Thursday, March 30, 2006

I agree but let me also add...

I agree with everything you have said. I would like to add that it has been my contention that here in this area the Dolphin is slightly handicapped if there are low suspended solids along with low dissolved solids. Remember, you can have low dissolved solids with high suspended and vice verse. It really depends on how well the incoming water is filtered and also on the immediate environment – like towers close to roads, dusty regions, foliage etc… The principle behind the claimed charge neutralization phenomena depends on suspended colloidal particles and not just dissolved solids. Other than that you have hit it on the nail. I was impressed with the bio-control functionality of the unit. Showing clearer water certainly is a function of that control. Once again, it is all about making the right choice, and further more having that choice is what I seek for customers and for our own edification.

By the way, think your input was worth more the $0.02 – just thought you would like to know.

Gordon Guthrie
Waterside Asset Management
Cell: 425-293-5763

But I might add that...

Here is a response from a reader of the blog - modified to not reveal location or businesses:

I was interested to see the writeup on the pulse power stuff on your site. I figured that I would give my $0.02 as I have taken some time to look into this type of product in the past. I will agree that it does work as advertised IF you have adequate solids (especially CaC03) in your makeup water to begin with. It appears to work especially well with well water due to the large quantity of dissolved salts in the well water. Because our makeup water is especially low in solids due to it being surface water, we determined that it was not a good fit for this business. If you look at the installations that are successful in the area (such as abcdefghijk), they do have ground sourced makeup water. Some of the consistent comments that I did encounter is that the Bio fouling control was especially good. “The water is always exceptionally clear.” And so on. There were a number of installations that I contacted that had pending issues against the manufacturer and the local installer due to EXTENSIVE equipment damage. In some cases requiring equipment replacement due to the level of damage encountered. Upon further questioning, these installations also had low solids makeup water.

The big thing is that since it precipitates out calcium carbonate, you have to have enough in the water to get the reaction going and then enough in the makeup to keep “feeding” the reaction. If your makeup source is too low, you have to add some or you will scale your heat transfer surfaces and your PH will get way out of wack.

Call with any questions.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The truth About the Dolphin System

Reference document: 089 03/15/2006
The truth About the Dolphin System
Waterside Asset Management, Gordon Guthrie - Consultant

Starting with potatoes skins & tannin, water treatment has taken on many forms. Since then technology has allowed us to experiment with both chemical and mechanical means. Chemical approaches to water problems have certainly been the main thrust; however, there have been a good symbiotic relationship with mechanical devices such as the DA mechanically stripping the oxygen and sulfite acting as a chemical scavenger. One without the other in this case is not in the best interest of the user. Other mechanical devises have served alongside with chemicals, filtration, DAF’s, belt press, softeners, DI, RO, etc… I have recently had the opportunity to study the Dolphin system in a way that I was not able before (being chemically biased) and have come to the conclusion that the pulsed electrical field has worked and does have merit in the water conditioning and treatment of various parameters such as bio-control, scaling and corrosion control. There are private endorsements of the Dolphin system by some very well qualified renowned water treatment consultants that lend credence toward the Dolphin. To be sure not to be biased the other way; chemical programs work very well in providing these same conditions and have for close to a hundred years now. It is important also, on the part of this consultant, to distinguish between the Dolphin and traditional “Magnet” programs which in theory and practice are completely different in their technology and especially the results. There are limitations to the use of the Dolphin system; closed systems, condensate treatment, some boiler applications and some rare extreme water chemistries.
In order to give a clear picture on the Dolphin system and its value to customers, one needs to address each water treatment concern such as, corrosion control, bio-control, scale and fouling. Clearwater has done a good job with these on their website ( to explain the functionality of the unit, so I’m not gong to reaffirm the information other than to say that I have finally seen the evidence and want to address its value.

