Luxury Spa relying on Palintest photometer to test pool water

To ensure the water quality of its five pools and spas, the luxury Ramside Hall Hotel in County Durham is relying on a Pooltest 9 photometer from Palintest.

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Ramside’s £8 million state-of-the-art facilities include five pools: a full-size 25 metre swimming pool; a bubble pool; one of the UK’s largest hydrotherapy pools; an outdoor spa with a large heated vitality bubble pool; and a balcony infinity pool with massage jets.

As delivering excellence is key to Ramside Hall, the spa’s fully trained operations team uses one of Palintest’s Pooltest 9 Bluetooth photometers to test all their pool parameters, including chlorine and pH every two hours, but also calcium hardness and alkalinity on a weekly basis. Featuring an automatic water balance calculator, the Pooltest 9 provides everything the team needs to a have full confidence in the water treatment processes.

The team can share the results from the Photometer wirelessly by Bluetooth, which automatically syncs with Palintest’s AquaPal smartphone app, making it easier to respond quickly to any changes in conditions. This allows for seamless management of data and ensures total control of the testing and dosage routine.

Combining this with Palintest’s online portal, where the data is stored in the cloud and available together with more detailed analytics, the team can be sure they are managing the facility in the professional manner which their guests expect.

Jill Russell, Ramside Hall’s Spa Director, comments: “Demonstrating best practice in all our operations is critical to being one of the finest spas in the country. Efficiency on the management side allows spending more time on putting the customer first. Palintest’s Pooltest 9 helps us achieve this.”

“We’re delighted to have been chosen by Ramside Hall as their pool water testing partner,” added David Hird, Palintest’s Application Specialist. “It’s an amazing resort with a reputation for real quality, so being able to play a part in ensuring that quality is very satisfying.”

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Visual Test Methods in Wastewater Monitoring – Palintest to Present at WWEM

Do simple visual tests like permanganate value and Jackson turbidity tubes have a place in modern water and wastewater analysis?

In a presentation entitled “The Pros and Cons of Simple Visual Test Methods: A Wastewater Case Study” at this year’s WWEM conference and exhibition, David Hird, an Application Specialist at Palintest Ltd, will discuss how visual tests compare to more advanced methods. Using a wastewater case study, he will also evaluate these tests’ potential to help make informed treatment decisions.

His talk will be between 1.30-2pm in Room Five on Thursday November 3rd, the second day of the conference.

In addition to David’s presentation Palintest will also be exhibiting its extensive range of water and wastewater analysis equipment at booth 112.

Held at the Telford International Centre in Telford, Shropshire, WWEM is the UK’s leading conference and exhibition for the water, wastewater and environmental monitoring industries.

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Palintest Proud Winners of North East Exporters’ Awards

Palintest Ltd is delighted to have won the North East Exporters’ Award.

Overall Exporter of the Year winner Dave Sidlow (back row third from left) and his team from Palintest Ltd The North East Exporters Awards 2016 held at Ramside Hall Hotel

Overall Exporter of the Year winner Dave Sidlow (back row third from left) and his team from Palintest Ltd
The North East Exporters Awards 2016 held at Ramside Hall Hotel

The company was nominated in two categories, winning ‘Export Team of the Year’ and a runner up in ‘Conquering New Markets’. Palintest was then named overall winner of the North East England Exporters’ Award.

The Awards recognise the efforts of companies that, through exporting achievements, are making a huge contribution to both the regional and UK economy. They also acknowledge and celebrate the strength and diversity of North East exporting.

“Winning this award is a testament to the effort our team makes in growing and supporting our business around the world,” commented Palintest’s Managing Director Dave Sidlow. “We’re a highly ambitious company with a proud history making water analysis technologies suitable for many applications and we’ve embraced the challenges and opportunities that exporting can offer a UK business.”

Palintest has invested heavily in the structure required to support exports, with regional hubs in Australia, the Middle East, China and the USA. Recent successes have most notably included sales into China, where the company has grown its business over 200% in the past two years, making it Palintest’s single largest export market.

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Chlorine Alternatives in Fresh Produce Production

Understanding your disinfectant – the switch from chlorine to chlorine dioxide in the production of fresh produce

Summary
Wash water used in the production of fresh produce always contains a residual disinfectant to reduce microbial load. There is a growing trend in many countries towards alternative disinfectants such as chlorine dioxide rather than traditional oxidising agents such as chlorine. Careful choice of disinfectant and controlling contact time can lead to an extended shelf life for products, generating a significant advantage for manufacturers.

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Introduction
The amount of fresh produce being produced across the globe is increasing, principally due to national targets for promoting healthy eating and the core role that fresh fruit and vegetables play in achieving those targets.

