crane, floating in a fixed position, either horizontally or vertically, in basins of any shape. BIOX mobile units play key roles in the food, beverage, chemicals, metals and glass industries, and are supported with Messer’s extensive engineering know-how for smooth installation and operation.
www.messer-us.com/weftec
(800) 755-9277

Sensors

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

Endress+Hauser launches Memosens CPS47D, CPS77D and CPS97D ISFET pH sensors for applications where glass pH sensors present risk of breakage in challenging process conditions. ISFET sensors are made of unbreakable PEEK and are available with three different reference systems, providing a glass-free pH sensor to suit every requirement. CPS47D and CPS77D sensors are equipped to meet the strict demands of hygienic applications. Because of their new design, with an increased chip surface, these sensors are easy to clean. They deliver stable and reproducible measured values, even after sterilization and autoclaving up to temperatures of 275 °F (135 °C); come with the usual hygienic approvals for the food and life sciences industries and are TSE/BSE-free. They can last at least 25 CIP cycles. In addition, the CPS77D offers maximum bacteria tightness because of its microporous ceramic diaphragm. Even at low temperatures, the CPS97D has a fast response time and is chemically stable thanks to its PEEK stem. Also, its open diaphragm does not become clogged in the case of high solids concentrations.
https://eh.digital/CPS47D_us
https://eh.digital/CPS77D_us
https://eh.digital/CPS97D_us

Fittings

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

John Guest’s Click-to-Lock fitting focuses on providing unparalleled versatility to a wide range of industry professionals, including standard plumbers, water filtration experts, engineers and builders. These fitting products are easy to use and quick to install with intuitive alignment arrows to give users the security of knowing the installation was secure in proper alignment.

Rather than cinching the fittings as tightly as possible, they now snap into place with an audible click, allowing installers to maximize their time. Click-to-Lock fittings connect to copper, PEX and CPVC. A 25-year warranty is available on advanced thermoplastic fittings.
http://johnguestusa.com/contactus/

Private Well Water Arsenic Screening Validates the Need for POU/POE Water Treatment

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

By Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD

Information obtained from screening private drinking-water wells for hazardous contaminants promotes health beneficial reaction. The understanding and commitment to consistently maintain POU/POE systems, however, remains a challenge. The POU/POE industry can help by partnering with local and federal agencies aimed at educating consumers on the benefits of water testing, interventions and long-term maintenance planning.

Arsenic impacts
The presence of arsenic in water is typically unnoticed given the contaminant cannot be seen, tasted or smelled. Any level of arsenic exposure can lead to adverse health effects. While water may be contaminated with arsenic from anthropogenic sources (i.e., pesticides, mining, coal combustion), naturally occurring sources are commonly identified in the US and worldwide.
According to the National Research Council (NRC), exposure to inorganic arsenic at the regulatory limit of 10 ppm results in up to 23 cases of bladder and lung cancer per 10,000 people.(1) Risk goals related to waterborne carcinogens are typically set at one excess cancer case per million persons, making the case that even low-level arsenic exposures result in unacceptable health burdens. Other health risks have also been identified from chronic arsenic exposures, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory effects, adverse pregnancy outcomes and impaired intellectual development in children.(2)
Given the high rate of arsenic related adverse health outcomes, some states reduced the regulatory limit of total arsenic in drinking water to five ppm, a level determined to be too costly for small-system compliance nationwide. Areas with high levels of naturally occurring arsenic in soil or rock formations have documented frequent exposures in the local population. In Maine, for example, arsenic was found in 40 percent of groundwater samples and 99 percent of blood samples collected from young children.(3) Those consuming well water with > 5 ppm were found to have significantly lower IQ scores.

