It has been almost three years since California passed Assembly Bill 1366, allowing municipalities to ban the sale and use of water softeners. Water Quality Products Assistant Editor Nicole Bowling spoke with Mike Mecca, past president of the Pacific Water Quality Assn. (PWQA), about how the bans are affecting the local water quality industry.
Nicole Bowling: What is the status of the water softener ban legislation in California?
Sphagnum moss is a natural bog plant that decays and forms peat. It has been used in the horticulture industry for years, and has a long folk history for its ability to purify water, heal wounds and preserve food. Today you can add “preventative measure for cooling tower scale and corrosion” to the growing list of its many attributes as a viable, all-natural water treatment alternative.
Combating cooling tower corrosion and scale with moss treatment
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Used for odor, stain removal
Water-Right Inc., a manufacturer of water treatment equipment, announced the addition of Odor-Z-Way products to its line. Odor-Z-Way is made from a synthetic zeolite crystal, which is the same material, although smaller, that is used in Water-Right’s Sanitizer Plus Series and WaterCare’s TotalCare Series water conditioners.
Scalewatcher commercial electronic descaling systems provide effective, eco-friendly limescale buildup removal and prevention. Microelectronics enable the descaling system to fit in small, normally inaccessible spaces in commercial applications. Ideal for use in laundries, restaurants and bakeries, the system is available in NEMA2/IP54, but any ingress rating or configuration can be supplied.
In any membrane filtration system, scaling is inevitable. There are many forms of scale, some of the most common being calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, barium sulfate and strontium sulfate. Left unmanaged, crystal scale will accumulate and become a mass of crystals on the surface of the membrane, causing blockage. This is harmful to reverse osmosis (RO) systems because it increases operating pressure. High pressure can put stress on the system and reduce product output and efficiency levels. A severely scaled membrane easily can reduce its gallon output by more than half.
Scale not only clogs pipes and destroys valves, it also consumes energy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2012, more than 10% of the energy consumed in a home goes toward heating water.
Many consumers use energy-efficient products to save money. What many do not know is that energy-saving efforts can be negated if they have hard water and do not address scale.
Developing a consistent standard for energy-saving anti-scale devices
The Greenfield Village mixed-use community, located at the southern end of the Salinas Valley in Greenfield, Calif., experienced significant problems caused by limescale buildup inside its 128 apartments’ water heaters and recirculation pumps. In the four years since the apartment complex was built, limescale buildup was so aggressive that many of the water heaters and recirculation pumps failed. The complex’s owners faced a minimum cost of $600,000 to replace the equipment.
Searching for a Solution
Conditioning system helps apartment complex increase energy efficiency
Going green is all the rage these days. Whether it is constructing a wind farm, installing solar energy panels on a roof or simply switching to CFL light bulbs in a home, Americans are finding ways to tap renewable resources and conserve energy.
The push for energy conservation is good news for the water quality industry: The Water Quality Research Foundation Energy Savings Study showed that using softened water in a home improves energy efficiency and can save homeowners money on heating costs.
Water softener resin is extremely porous, which is beneficial because it allows for more surface area to capture calcium and other metals in source water. Surprisingly, 99% of ion exchange actually happens in the interior of the bead. Resin beads, ranging in size from 16 to 50 mesh, are abused daily during the backwash process and by contaminants in the source water. Resin could last much longer in these hostile environments with a few fairly inexpensive solutions.
Cleaning options to reduce resin fouling