Increasing demand is twinned with growing constraints on the use of water by manufacturers. Water scarcity has led to a renewed focus by the fresh produce industry on using water more effectively and reviewing their choice of wash water disinfectant. Re-use of water can lead to a build-up of organic material in the water, potentially resulting in higher levels of disinfection by-products (DBPs).

Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) is increasingly the aim of any manufacturer using water in their process. Reuse of water to achieve ZLD by manufacturers is a growing trend within the fresh produce industry which shifts emphasis onto the treatment of water both during the washing process and once the water has been used. Guidelines1 are now being produced to give advice to fresh produce manufacturers which may help control DBPs produced in washing fresh produce.

Testing the wash water used in the washing process is crucial to controlling the microflora that can be found in the final product. Consequently, understanding the DBP potential is crucial for interpreting the test results and making treatment decisions. Read more…

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Testing Free Chlorine When Superchlorinating Fresh Produce

When processing fresh-cut produce like lettuce, disinfection is often carried out by adding free chlorine, in the form of hypochlorite, to the wash water.

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Many standards stipulate that free chlorine must be maintained in the wash water at concentrations greater than 50 mg/l. This process, known as ‘superchlorination’, aims to avoid the formation of chloramines (also known as combined chlorine), which are formed when free chlorine reacts with nitrogenous compounds in the water, such as ammonia. Chloramines are weaker disinfectants than free chlorine.

Currently there is no one perfect method to specifically measure free chlorine at superchlorination levels. However, Palintest offers a number of options for users aiming for superchlorination. These include the ChloroSense® method, the Iodometric Colorimetric method and the DPD Colorimetric method. Which one is used will depend on local circumstances and requirements.

1. ChloroSense® method
ChloroSense® uses an electrochemical technique called chronoamperometry and includes an instrument and a disposable pre-calibrated sensor, allowing non-technical users to rapidly obtain accurate results. Although the device provides a free chlorine reading (up to 10 mg/l), operators can use the total chlorine reading (up to 100 mg/l) to demonstrate superchlorination has been achieved. Additionally, ChloroSense® is glass- and reagent-free and ensures traceability with integrated data logging, making it ideal for use in high-care and GMP environments.

2. Iodometric Colorimetric method
Another method for determining total chlorine can be carried out using Palintest’s Chlorometer Duo. This is a colorimetric version of a standard method allowing total chlorine readings up to 250 mg/l – again demonstrating superchlorination has been achieved.

3. DPD Colorimetric method
The DPD method is also available on Palintest’s Chlorometer Duo and has been the standard method for determining free and total chlorine in water for over fifty years. However, it has a limited test range (0 – 5 mg/l), meaning dilution on the production line is required.

In most applications where water is expected to be maintained at superchlorination levels, the ChloroSense® or the Chlorometer Duo are proven and straightforward approaches to demonstrating effective disinfection is taking place.

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The importance of quick and accurate turbidity testing for network suppliers

SESW sees big reduction in turbidity issues with Palintest turbidity monitors

Sutton and East Surrey Water (SESW) has supplied water to residents of the Sutton and Surrey areas for over 150 years. The company currently covers 835 km2 (322 square miles), supplying 670,000 customers and 282,000 properties.

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The problem
Unlike other utilities, SESW softens its borehole abstracted water prior to distribution. While this helps prevent future limescale build-up and protect customers’ property, it does little to abate the historical calcium deposits lining the network mains and communication pipes. These deposits can be disturbed by high flow rates, causing significant turbidity issues if not dealt with properly.

Last year SESW experienced 392 customer complaints about taste, odour and turbidity, missing its target of 350. However, of these events, only 60 were related to SESW’s network activities. A significant number of these events are the result of white and turbid water, stemming from the historical calcium deposits, which can become mobile at flow rates above 10 L/sec.

The biggest challenge to overcome after a network activity is quickly and accurately establishing the turbidity of the mains water before returning it to service. Previously, this had been done visually by the network service teams with a sample collected for lab analysis the next day. However, at low (<10) NTUs (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) it was virtually impossible to be sure if the visual assessment would match the laboratory results – especially when operations were occurring at night.

The solution – turbidity testing
To overcome this issue, SESW decided to equip its network teams with turbidity meters. After trying meters from a number of manufacturers, the Palintest Turbimeter was selected as it demonstrated the best blend of laboratory and field performance in a package that was quick and easy to use. It allows the SESW team to get quick and accurate results to confidently assess when the mains can be reconnected.

Since introducing the meters the company saw a 15% monthly reduction in customer complaints. However, when looking at water quality events related to network servicing activities, the company projects them to fall to around 16 this year, down from 60 last year – a massive 75% reduction following the introduction of turbidity testing.

The impact of this is not just an improved customer experience but also increased compliance, fewer water quality penalties and improved service incentive mechanism (SIM) ratings, which ensure a minimal payback time on the investment in the meters.

