Viewpoint: Did spring come early this year?
You might not think that spring arrived early, based on the unusual weather that’s been occurring across the country. For California, though, the combination of record rainfall and record snowfall in the Sierra Nevada mountains may continue to be cause for concern. Flooding in areas not touched by such a phenomenon has been consistent in the news reports over the past several weeks. And with warmer weather, melting snow packs may bring yet more damaging floods. The need for clean water resources can quickly outpace a region’s efforts to ensure the availability of potable water, a common enough theme in the Southwest as well. Mother Nature can and does throw an element of uncertainty into the best laid plans.
So what does this mean to water treatment specialists? Plenty! If you have routine maintenance scheduled for the change of seasons, you already know that weather can dictate a host of water issues, from bacterial growth due to warmer temperatures to broken piping from the cold. But how many are ready to handle flood-water intrusion to both small public and private well systems? Or sewage overflows that may impact the immediate groundwater resources? Floods bring silt, turbidity and organics front and center in the treatment scheme when unusual weather rears its ugly head. The need for bottled water increases exponentially during these events as well.
Since the Great Recession, many dealers have found themselves more involved in larger treatment applications, such as small businesses like restaurants, car washes and maybe a local hotel or motel. These can be much different than residential applications, although the same technologies may be used. In this issue, C.F. ‘Chubb’ Michaud addresses the chemistry of reactions found with ion exchange resins, which are used broadly in both residential and commercial water treatment. Greater attention must be paid to determining the right chemistry for the right application. In his usual in-depth fashion, Michaud explores the various types of reactions and how they relate to the ion exchange process and what is necessary to meet the needs of the client.
Who doesn’t have service vehicles? Are you doing all you can to save money on purchases, insurance and maintenance? What about safe driving? Rich Radi of ARI Fleet Management Systems offers insights on how to better track the performance of your vehicles and how safe driving can save a lot on overhead expenditures. It’s good business practice to make sure the vehicle with your company name on the side isn’t remembered for bad driving!
Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds, Public Health Editor, takes a closer look at PFOA and PFOS health effects, following up on a previous NSF International article on certification requirements to prevent these contaminants. While current information may indicate advisory alerts may be in order, there is still room for much caution on the part of water treatment specialists.
Conference season is in full swing and ever more activities are available to help you become better at what you do. Training, conventions, exhibitions…there is something for everyone at every level of water treatment. If you went to WQA’s Annual Convention & Exposition, you should have come home with lots of good ideas, additional training and a wealth of networking experience. There are more conferences on the horizon, some with a very specific water treatment focus and others that cover anything related to water itself. Be sure to take advantage of these whenever possible. The more you learn, the more you know, and that puts you a few steps ahead of your competitors.
Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher