Feb 09, 2010

Results of Water Softener Study to be Discussed at WQA Aquatech USA

Battelle Institute study outlines benefits of water softeners

Results of the Battelle Institute study on the benefits of water softeners--and how the results can be used in marketing materials--will be offered at Water Quality Assn. (WQA) Aquatech USA 2010, organizers announced.

The conference and exhibition will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., March 9 to 12, 2010.

An overview of the study will be offered on March 10 at 9:00 a.m. It will be conducted by Joe Harrison, P.E., CWS-VI, WQA technical director, and Vincent M. Kent, MP, CWS-I, CI Abendroth Water Conditioning, Inc.

One of the keynote speeches is titled “How to Effectively Market the Softened Water Energy Efficiency Study” (also known as “The Battelle Study”). The marketing presentation will take place on March 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. A panel presentation will feature Robert A. Hague, CWS-VI, Hague Quality Water Intl.; Douglas S. Karge, Pentair Water; Vincent M. Kent, MP, CWS-I, CI, Abendroth Water Conditioning, Inc.; and Eric B. Rosenthal, Culligan Intl.

The Battelle Memorial Institute, a non-profit international science and technology enterprise, recently completed its testing. Battelle was retained by the Water Quality Research Foundation to develop and run the tests. Battelle engineers evaluated the energy and costs in heating water versus the savings with softened water. They also examined effects on washing machines, faucet fixtures, shower heads and dishwashers using hard water versus softened water.

The U.S. Department of Energy said water heating is the second highest energy consuming area of a home, next to heating and cooling. Battelle conducted tests to determine how much energy savings household water softeners can provide homeowners.

Results of the study have shown that untreated hard water can cause significant efficiency losses and added costs in water heating--up to 48% in some cases. Battelle also found hard water to rapidly lead to clogged shower heads, in some cases possibly as soon as a year-and-a-half of regular use. After just one week of constant testing with hard water, more than three-fourths of shower head nozzles became clogged, according to laboratory results. Shower heads using softened water, meanwhile, performed nearly as well as on the day they were installed.