The water treatment industry continues to experience rapid growth, largely due to declining municipal water quality. Filter manufacturers continue to advance the technology for removing, or substantially reducing, from public drinking water, an extensive range of health threatening biochemical contaminants.
Water quality standards are evolving, supported by the recent Federal Water Quality Full Disclosure Act. However, regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to classify municipally treated ingredient water as a utility, which is exempt from federal regulatory control.
The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) provides third party test services for Drinking Water Treatment Units and publishes certifications that validate filter manufacturers toxicological extraction performance claims. NSF primarily tests a filters capacity to reduce contaminants below safe levels when a filter unit is operated to the filter manufacturer quantity limits.
Standards for the amount of time that filters may safely remain in service remain unspecified. Service time limits vary based on various rates of bacterial growth in particular filter media when water movement is slow or stagnant. Guidelines suggested by various filter manufacturers vary significantly, and the practice for service time filter changes is largely left to the judgment of the customers filter service agency.
FILTER LIFE AND CHANGES
Filters exhibit limited useful life by their vary nature. The performance of a filter becomes increasingly ineffective, regardless of the media type, due to prevailing levels of contaminants, the amount of water that has been filtered, and the amount of time the filter has been installed. Although numerous filtration media types are currently in general use – the carbon particulate type remains the most prevalent.
Without the benefit of monitoring – filter change recommendations by filter manufacturers, or service agencies, are often overly conservative – promoting more frequent filter changes. In contrast – the filter customer desires to minimize filter change expenses without sacrificing water quality. The filter customer simply does not have sufficient information to optimize when the filter should be changed.
Florite systems enable optimizing the use of filter arrangements by minimizing filter change expenses while maximizing useful filter life. The information required to optimize filter use is acquired by measuring the amount of water passed through the filter while also monitoring the filters installation time. Florite systems independently monitor service time and the water amount passed through the course pre-filter and fine post-filter arrangement. Alarms and warning conditions are detected based on programmed limits for quantities and service time, and provide local lamp and audio annunciations that indicate a measured amount is near, or has exceeded, its programmed limit.
The occurrence of a filter service alarm causes a message to be sent by local area network (LAN), and wide area network (WAN) to computers that store the alarm and forward electronic messages to the filter customer’s service agency notifying the agent to service the filter.
FLORITE MONITOR SYSTEMS
Florite provides a variety of cost effective state of the art electronic monitor and process control instruments. Both proprietary and Web Based information gathering software is available to service monitor communication. Florite also provides customer specific instrument kits that contain everything the filter installers need for quick and easy on-site installation.
Florite monitor systems used in convenience stores collect and archive filter alarms and status information, providing a basis for health and safety programs. The capability to collect wide area information from monitors enables selling filtered and purified water by the gallon, and being able to directly invoice customers for the amount that has been used.
Florite solutions are enhanced by incorporation of its M2C2™ methodology in all of its monitor and control solutions. This technology combines a modularly integrated platform system with an innovative task management operation system. These technologies support the capability to Measure, Monitor, Communicate and Control. The platform supports cost effective system versions. The operating system provides extremely reliable maintenance free operation, achieved by real-time performance enhancements that use adaptive pre-estimation to dynamically allocate the monitors task execution resources.
FILTER CUSTOMER BENEFITS
The consumer beverage industry commonly uses water filtration. Such vendors are primarily concerned about soft drink taste and odor removal, and it is quoted that an estimated 80% of their profit is derived from the sale of soft drink beverages, with such sales representing only 15% of their total sales. Filter monitoring provides a productivity indicator resource enabling sales profit to be readily estimated based on knowing the amount of filtered water that has been delivered.
The filter customers may readily implement asset and planned maintenance management programs based on filter service agency visits, using the filter alert as a resource to initiate periodic maintenance actions for other associated water system components. Monitoring further provides the resource to optimize particular site specific requirements based on past information of prevailing water conditions and site use factors.
Common practice for filtration customers is often to redirect future liability by contracts with filter manufacturers that requiring quality assurance guarantees. Monitored filter systems fundamentally require no such guarantees, and further, monitored systems provides the basis for public safety and customer focused quality assurance programs.
Monitoring is a one-time investment which reduces filter change expenses, and provides the basis for substantiating health and safety compliance, which may soon become a future condition of insurability.
FILTER MANUFACTURER BENEFITS
Filter system monitoring enables filter manufacturers to offer a new product, which additionally has significant service content – all without having to obsolete any existing products. In a filtration market, which is, only 33% penetrated – the filter manufacturer enhances the ability to acquire additional market share from the remaining water vending establishments that are without filtration. Filter manufacturers differentiate themselves from their competition by offering monitoring services – becoming known both as product and service suppliers of choice.
A particular large filter manufacturer indicates that more than 30% of all installed filters remain unchanged. The filter service alert provided by monitoring promotes immediate increased revenue gained from servicing unchanged filters.
The manufacturer may elect to use information provided by monitoring to establish virtual filter product distribution, minimizing inventories, and enhance smooth product flow to the filter customer by using automated shipping programs.
Water filter monitoring provides filtration customers with certified water quality, business management tools; customer focused quality assurance, and means to mitigate health and safety liabilities. The filter manufacturer receives increased sales opportunities, differentiation from competitors, and product distribution enhancement.
The public just gets a higher standard of living!
Would anyone not monitor water filtration?