Vulnerability of private well water sources
There is an estimated excess of 13 million private wells in the United States, serving 45 million people, primarily in rural and often underserved environments. Unlike municipal water supplies regulated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), private well water is not subject to routine monitoring for harmful contaminants, including naturally occurring arsenic.
Studies have shown a high level and frequency of arsenic contaminated domestic wells in the US. During a 15-year (1986-2001) survey of over 7,000 private wells, more than half tested positive for arsenic (with nearly 11 percent exceeding the federal limit of 10 ppm), serving approximately 1.7 million people.(4) Populations consuming water from wells with arsenic above the five-ppm level number at 3.8 million. Areas in New England and the western and south-central regions of the US were most at risk. Although regional trends can help to predict more vulnerable areas, high spatial variability of the contaminant-spread dictates the need for monitoring every well system.

Monitoring drives treatment compliance
Recently, researchers have explored the benefits of universal screening and approaches needed to ensure consumer compliance with monitoring and control of arsenic exposures.(4) Zheng et al. (2017) found that persistent arsenic exposure is a result of households, 1) who are unaware of arsenic in their water because they have not tested; 2) who have tested for arsenic but not taking action to reduce exposure and 3) who have taken action to test and reduce exposure but remain exposed due to inconsistent behavior or failing treatment systems.(4)
In a survey of 2,000 private well residents, researchers found that up to 50 percent of households have never tested their water for arsenic. While some states have implemented policies to enforce private water-supply testing, for most states, evaluation of the quality and safety of the household water is a personal effort and choice. Income and education are clear predictors of the likelihood a homeowner will ever test their well.
Addressing the financial burden of water treatment, Florida and New Jersey have provided interest-free loans or other financial assistance to support household treatment of naturally occurring waterborne contaminants. Regulated testing can help to overcome disparities among different populations. With market costs for arsenic testing averaging around $40, the provision of free testing has been shown triple the response rate (42 percent versus 12 percent).(6)
Education and support are also needed post-testing. A study of 256 private-well households that received high-arsenic test results found that 74 percent took some kind of corrective action (i.e., installed POU/POE treatment or drank bottled water) to control arsenic exposures. The remaining ~26 percent, however, took no protective action, where costs and a lack of concern where main drivers for inaction.(5,3) Researchers commonly documented perception biases where homeowners trusted their private-well supplies over municipal supplies, despite a lack of any testing.
Even when consumers opted for in-house treatment, a 15-percent failure rate has been documented at the point of use. While some homes utilized effective reverse osmosis or iron oxide adsorbent media treatments, others implemented treatments not designed for removal of high levels of arsenic, such as a common sediment filter or water softener.

Lessons learned
In order to reduce arsenic exposures at a population level, universal water screening and greater community engagement are needed. Additionally, identifying and targeting groups with the highest levels of exposure potentials and vulnerability (i.e., children, neonates, the immunocompromised or socio-economically challenged) will have a larger impact on public health. A number of professions could be better utilized to raise awareness of arsenic risks and treatment benefits. Obstetricians and pediatricians are needed to educate parents on arsenic concerns in children. Water treatment professionals are essential to inform communities of the need and potential problems with POU/POE treatment, including the selection of effective systems, proper equipment maintenance and safe hazardous (spent) material disposal.
Public health researchers are advocating for the regulation of private-well water testing, minimally during real estate transactions or new construction, in order to promote a broader culture of awareness. Provision of subsidies for testing and treatment will help to ensure effective compliance, particularly in low-income communities. While some may be concerned about costs or privacy invasion, the current model that relies on individual knowledge and action has been shown to leave a substantial number of people, and especially children, at high levels of risk.

