A New Threat: Zebra Mussels

Zebra mussels have been making their way through the United States and now threaten to take over Texas waterways. Federal regulation aimed at preventing their progression has proven mostly ineffective, and they are wreaking havoc in the aquatic ecosystems they enter. So far, zebra mussels are confirmed in Lake Texoma, Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Bridgeport, Lewisville Lake, and most recently Lake Belton. The are suspected at Lake Worth and Eagle Mountain Lake, resulting in officials keeping a close eye on both lakes.

Known for the striped zebra pattern on its shell and high reproduction rate (a single female can produce over 1 million eggs per year), it does not take long for the mussel to create a noticeable impact on both the natural and manmade aspects of our waterways. Since these freshwater mussels are originally from Russia, there are no natural predators here to limit their numbers. Zebra mussels cause alarming declines in fish and aquatic plants by over-absorbing the essential food source, phytoplankton.

As larvae, zebra mussels drift aimlessly through the water until they find a hard surface to adhere; natural or manmade. Once adhered to a surface, a zebra mussel is permanently secured and will continue to grow until it reaches about two inches in length. They are known to clog water intake systems of municipal water supplies, pipelines, and power plant cooling infrastructures, costing millions of dollars to repair or replace.

Occasionally this invasive species uses rivers and lakes to reach other bodies of water, but the most common way they travel is by hitch-hiking on watercraft. Three simple steps will ensure your watercraft is free from zebra mussels and safe to take into any body of water.

1. Clean.
Remove all foreign objects and wash your watercraft thoroughly as soon as it is out of the loading area. Be sure not to miss crevices or other hidden areas. If your watercraft has been in infested waters for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to have it professionally cleaned with high-pressure scalding hot water before transporting to another body of water.

2. Drain.
Eliminate all water before leaving the area. Don’t forget the wells, ballast, and engine cooling water.

3. Dry.
Allow time for your watercraft to completely dry before launching in other waters.

Just as you work hard to keep your recreational equipment safe for use, we work hard to keep drinking water safe for consumption. Contact us to find out how we can help you with your water treatment needs.

Certified Water Technologists

Not all water treatment professionals are the same. Some have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty to achieve the Certified Water Technologist (CWT) designation. The CWT program is the highest professional credential in the residential and industrial water treatment field. Upon completing the the training, the water treatment professional possess a core body of knowledge and extensive professional experience in all aspects of water treatment. If you see this designation after a water treatment professionals name, be assured they have achieved a high level of experience, knowledge, and education in the industry.

To gain the CWT designation, an individual must:

-Have 5 years of experience as a water treatment representative or technician.
-Subject themselves to peer review through the CWT application process.
-Pass a rigorous, 200 question, proctored CWT exam from the Association of Water Technologies with a score of 60% or better. This exam covers all parts of water treatment technology; from best practices to regulatory compliance and safety.
-Sign a 13-part Declaration of Ethics demanding honesty, integrity, and commitment to water conservation of resources and excellence.

The CWT designation must be re-certified every 5 years. A designee must show they have demonstrated professional, credible, and trustworthy behavior and that all duties were performed with integrity. The designee must have also promoted cutting-edge technologies along with collaboration and networking with peers.

The vast majority of our representatives have achieved the Certified Water Technician status. If you would like more information about how our CWTs can provide you with high quality service, please contact us.

Texas Water: What You Didn’t Know.

With the ongoing drought in Texas showing no sign of relief, water has become a hot topic. From the government to the news, there is a constant flow of information on water usage restrictions, towns going dry, and weather systems that are impacting the drought. We decided to look into the matter a little further, and found a few facts about Texas water you probably do not know.

1. On September 3, 2013, Governor Rick Perry swore in the first full-time Texas Water Development Board. This board, made up of three members, was created in response to criticism that the volunteer panel was working too slow and needed to be replaced. If approved by voters, this board will oversee the $2 billion state water fund that was proposed to fund projects for the next 50 years.

2. Water supplies are so low in some cities, people are drinking their own treated wastewater. Treated wastewater is safe to drink, but holds a certain “ick” factor. Most of Texas has not adopted this approach but if water supplies keep dwindling at their current rate, this will become the norm. Many other states like California and Florida have already adopted treating wastewater to help conserve their water supplies. The water has proven time and time again to be as clean as regular treated water.