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Palintest helping London Zoo keep its aquatic inhabitants safe

ZSL London Zoo has one of the largest collections of aquatic life in the UK, including some of the rarest species of fish and amphibians. This diversity creates unique water quality demands as each species often requires very specific water conditions to survive, with a slight change in conditions being potentially life-threatening. Regular, highly accurate water testing is therefore a critical part of managing the aquatic collections.

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To help ensure optimum water quality for all aquatic species, the Zoo has opted for water testing equipment from British company Palintest. The aquarium team utilises the Photometer 7100 for monitoring chlorine, alkalinity, phosphate, ammonia, nitrite, potassium and pH. The herpetology (amphibian) team also uses the Photometer 7100, but in addition uses electrochemical testing products, including Palintest’s Micro 600 pH meter and a Micro 800 dissolved oxygen (DO) meter as part of their water quality monitoring protocol.

The feedwater for both the aquarium and herpetology sections is provided by Thames Water. This includes chlorine which must be removed before it comes into contact with any of the aquatic life. At the zoo, much of the water is treated via reverse osmosis (RO) and then remineralised to ensure control of the water quality habitats. Chlorine analysis of the feedwater prior to the RO is also critical for the protection of the RO membranes.

Aquarium water testing
Alkalinity measures how water will change with the addition of an acid or alkaline substance, which in turn can affect pH. Aquatic life is very sensitive to pH changes, so maintaining a good alkalinity level helps maintain a stable environment overall. Phosphate testing is important for coral, which is predominantly made up of calcium. At high levels phosphate prevents the uptake of calcium by the coral, so levels must be maintained below 0.1 mg/l. Ammonia is a waste product of aquatic life and is poisonous to fish. It is normally broken down to nitrite by bacteria in the water as part of the nitrogen cycle. Nitrite is also hazardous for aquatic life, so measuring both ammonia and nitrite are essential in understanding the aquatic ecosystem.

Herpetology water testing
As part of its vital conservation work, the herpetology section became the first place in the world to breed the Lake Oku Clawed Frog, an extremely rare species only found in high altitude Lake Oku in Cameroon. As the reproductive biology of the frog was unknown the keepers had to replicate the specific environmental parameters of Lake Oku.

Using the Micro 800 DO meter and the Photometer 7100, the keepers determined that the tadpoles only thrived in an unusual aquatic environment containing less than 20ppm of total dissolved solids (TDS). In their natural environment in Lake Oku, TDS levels were below 10ppm, indicating that this particular species of frog has evolved only to thrive in a single and stable environment.

Commenting on the London Zoo project, Palintest’s Marketing Manager Tom Aylward said: “It’s very rewarding to see our products being put to such important use. By ensuring a safe aquatic environment for fish and amphibians at London Zoo – and by helping to understand the life cycle of an extremely rare and endangered animal – we feel we’re playing a vital role in the Zoo’s conservation efforts.”

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Water testing in renal dialysis

Palintest recently presented at the 7th Annual Cross Border Renal Technical meeting in Newry, Northern Ireland. Here we explain the importance and demands of chlorine analysis in this critical application.

This annual meeting provides a valuable resource for the sharing of best practices and presentation of new technologies in the market. With a rich variety of topics presented on, and technologies on display, the event highlighted technological advances in areas such as stem cell organ growing, 3D printing in medicine, and new dialysis machines.

Technical Sales Manager at Palintest, Neil Young, presented on “Chlorine, Chloramines, and Chlorine Dioxide – why they are in water, why we need to remove them and how we test for them”.

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Chloramine testing of water used for haemodialysis is mandatory as prescribed in ISO 13959:2014. The standard refers to testing for total chlorine, however understanding the difference between free chlorine and combined chlorine can help when making the decision as to which test method to use.

Water authorities may use either free or combined chlorine in order to disinfect mains water to be consumed as drinking water by the general population. Most authorities use free chlorine as it is a more effective disinfectant, however water authorities may dose combined chlorine (monochloramine) into a distribution network rather than free chlorine. One of the reasons for this is that it tends to persist in the network for longer and is therefore useful if the network is long one and a residual must be maintained all the way to the point of use.

There are many methods that can be used to test feedwater that is to be used to generate dialysis fluid. Renal dialysis units invest large amounts of money trying to remove chlorine from their feedwater. The water treatment process should have removed all contaminants (including chlorine) by ion exchange and carbon filtration from the water prior to it being used to generate dialysis fluid.

This makes the testing environment particularly challenging as the test is looking for the absence of an analyte. When testing for an absence of an analyte such as chlorine, renal technologists must be aware of the limit of detection of the method they are using and the specificity of the method. Palintest offers a range of products that are suitable for this application, such as photometric tablet reagent kits, and electrochemical sensor technology.