References
(1) NRC. PREPUBLICATION COPY Arsenic in Drinking Committee on Toxicology Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Division on Earth and Life Studies National Research Council, 2001.
(2) NRC. Critical Aspects of EPA’s IRIS Assessment of Inorganic Arsenic: Interim Report – National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Committee on Inorganic Arsenic. Google Books. [Online]. Available: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=PflhCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=NRC.+2014.+Critical+Aspects+of+EPA%27s+IRIS+Assessment+of+Inorganic+Arsenic:+Interim+Report.+Washington,+DC:National+Academies+Press.&ots=YaUkYfnxpq&sig=-KRAZMvds6vV7s0yDcZwqCIFWoc#. [Accessed: 14-Jan-2020].
(3) S. V Flanagan, R. G. Marvinney, R. A. Johnston, Q. Yang and Y. Zheng, “Dissemination of well water arsenic results to homeowners in Central Maine: influences on mitigation behavior and continued risks for exposure.,” Sci. Total Environ., vol. 505, pp. 1282–90, Feb. 2015.
(4) Y. Zheng and S. V. Flanagan, “The case for universal screening of private well water quality in the U.S. and testing requirements to achieve it: Evidence from arsenic,” Environ. Health Perspect., vol. 125, no. 8, Aug. 2017.
(5) S. V Flanagan et al., “Arsenic in private well water part 3 of 3: Socioeconomic vulnerability to exposure in Maine and New Jersey.,” Sci. Total Environ., vol. 562, pp. 1019–1030, 2016.
(6) S. V Flanagan et al., “Arsenic in private well water part 2 of 3: Who benefits the most from traditional testing promotion?,” Sci. Total Environ., vol. 562, pp. 1010–1018, 2016.

About the author
Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds is a University of Arizona Professor at the College of Public Health; Chair of Community, Environment and Policy; Program Director of Environmental Health Sciences and Director of Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center (ESRAC). 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 is WC&P’s Public Health Editor and a former member of the Technical Review Committee. She can be reached via email at reynolds@u.arizona.edu

Testing Anion Exchange Systems for PFOA and PFOS Reduction

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

By Rick Andrew

One of the technologies used to treat PFAS in water is anion exchange. Recognizing the relevance and importance of this technology in combating the growing occurrence and detection of PFAS in water, the NSF Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units looked to develop a robust, repeatable and reproducible test method for testing reduction of two specific PFAS compounds: perfluorocctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctane sulfonate (PFOS) in drinking water. As a result of these efforts, NSF/ANSI 53 Drinking Water Treatment Units–Health Effects 2019 includes criteria for testing and establishing a performance reduction claim for PFOA and PFOS for nonregenerable drinking-water treatment devices that use anion exchange media. The requirements were added to the standard as Section 7.2.6.

Very specific test water
The concentration of PFOA and PFOS in the test water, as well as the required maximum level in the treated (effluent) water, is described in Figure 1. The performance of ion exchange resins in treating contaminants in water is influenced by the composition of the water, especially the concentrations of various dissolved ions. Ion exchange resins can be developed to be more selective to certain ions, but the selectivity is not perfect. Other ions present in the water can and do interfere with the reduction of the targeted ions. For this reason, it is important to include potentially interfering ions in the test water when testing this technology for its effectiveness. By including these other ions, the test method is made more robust and provides more confidence that the ion exchange resin will be effective across a broader range of potential water composition in the field.
With this in mind, the test water for testing anion exchange systems for reduction of PFOA and PFOS includes sulfate, chloride and alkalinity. The water is created by starting with RO/DI water and adding reagent chemicals to it to reach specified concentrations and parameters. The desired sulfate concentration is achieved by adding magnesium sulfate, with an option to substitute some sodium sulfate for magnesium sulfate if the magnesium hardness is an issue for the product being tested. The alkalinity is derived from sodium bicarbonate. The chloride is added in the form of sodium chloride, keeping in mind that hydrochloric acid may be used to adjust the pH if it is too high, which is also a source of chloride. If the pH is too low, sodium hydroxide is used to raise it. Final specifications of the test water are described in Figure 2.

