It’s 3 a.m. Do you know where your boiler operator is? If you work with Watertech of America, you don’t have to — your facility is maintained remotely by your water expert. If a major water loss occurs in your facility, an alarm sounds through an email message. If conductivity levels spike in the cooling tower, a diagnostic can be run and problem identified from anywhere in the world.
Water treatment specialists have always been champions of innovative water
management, but our active role in preventing mechanical failures, reducing
inefficiency and controlling costs on a 24/7 basis is a relatively new one.
As recent as 15 years ago, industrial facilities, food processing plants, hospitals, and large commercial buildings employed First Class Engineers to oversee the heating and cooling systems. Water experts like those at Watertech were consultants to the engineer, making monthly service calls to validate systems were working properly.
We’d take two or three hours to run tests, talk to the operator, and adjust chemical use. For the next 30 days, it was up to the operator to maintain the system.
Reductions in the labor force, retirements, and a general expectation to do more in less time meant the power plant sat empty. Water management responsibilities transferred to the facility manager or general maintenance manager, but neither possessed the skill or experience of their former power plant engineer. Naturally, water consultants stepped up to provide additional support.
This shift in workload also opened the door for technological advancements in water management. Cooling and boiler water control methods, automated chemical feeds and remote monitoring capabilities became a necessity.
Armed with this technology and their own years of experience, water treatment specialists could bridge the gap with 24/7 monitoring, offsite preventive maintenance, and onsite reactive maintenance. They became the water program managers and the facility staff became the consulting counterpart, available for physical checks and onsite troubleshooting.
In fact, through automation, Watertech can see issues power plant operators normally wouldn’t. They can run systems more consistently because they can see the results of chemical adjustments in real time instead of having to wait a month until their next service call. And, they receive immediate notification of any alarms, which they can then communicate to the facility manager and work together to determine a solution.
As program managers, we have gained a comprehensive understanding of how our customers run their water treatment programs and an intrinsic knowledge of the water chemistries. In return, our customers have reliable partners and peace of mind knowing their critical systems are operating problem-free.