3. You may be left wondering where is our water going? About 60% of the Texas water supply goes to agriculture. The next biggest user is energy, with approximately 5% going to coal power and fracking and 2.5% to cooling thermometric plants.

4. There is an additional water source underground that could supply the state for an estimated 176 years, but at the moment it is too salty to drink. Desalination is a process of removing salt and other minerals from saline water. It can cost up to four times that of other water treatments, and even more for actual seawater desalination. But with the state of our water supply, this treatment has become necessary. Our first permanent seawater desalination plant will open on South Padre Island in 2014. Several dozen small desalination plants already operate in West Texas and El Paso, desalinating water from the groundwater supply.

Regardless of how we get our water, water conservation is something we must all adopt to protect our future water supply. We can help you with your water conservation and water treatment needs. Contact us for more information.

 

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis (R.O.) products are among the many resources offered by Water Consultants of America. Reverse Osmosis is an increasingly popular water purification technique, and we strive to provide the newest and best products available to our clients. The main purpose of R.O. is to eliminate contaminants in water to decrease the risk of scaling, deposits, microbial fouling and degradation in mechanical systems.

So how does it work? The reverse osmosis process has greatly evolved over the years. Because of more advanced technology and processes, we are now able to purify large amounts of water at a time. The process of regular osmosis can be broken down by HowStuffWorks.com as “when a solvent of low concentrated solute solution moves through a membrane to get to the higher concentrated solution, thus weakening it”. The solvent is the mixture of water and contaminants (solute). By literally reversing the process of osmosis, we essentially are making the solvent filter out of the high concentrate into the lower concentrate solution to separate out the solute from the solvent. This leave you with clean, usable water without the harmful contaminants.

Let us know if you’re interested in learning more about the reverse osmosis process and how it can help your water treatment facility. Call us today to make a consultation so we may provide the right products for you. 800.645.1350.

What It Means to be a Water Treatment Operator

Where does the water in your kitchen sink come from?

It was pumped from a lake or other source to a water treatment plant. Once there, it is the responsibility of the Water Treatment Operator to regulate processes and equipment components that remove pollutants from the water. Upon arriving at the plant, the operator takes water readings, collects samples, and reads meters and gauges. After examining the data they receive, they adjust the machinery and chemicals accordingly. They use tools to maintain and repair pumps, valves, and other equipment. The operator needs to have in-depth knowledge of chemical processes and interactions, machinery, and ecology; it is a delicate mix that requires specialized training.

Those tasks are just the daily operations. Operators are also in charge of handling emergencies and often have to work in dangerous or dirty conditions. Just like other emergency personnel that work to keep our cities safe, water treatment operators are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to ensure public health standards are met.

Though it may not be the most glamorous job, it is very important the community. Call us or check out our Services page today to hear more about how WCA can train your Water Treatment Officer on site! 800.645.1350

 

Hydraulic Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has been all over the news in recent months, leaving many wondering what exactly that means. Fracking is the process of releasing natural gas from underground rock formations by injecting a high pressure mixture of chemicals, water, and sand. Fracking is a hot topic in the news because the chemicals that are used during fracking as well as the escaping natural gas could be posing a health threat if they are contaminating underground water supplies and rivers.

There has been increased interest in fracking’s impact on water supplies by environmental agencies and scientists, leading to additional studies of the water surrounding drilling sites. The University of Texas at Arlington just released a study showing that well water taken from areas around fracking sites in Texas had elevated levels of dangerous chemicals like arsenic and selenium. It is important to note the researchers stated that this study alone could not conclusively pinpoint a cause. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also noted elevated levels of dangerous contaminants in groundwater around fracking sites in Texas.

The argument is strengthening that further research is needed to find out what is causing the contamination: fracking or a natural event. To help ensure this research continues, concerned individuals need to write their district representative as well as their city’s mayor. Elected officials pay attention to the main concerns of their electorate, and they can help put pressure on the needed organizations or even provide funding to get the research done.

Regardless of the possible fracking contamination debate, it is important to make sure your water is always free from naturally occurring contaminants. Call us at (800)645-1350 and rest assured your water will always be safe for consumption.