What determines value in your facility with a water treatment program? Is the cost of implementation, utility costs, maintenance, equipment depreciation, capital expenditures, and or safety? Of course one could make and argument for each of these. Which one is yours?
I believe that to achieve all of these, one needs to have good control over the program that you choose to run in your facility. I believe this is where the Dolphin has the edge on traditional chemical programs. The Dolphin has the luxury of only having to meet one parameter – high solids, where as there are additional parameters that must be met with chemical programs such as maintaining the correct solids, reaching the right alkalinity and hardness – not too high with hard water applications and not too low with soft water applications. Parameters in the chemical approach such as dissolved solids must be maintained not to exceed certain limits which can affect the products’ organic inhibitors based on its limiting HTI (holding time index). Chemical biocide programs can be hit or miss, however, recent technology in bio-control does begin to address this. Additionally, chemical biocides have been issues of safety (dispensing, handling), discharge, and overall public perceptions.
In the past chemical programs did not require any substantial capital investment and the good news in that the Clearwater Systems Co. can provide leasing programs to address any short term budget concerns. In addition, the Dolphin system, with little to no maintenance requirement – gives the user a clear budget picture for the future of his/her facility.

It is important to consider the return on investment. I recall that the chemical industry would address the ROI on these applications and would point out that in direct comparison to chemical programs, the Dolphin system would lose on % payback. Well, if you consider only one venue for comparison this might be true. We must not forget that there are intangibles in every value calculation. 1) What does it cost for injuries from leaking chemical feed tubing & pumps, 2) from running out of product due to an overflow in the tower basin, 3) from using excess water, 4) from finding that your high suspended solids is not been addressed by the chemical program and is creating fouling in the tubes, 5) paying more for lower corrosion rates when you can do just fine with slightly higher rates with no impact on your systems or their performance. Note: (corrosion rates are not an issue with the Dolphin due to the mechanics of charge neutralization creating cathodic protection on both copper and mild steel surfaces). Yes you can get corrosion rates lower with well controlled chemical programs, but are you willing to pay and for what price. So before you truly evaluate the ROI on the Dolphin system, bring in the intangibles into the equation.

Other Non Chemical Devices (NCD) vs. Dolphin System
Some might have heard of the VTRX, basically working off of the cavitation/sonication mechanics. Some might have heard of plan ordinary “magnets” which practice the Lorentz theory that brings up the effects from a magnetic field etc… There are also systems that are put together in a package that uses magnets and silver and copper to theoretically prevent bio-growth – these systems often have a pot feeder attached to augment the silver and copper anodes with biocides (chlorine/bromine) etc…
The truth is that of all of these, the only legitimate peer program appears to be the VTRX. Suffice it to say, its technology is a mystery to most and the cavitation issues loom large in the technical arena. The Dolphin working principle (pulsed magnetic energy) has been used in pasteurization for many years and the discovery of that same existing technology being applied to cycled up water holds more merit than any other NCD’s technology.
After researching the practices of the industry for many years, far too many specialty chemical companies have had turf protection wars relative to their bread and butter product – “chemicals”. The Dolphin innovators do not begin to deny the effectiveness of chemicals; they simply offer a working alternative solution to the industry and its concerns. Assuming you have heard of the theory; “if the major chemical specialty companies thought this process worked that they would buy into the technology to avoid losing their market share”. Well, why do you suppose fixed technology specialty chemical companies don’t? That appears to be a valid question, we should ask for a valid response, and see what the answer would be. One has to assume that the answer could be; 1) there is too much invested in the overhead of these large specialty chemical corporations, 2) a switch to a non/low service oriented system like the Dolphin, would be next to impossible to absorb the financial burden this would bring and/or 3) It just does not work. I now believe that the third potential answer has no validity. I do, however, believe they see value in this technology but it is not currently in their core competency and/or in their marketing or operating plans.

Chemical programs do work and have their place in the facility, however, so does the Dolphin. Both of which must have good control over their various requirements and without that, neither program will do what you are looking for. If you are looking for a chemical free environment, then the Dolphin system has the means to accomplish that. Before you make the leap into either, consider all ramifications rather than that of the prospective seller.

This is not an endorsement of, or for Clearwater Systems Corporation. Rather the opinion of a 21 year water treatment veteran of the specialty chemical industry.

Gordon Guthrie
Waterside Asset Management
Cell: 425-293-5763

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Choices - how to make them: If one had just purchased a NCD (non-chemical-device) you would assume they would support that it works, on the other hand if one were to have just signed a large contract for a water treatment company for services and product - they would support that also. Which one is in the right camp? It is very interesting to hear the stories now that I am no longer under the influence of bias thought. Being open to all technologies has given me a greater sense of what this business is all about. More to come I'm sure.

Gordon Guthrie
Waterside Asset Management
Cell: 425-293-5763