Testing using the typical testing method
The test method itself is typical of other contaminant reduction tests in NSF/ANSI 53. It is conducted to 200 percent of the system’s rated treatment capacity based on volume, unless there is a performance indication device (PID) that warns the user when capacity has been reached. When a PID is present, the test is conducted to 120 percent of the system’s rated capacity. Samples of the challenge water and the treated water are collected at six points throughout the test, with the requirement that no treated water samples exceed the maximum effluent concentration as indicated in Figure 1. Two units are tested and both must pass.
Testing for plumbed-in systems is conducted with 60-psi inlet pressure at whatever flowrate results. If performance of the system is dependent on a specific flowrate, the system must include an integral flow restrictor to prevent excess flow. Flow is cycled on and off on a 50/50 cycle, typically meaning 10 minutes of flow followed by 10 minutes of no flow, for 16 hours per day, with an eight-hour overnight stagnation (or rest) period. For POU systems, the manufacturer may elect to test with a 10/90 cycle instead of a 50/50 cycle, typically meaning two minutes of flow followed by 18 minutes of no flow.
There is also a test method for batch-type pour-through systems, similar to other contaminant reduction tests in NSF/ANSI 53. These systems are tested by manually processing complete batches, with the flow through the filter occurring as it would when the system is operated by an end user, according to the manufacturer’s use pattern, although with no more than a 75-minute rest period between batches. Continuous drip-feed of the influent challenge water is not permitted and would not be in accordance with the standard. Filtering of batches may occur up to 16 hours per day, with an eight-hour rest period overnight.
Sports bottle-type filtration systems can also be tested per the methods used in NSF/ANSI 53 for testing reduction of other contaminants, with separate test methods for squeeze type (soft-sided bottle) and mouth-drawn (hard-sided bottle) types of sports bottles. Squeeze-type sports bottles are tested using a mechanical gripper/squeezer test rig, whereas mouth-drawn sports bottles are tested using a peristaltic pump to draw water through the system. Once again, testing can occur up to 16 hours per day, with an eight-hour rest period overnight.

Addressing relevant technologies
There are many different technologies used for water treatment. Each of these technologies has various capabilities, advantages, disadvantages and limitations. As the NSF Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units considers expansion of the standards to include emerging contaminants, it is important to focus on all of the various applicable technologies. With the 2019 version of NSF/ANSI 53, the NSF/ANSI Drinking Water Treatment Units Standards now include requirements for reduction of PFOA/PFOS for nonregenerable anion exchange systems, in addition to the test methods previously developed for activated carbon systems under NSF/ANSI 53 and for reverse osmosis systems under NSF/ANSI 58.
By developing test methods to evaluate multiple technologies, end users benefit because they can consider more capabilities, advantages, disadvantages and limitations as they evaluate which technology will best fit their water treatment needs. Expanded choices mean better optimization of resources and outcomes. These considerations are front and center for the NSF Joint Committee as they prioritize their agenda for ongoing developments for the NSF/ANSI DWTU Standards.

About the author
Rick Andrew is NSF’s Director of Global Business Development–Water Systems. Previously, he served as General Manager of NSF’s Drinking Water Treatment Units (POU/POE), ERS (Protocols) and Biosafety Cabinetry Programs. 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

‘A Result-Oriented, Hands-On, Lean-Thinking Leader’

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

By Donna Kreutz

“When I was a kid, I would take apart every toy I got, rebuild it, then play with it—maybe a sign of an engineer-to-be,” said Jonathan Gur, who has worked in the water treatment industry for more than 30 years. “I have held management and executive positions with global companies – both in municipal waste-water treatment/potable water supply and the technology supplier side, including Degremont Technologies, Blue-Green Environmental Technologies and Newterra.”
In 2011, Gur joined Evandtec Inc., which later amalgamated with Newterra, who owned Ion Enterprises Limited, a manufacturing company founded in the UK in 1990. In 2005, that company was acquired by the Canadian Ion Enterprises Inc. Gur began as Chief Operating Officer, then was named CEO in 2015.
Ion Enterprises works with distributors around the world, offering both the EnviroTower and ScaleBuster water conditioning technologies.The company manufactures the former in Canada and the latter in the United Kingdom.

