Measuring the performance of water treatment and water treatment services can be a daunting task. There are many factors to consider, and depending on your building, the type of service needed will differ depending on your unique needs. However, with the help of a professional water treatment expert, it can be done effectively.
What are some of the ways to measure performance? We will discuss what needs to be considered when assessing the performance of water treatment services. Here are some easy ways you can assess your situation before calling a professional.
Obtain your sample.
Obtain a sample from a circulating area of the system. Put water into a clean plastic or glass container. Place a white background behind the container. Allow water to settle for 30 seconds.
Water Treatment Performance (Inspecting the system)
What does the water look like?
Water should be clear unless the system has just been disturbed, undergoing cleaning, or has just been treated.
What does the water smell like?
Water should have no odor. Foul smells are an indication that bacteria, oil or grease, or glycol may exist in the system. This is an immediate concern and is a cause for an alarm.
If your system has an automatic filter, how often does it backwash?
If you have a mechanical filter and it automatically backwashes, make sure it has a backwash counter. Log the backwashes. The daily normal is 1-3/day depending on load. If the filter is backwashing more or less than this, the filter may have an issue and could be detrimental to your system.
If your system has a bag or cartridge filter. What does the element look like?
In general, they should remain clean. On average, changes should be between once per month to once per quarter. If the element is very dirty; it could be masking a serious problem. Also, if the vessel doesn’t maintain pressure gauges they might not be changed at the correct frequency.
Does your system maintain a corrosion coupon rack?
This is a specific rack that checks the effectiveness of the treatment program over a 60 to 180-day period. The rack mimics the system, maintaining similar flow and similar metal test samples, like the components in your system.
Metal test samples are in the flow of water for a predetermined amount of time and a corrosion rate is developed and measured against a standard. This can provide a realistic useful life of the system based on water treatment performance. Ask to see the samples when they are pulled by your service provider. They should be clean and very similar to brand new.
What else can you do?
Have your Water Treatment Company educate you or find one that will. Ask your company to provide training, test kits, and logs for parameters like pH, conductivity, free/total chlorine, bacteria, and corrosion inhibitor so that you can personally monitor, if you desire.
Water Treatment Provider Performance (Gauging the Company)
Does the same representative service you every time?
If not, much can be lost in the way of continuity. Each time there is a change in representative, someone new needs to learn your facility, your operation, your people, and your needs. In the time it takes a new individual to get up to speed you could be in trouble. If this happens, make sure you are satisfied with the transition to a new person. Make sure they spend the time and ask the right questions. Remember the company is only as good as their representative.
What is your representative’s background and experience? Are they qualified to service you?
Remember this is your facility. You are allowed to inquire about the background of the individual that is servicing you. What is their education, experience, and knowledge? Can they prove it?
Does the rep care about you, your facility, and your operation?
Again, this is your facility, and you operate it the way you desire. The proper person may ask you to change operations or methods for the betterment of your system and results. They should be proactive rather than reactive, should attempt to work around your needs, and not interfere with your tenants.
Does your rep communicate with you the way you like? Are they thorough, transparent, and do they respond in a timely manner?
Think about it, do you know when they are coming? Do you know what they have performed during their time there? Is everything they told you in writing and is it legible? If they must get back to you, did they say what the expectation should be? What happens when you reach out to them? These are questions you should ask of any vendor or supplier.
Do the company values align with you and your company?
Remember bigger is not necessarily better. Smaller local companies can bring a better service, and are usually more accommodating to your requests. Larger companies tend to force you into their methods, change reps frequently, and view this type of service as a commodity, which water treatment is not.
Ask what their company stands for and who their customers are. This will help you gain perspective on if this company will really value you and your business.
Does your provider effectively meet your needs?
A professional water treatment service provider should display that they have what it takes to meet your needs. They should properly assess your unique situation while demonstrating the expertise and experience necessary to properly treat your water. They will know the best methods and procedures to use to ensure that your water is clean, safe, and tailored to your unique needs. They should use the latest technologies to make sure your water systems are protected.