Changing suppliers does not come easily to some companies, but when a vendor is under-performing, it is time to call it quits. That is what was happening with a USDA-regulated meat packing plant in California. The facility was being poorly served by its incumbent water treatment supplier running the plant’s evaporative condensers at less than three cycles of concentration while overfeeding treatment chemicals.

The supplier's practices were driving up the plant’s costs for chemicals, and excessive water usage and discharge. In an effort to contain costs, the plant operators tried a nonchemical water treatment device on one of the three evaporative condensers, with near-disastrous results.

Asked to provide an alternative, the field representative for Garratt-Callahan implemented a water treatment program on two of the evaporative condensers by installing equipment for pH control and conductivity control as well as dual biocide timers. In addition, the cycles of concentration were boosted to 4.5. In the meantime, he monitored the performance of the third condenser’s nonchemical treatment.

The result of the nonchemical approach was significant scaling. After one year, the test was terminated in favor of Garratt-Callahan's treatment program already underway on the two condensers.

In two years, the Garratt-Callahan solution saved the plant operators $9,800, including $5,000 in reduced chemical costs and $4,800 in reduced water and sewer costs. Even adding back the cost of the sulfuric acid for the pH control, the plant’s water treatment costs have been reduced by a net $7,000.

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