Navy project

Works without harsh chemicals
Gur said: “Unlike systems that use harsh chemicals to dissolve scale and corrosion and contribute toxic pollutants to groundwater, the ScaleBuster works without chemicals. Instead, it employs an electrostatic process. This reduces energy and water consumption, while also reducing or in some cases eliminating toxic-water discharge. This water conditioning solution is environmentally friendly, so the EnviroTower solution can save 10 to 15 percent on the operational side, compared to the traditional chemical water treatment, with better reults. It also can extend the life expectancy of HVAC equipment from 10 to 17 percent, with significantly less maintenance and labor costs compared to the traditional chemical water treatment for cooling towers.”
Ion Enterprises has grown exponentially because “the technology does what it’s supposed to do. ScaleBuster precipitates the hardness in the water, allowing the EnviroTower system to physically remove it from the water,” Gur said. “This process prevents the formation of scale and corrosion, and allows the water to absorb scale that’s already attached to internal piping and equipment surfaces, thus saving energy, extending life expectancy of the equipment, saving money and the cost of chemicals and improving the health and safety of the cooling system. The EnviroTower system treats the biological contamination once daily, keeping it under control, while saving cost and still being environmentally friendly.
“Chemical methods are losing popularity because their use adds unwanted pollutants to the water table/ground water,” Gur said. “For instance, the use of phosphates has been banned in the production of washing powders in some industrialized countries since their use promotes the growth of algae and other oxygen-depleting organisms. Without oxygen, lakes and rivers stagnate. Chemicals also are expensive to dispose of and of course damage the environment.

1,100 gpm 30 HP EnviroTower

“The cooling-tower water treatment market is huge,” Gur said. “In 2014 we decided that our traditional markets, Europe and North America, should be expanded, so we started developing new territories and markets in Central/South America, the Middle East and Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, India and beyond. We plan to have these markets fully developed for our technologies in the next three to five years, operating in partnership with current and new local distributors,” he said.

Customers around the globe
“Simply stated, my goal is to show customers that technology is good and not using good technology to treat cooling-tower water costs them money. I think we’re doing it right. We’ve manufactured ScaleBuster since 1990 and sold more than 300,000 of those units. We have customers running those EnviroTower systems for 15 years. The results speak for themselves. I do not need to brag about it; we have customers who say it for us.” Major hotels have saved millions, he said. And one customer in Hawaii had a unit for 12 years before it ever needed a replacement part (a one-inch valve). Clients range from large industrial corporations to hospitals, universities, hotels, schools, office buildings, municipalities and even homeowners.
Nonetheless this is not an easy sell. “The main concern many customers express is the initial expenditure. To install an EnviroTower system, they may invest $100,000 to $250,000, which seems like a lot,” Gur said. “However, when doing the real math and looking at potential savings and ultimate return on investment, it becomes easier to make a decision and place an order. Many customers, following a good experience with one application, become open to try other applications as they see the benefits: operational savings, lower capital expenditures and of course, environmentally friendly.

VA chillers

“Our mission is to offer the best cooling-tower water treatment to our customers, which allows for simple yet efficient treatment that extends the lifespan of the chillers, cooling towers and other equipment. In fact, it was customers who recommended Ion Enterprises to Corporate Vision Magazine in the United Kingdom, which in 2019 recognized the company as “a leading innovator in energy-saving water treatment.” He also received an email from a customer in the US with the subject line all in caps: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Attached was a photo of the company’s chiller and the message, “after two seasons in Texas, it is clean as a whistle—not one spot of scale.”
Gur also works closely with distributors around the world and frequently participates in trade shows. “I like doing them. I personally go six, seven times a year—usually Hong Kong, Singapore and China. This week we have sent a director to Abu Dhabi.” On LinkedIn, Gur is described as “a result-oriented, hands-on, lean-thinking leader.” He relishes using his engineering skills to devise solutions to tough challenges, while also improving processes, productivity, efficiency, profitability and competitive advantage. “I’m involved in every detail and that includes signing off on every design.”