Understanding what form of chlorine is being used by your local water authority is critical to deciding which test method to use. Also critical is understanding the chemistry used by each test and the capability of the method. Choosing the correct test method is critical to producing good quality dialysis fluid and therefore ensuring patient safety.

For further information, read our full guide on the subject here.

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Inspiring the Scientists and Engineers of the future

Palintest UK staff have been involved in assisting local schools with Science, Technical, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) training as part of the Go4SET program.

At Palintest we are always aiming to engage with educational establishments such as universities, colleges and schools in the locality of our international offices. It is such establishments from which we recruit our future employees with science and engineering skills and also where we learn about the latest water treatment and testing technologies.

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In February, our UK office was invited to participate in the Go4Set project run by The Engineering and Development Trust (EDT), a non-profit organisation in the UK which aims to encourage school pupils to pursue study and work in the science and engineering.

The Go4SET program links pupils with employers to offer a 10 week Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Project. As an exporter of scientific and engineering products across the globe, we wanted to support our local school, Lord Lawson Academy, in their STEM project.

Project mentor and Senior Application Specialist at Palintest, Tom Lendrem said “we think STEM projects like Go4Set are very important as they give students the opportunity to understand what it’s like to work in real industry. The project skills they learn during the project are exactly the kind of skills we value as employers and it’s a pleasure to be part of that learning experience.”

For 12 weeks, the students researched and designed an Eco Hotel considering the water usage, the energy usage and the waste management of the establishment. To do this and produce a technical report at the end of it all, project planning was one of the key skills that needed to be demonstrated.

As a company involved in the water sector, we were able to explain the implications of water use for organisations. We were able to share real-life examples of energy and waste concerns for organisations in our sector, providing a useful experience in teaching how aspects of water, energy and waste are all interconnected.

For more information, visit the Go4SET section of the EDT website.

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Monitoring Lead in School Drinking Water

The US EPA’s guidance documentation “3T’s for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities: Training, Testing, Telling” recommends for schools to routinely test their facility’s drinking water, with a focus on lead levels in drinking water fountains. In launching the 3Ts campaign, EPA’s objective is to provide school officials and child care facility operators with the tools they need to understand and address lead in drinking water in their local communities.

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Based on these recommendations, the Louisville Water Company located in Louisville, Kentucky, USA initiated a School Lead Monitoring Program which provided services for sampling supplies, training, certified analysis and reporting for at least 15% of school facilities annually.

As each facility was allocated resources for the testing of only two fountains, selections were based on frequency of use, location and make/model. Samples were analysed for levels of lead using laboratory Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS), with a cost per sample of approximately $25.

The EPA strongly recommends that all water outlets in all schools that provide water for drinking or cooking meet a standard of 20 parts per billion (ppb) lead or less. Louisville Water’s program takes remedial actions for any samples showing results above a 10 μg/litre warning level. Collectively, the sample preparation, initial analysis, reporting and follow up analysis would take 3 to 5 weeks to complete, thereby producing long delays to any remedial action.

Organization of an effective system to enable consistent laboratory based testing required significant amounts of time to coordinate. In addition, as most schools have between six to 40 drinking water fountains and only two fountains had to be selected, there was the challenge of trying to prioritize which fountains should be sampled. Further facility and fountain evaluation was often recommended, creating additional pressure on already limited resources.

It became apparent that the existing lead monitoring program needed to increase the number of fountains sampled, frequency of sampling and considerably reduce the time taken to produce analytical test data, thereby allowing effective and timely remediation actions to be taken.
The need to implement effective procedures was further emphasized with the introduction of the “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act” by US Congress in 2011, which became effective January 4, 2014, creating further pressure for improvements in drinking water quality.

During 2013, Louisville Water purchased two Palintest SA1100 Scanning Analysers for use in the School Lead Monitoring Program. The SA1100 Scanning Analyser is an accurate portable scanning voltammetry instrument certified by the EPA as an acceptable method to use in lead field analysis, with a lower limit of detection of 2 μg/litre.

Independent comparative analysis demonstrated excellent correlation of test results between the SA1100 and laboratory based instrumentation. Each test using the SA1100 Scanning Analyser takes approximately three minutes and costs considerably less that a test conducted by AAS.

The simplicity of the Palintest instrument made for easy integration into the testing program and the reduced cost per test allowed three times the number of sample analyses on drinking water fountains in the school facilities for the same cost. If any fountain exceeded the lead warning concentration of 10μg/l, samples would be taken to the certified laboratory for confirmation of elevated lead levels on the AAS. In the meantime, the fountain would be immediately removed from service, thereby removing the risk and allow for swift corrective actions and location of the source of the issue in a more effective manner.

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