Water Quality Month: Waste Water Management

Here at WCA, our new water treatment technologies are focused on efficient waste management. Factories and plants use a great deal of water, and in this economy, every gallon counts. Minimizing waste water is beneficial not only to a company but to the environment. Contaminated waste water from plants and factories can create pollution if not treated and disposed of properly. Reducing the amount of waste water being disposed of can have significant impact on the environment and keep costs down.

Before industrial waste water can be disposed of, it must be treated. The waste water can be sent to treatment facilities or treated at the plant before disposal. While both can be costly, reducing the amount of water being used can aid in the cost-effectiveness of disposal.

Factories should take steps to reduce their water footprint and prevent pollution by reevaluating the amount of water being used from intake to discharge. It’s important to include all utilities including irrigation, wash water, and boiler feeds. Recycling water to reduce usage during the manufacturing process can save gallons of water each year, as well as money. Through better water treatment, companies can improve their public image by understanding the importance of proper waste water management.

At WCA, we can help you create an effective water management system to decrease your company’s water usage. Visit our website for more information: https://waterconsultantsofamerica.com/

August Is Water Quality Month

At WCA, the idea of keeping water safe so our communities across America can have healthy water to drink is very important. Not only is water a fun way to cool off when the summer weather is so hot, but it is vital to keep everyone hydrated. Every year more deaths around the world are due to unsafe water than those caused by all acts of violence, including war. You can protect water quality just by limiting your water use! Here are some tips to save water at home and protect water quality:

Have your sprinklers inspected. The inspector will let you know if there are any underground leaks, broken sprinkler heads, problems with backflow devices or if there is any water spraying onto the street or sidewalk. Many problems with your sprinklers could be wasting water.

 Be careful with fertilizer. Only use fertilizer when absolutely necessary. If you must use fertilizer make sure it uses at least 30% slow-release nitrogen. Fertilizers high in nitrogen are a waste of money and are washed away by storm water.

Save Rain Water. Rain barrels are a great way to reduce runoff and you can use the water to feed your plants and lawn or wash your car. By turning the downspout of your rain gutter towards a planted area you are allowing water to trickle into the ground rather than being washed down your driveway and into the storm drains.

Take shorter showers. Shaving off two minutes of your shower saves 5 gallons of water. That’s 35 gallons each week!

At WCA we are protecting your water quality by leading in water treatment science and technology to provide innovative chemical, equipment, and service products. We implement safety protocols and monitoring systems to make sure the systems are working in the most efficient manner.

Have a happy Water Quality Month and do your part in protecting our water, while we do ours! If you would like to learn more about how Water Consultants of America can aid your water treatment system, give us a call! 800.645.1350

Take Your Records To The Next Level With WCA Reports

Apparently, water and computers can mix! At Water Consultants of America, we take pride in our technological advances that make water treatment easier for our clients. That’s why we offer cutting edge software with a web based reporting system called WCA Reports. With WCA Reports, you can go paperless for a faster, more convenient way to track your records. Our customers are able to access their service report and controller data anytime from anywhere with Internet access. Having the most up to date technology can help your facilities perform at their peak. Our reports are clearly organized easy to use so you may interpret them at a glance. This will help in quick interpretations and diagnoses for any operating issues within your equipment.

Find out how WCA Reports can advance your water treatment system reporting into the future; give us a call! 800.645.1350

Don’t Let Crypto Be Your Kryptonite

Crypto may not be a substance from an alien planet that will drain your energy, but it is a serious water contaminant that you need to be careful of.

Crypto, short for Cryptosporidium, is a waterborne disease that lives in water that can handle living in tough environments. The tough outer shell of the bacteria allows it to survive even in chlorinated pools. Crypto spreads most often during summertime due to an increase in recreational swimming. Persons infected by Crypto contract the disease called Cryptosporidosis, and it can cause severe illness and diarrhea for up to 2-3 weeks.

While it is not a pleasant subject, it should raise serious concerns and call for extra precaution. Waterborne diseases are so easily spread that you must be aware of contamination. While Crypto generally affects pools and hot tubs, but rivers, lakes, and streams that feed into other water sources can be contaminated as well. Be sure that your water treatment systems are operating at their prime during the height of the the spread of this disease. Call us today to see how Water Consultants of America can assist you! 800.645.1350