PWQA Legislative Update 2019-2020

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

By Pacific Water Quality Association

Twenty nineteen was another busy year for the Pacific Water Quality Association. Its May legislative event in Sacramento, CA was very productive and with the assistance of WQA’s Dave Loveday and Churchwell White LLP, association representatives were able to visit with several state representatives to inform and educate about the importance of safe drinking water and the industries involved in supplying affordable water to all. Chris Layton and Mark Wakefield represented PWQA at the city of Malibu’s Council meeting to voice association objection to that city’s upcoming prohibition on the installation or use of self-regenerating water for properties connected to the Civic Center Water Treatment Facility. The subject of chloride discharge regulation and preemptive restrictions on ion exchange systems remains a subject of concern to PWQA and the association continues to work diligently to help promote sensible management practices.
PWQA board members were also involved in successful visits to the US Capitol, US EPA headquarters, the US EPA laboratory in Ohio and other outreach efforts to regional water quality associations across the country. Greg Reyneke, Shannon Murphy and Dave Loveday briefed Jared Blumenfeld, California’s new Secretary for Environmental Protection on how innovative technologies, processes and skilled local people can be used to help bring clean water to more people, while promoting employment in underserved communities.
In January, California released its Draft Policy for Developing the Fund Expenditure Plan for the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. The fund was established to help water systems provide adequate and affordable short- and long-term drinking-water supplies for all Californians, using continuously appropriated state funds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and the General Fund. PWQA will continue its efforts to ensure that a science-based approach is encouraged in ensuring that the best available technologies (BAT) are used in a way that ensures wise usage of state financial resources and helping to support local small businesses.
California Assembly Bill 5 went into effect on January 1 and has changed the nature of the gig-economy. Independent contractor classifications are now far more stringent in California, which means that many traditional non-employee jobs are now classified as out of compliance. The bill has an impact on consultants, dedicated sales reps and installers at water treatment businesses of all sizes. Employers are solely responsible for applying the new Dynamex ABC test and severe fines can be levied when employers do not classify their team members properly. This will affect the cost of doing business in the Golden State. PWQA is working to help educate our members on how best to comply with this new regulation.
Mark Felton continues to represent PWQA at CV-SALTS meetings to make sure the association has a voice in the ‘big picture’ of how to develop sustainable salinity and nitrate management planning for the Central Valley of California. PWQA’s political action committee, under the leadership of Mike Mecca, keeps a close eye on legislative issues in California, while ensuring that our industry is well represented in legislative circles. PWQA is looking forward to its upcoming Spring Legislative event, as well as its 63rd Annual Convention at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport from October 6-9. Learn more about the Association at www.pwqa.org.

The Forgotten Gatekeeper

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

By Candice Wentling

When we think of the most impactful aspects of our businesses we generally invest much of our time and money in training our sales and service staff. We, as leaders, invest in improving our own skills, in an effort to grow the business and meet the needs of our customers and vendor relations. Relatively, while administration and office staff are generally the least paid and least invested in when it comes to ongoing development, they are generally the first experience our customers and vendors encounter. Are these employees prepared to recognize and respond effectively to potential lead opportunities? Because of the vast array of customer options, it could take only one bad customer service experience or one missed opportunity to lose an existing or potential customer.

Are these forgotten gatekeepers aiding or hindering the growth of your business?
On average, let’s say that customer service representatives take 25-35 calls per day (do you know how many calls each of your staff encounter?). Of those calls, I would suspect that about half of those calls would be questions from existing customers. These questions would likely be in the form of billing, verifying arrival time or they are experiencing a service-related issue. Another quarter of incoming calls would be best categorized as advertising and cold-calling inquiries. The last quarter would be lead calls from potential customers seeking guidance. Of those 25-35 calls, I would assume less than five would be forwarded (appropriately) to management. These calls (depicted in yellow Figure 1) would suggest those calls would represent a small portion of the customer questions (complaints) and marketing calls.
This would mean that the management staff would have little interaction with the majority of its customers and are relying on their staff to handle the daily business operations. While administrative staff may be highly trained in customer service etiquette, computer skills and multi-tasking, how trained are they on other aspects of your business—in this case, water treatment and company processes?
While we could continue discussing the importance of the office staff in reaching organizational goals, I think the foundation has been laid to move onto practical adjustments that can be made right away. We limit ourselves to what we think the role of an office person entails and grossly under-train them by assuming their lack of contribution or capabilities. Why don’t we expose our office employees to the same training as our field employees?

What if your office staff was fairly fluent in water treatment basics?
Staff’s ability to answer basic water questions, look for opportunities to set sales appointments, identify up-sell or service opportunities and even improve customer files regarding notes and discussions would contribute to increased revenue opportunities. Here’s another visual. Let’s say that out of all the potential revenue opportunities that customer service representatives are presented, 60 percent are converted into viable lead opportunities for the field staff. Note: I think that 60 percent is a high estimate considering most sales professionals close their leads less than 50 percent of the time but let’s assume the best. Now let’s say that your office staff increased their conversion rate by 15 percent through adequate training (represented in yellow in Figure 2). This would mean that out of 100 opportunities you would be increasing your revenue opportunity by over $20,000 (considering an average order of $1,500). In the long term, these kinds of results would justify a significant investment in training your office staff.
An example of a good accessible option for training your office staff in water treatment basics would be the MEP (Modular Education Program) provided by the Water Quality Association. Their water treatment basics course runs as little as $100. Pair this with the existing wealth of knowledge in your dealership and your office staff would be in a position that could be described as the heart of your dealership. Interdepartmental exposure is a great way of improving administrative results. You can do this by including them periodically in service and sales meetings, in training opportunities or ride-alongs and filling them in on how their leads succeeded in the field.

Conclusion
Ultimately, employees who are challenged and feel valued have higher job satisfaction and loyalty toward their employer. They are motivated to contribute more when they begin to experience success. Educate. Engage. Expect. Empower.

About the author
Candice Wentling is Sales Trainer and Distributor of Action Selling™ and Director of Certified Action, a business consulting firm. She has been conducting sales training seminars, field coaching and leadership accountability for the last 13 years. Wentling began her sales career in the supplemental insurance industry and was quickly promoted into a management role. She became the youngest District Manager in the organization, going on to win their top sales award 18 times. Wentling then transferred her skills and began working in the water treatment industry as a Sales Manager with an industry-leading company, reorganizing and developing training programs. In addition, she has conducted regional workshops, worked directly with on-boarding and training of new sales representatives and consulted for leaders in multiple organizations.

What is Electrochemical Nano Diffusion and How Does it Impact the World’s Water Crisis?

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

By Grant Page

The situation is more dire than we think
Today, 785 million people1 are impacted by the water crisis globally, with 22 million in the United States alone. Recent studies(2) have confirmed that, at the current water consumption rate, these numbers will only increase with time. In the US, reliance upon aquifers has not only depleted their levels significantly, but has also resulted in increased salination and contamination. While regions of the world (such as Cape Town, South Africa) garner headlines with severe drought conditions at 26 percent capacity(3), California is not far behind, with Los Angeles named the ninth city(4) on the Nature Conservancy’s water-stressed list.

Desalination with minimal energy
The common criticism of large-scale desalination efforts like reverse osmosis, which have proven effective in high recovery of large volumes of water, is that it takes a tremendous amount of energy to process. The key is identifying energy-efficient and cost-efficient ways to treat water on a broader scale. How is this possible? The creation of energy can actually be attained by using dissimilar electrodes, which is one of the key elements to the process now known as electrochemical nano diffusion or END®. This technology is capable of ultra-high-water efficiency with minimum energy consumption.

How does END work?
END is a transformation of the long-established electrodialysis reversal (EDR) process with the ability to attain significantly stronger desalination performance in terms of energy efficiency, recovery and cost. It is an electrochemically driven desalination process that incorporates highly advanced membrane spacers, electrodes and membrane chemistry. (Membrane spacers are a combination of materials and geometry that optimize electric and hydraulic resistance in between the membranes to provide a lower overall energy consumption.) This allows for the separation of salts, metals and other charged species, yet does so while significantly reducing energy and improving recovery performance.
Diffusion of salts occurs across each layer in the membrane stack, based on the electric potential applied to the process. This allows salts and other charged contaminants to pass through the membrane into the brine stream where they can be highly concentrated yet remain in solution. The technology is also completely modular, comprised of building blocks, or stacks, so the scalable solution can multiply in size to address high volumes of treatment demand (see Figure 1).
END has established new benchmarks in terms of energy efficiency and recovery for desalination technology, treating water containing up to 200,000 parts per million (ppm) of total dissolved solids with the capability of producing boiler-feedwater quality. This range is an exceptional representation of how advanced the technology is and what it can provide for a variety of industries. With regard to electrode fouling, it utilizes an isolated electrolyte stream to prevent electrode contamination, which along with the reversal feature maintains high reliability. Validated in 2018 by the University of Texas-El Paso, with direct comparison to competitive technology(5), multiple customer installations have since validated performance with recoveries ranging from 95 to 98 percent and projected ROI as short as 14 months (see Figure 2).

What makes it different?
There are several defining features that make this technology unique from other leading desalination solutions:
Timing. Streamlined manufacturing of END allows for a one-million-GPD system to be implemented in as little as four months’ time. Through rapid response to customer’s water treatment needs, this process guarantees a dependable, cleaner water treatment that gets the most out of every drop.
Efficiency. It is up to 99-percent efficient in terms of clean-water recovery, while consuming up to 50-percent less energy than other solutions. In fact, given its minimal usage of energy, END has the ability to operate off-grid via alternative sources such as solar, wind or even battery power.
Cost. Usage requires low, up-front capital costs, with the options of leasing or water-as-a-service. Moreover, in the long run, using it costs half as much as other desalination processes due to low chemical usage, robust components and long membrane life. Using less energy also contributes to providing an affordable solution to desalinate water. These factors are all incredibly important as the process works to enable solutions for the water crisis, an urgent matter for the environment, industry and humanity.

How will this technology impact the current global water crisis?
Advanced technologies can provide guaranteed clean water in half the time using half the energy, at efficient cost. As many parts of the world struggle with the affordability of clean water, scalable solutions can positively impact developing nations, salinity control in aquifers, industry water usage and costs and more.

References
(1) The Water Crisis. https://water.org/our-impact/water-crisis/
(2) Water Scarcity. https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/water-scarcity
(3) Cape Town is running out of water: Are U.S. cities next? https://www.curbed.com/2018/ 2/16/17013532/cape-town-water-crisis-drought
(4) Water on an urban planet: Urbanization and the reach of urban water infrastructure. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378014000880
(5) Kirimi, L. Abkar, M. Aghajani, A. Ghassemi. “Technical feasibility comparison of off-grid PV-EDR and PV-RO desalination systems via their energy consumption.” Separation and Purification Technology. 151 (2015) 92-94

About the author
Grant Page is Founder, Chairman and CEO of Magna Imperio Systems (MIS) Corp. and Founder and President of The Page Family Foundation Inc., whose missions are to enable sustainable solutions to solve the world’s water crisis through development and implementation of innovative technology and services. He has ambitiously taken on the task of solving this crisis in the interest of billions of people who struggle without access to potable water. Page’s patented END water treatment process, which MIS has advanced and commercialized as the world’s most energy-efficient and highest recovery desalination system, focuses on Maximum Recovery Minimum Energy™ to make far-reaching and lasting impacts around the world. With these combined efforts, his core goal is to impact over two billion lives in over 180 countries within our childrens’ lifetimes. Page is reinventing the treatment and purification of water with environmentally responsible operations, a dedicated workforce and extraordinarily high ethical standards to truly be the driving force in the world necessary to achieve the change he envisions. He has fully dedicated his life to saving the world, one drop at a time.

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