“Our goal is to provide products and services that will protect our customer assets, save energy and water using green initiatives and help clients minimize outbreaks of diseases caused by waterborne pathogens,” says Subroto Chakravorty, Vice President and General Manager of Chem-Aqua Canada. “We are very market-focused and customer-oriented, working on initiatives to bring value to our customers in their area of business.”
A leader in water treatment solutions, Chem-Aqua is a global industrial water treatment solutions provider active in 58 countries, with Canadian headquarters located in Brampton, Ontario. A division of NCH Corporation, Chem-Aqua has been in the global water treatment solutions business for over 96 years. NCH Corporation is a multibillion-dollar company worldwide and the third largest water treatment solutions company in the world. In Canada, they are the leading company in their market segment. They serve clients in several sectors, including but not limited to healthcare, food services, governmental and educational.
“We also have over 60 representatives located across every province in Canada. We do business coast to coast,” says Chakravorty. “Our distribution system is designed to meet with our just-in-time customer requirements. That means we make sure that our customers do not have to carry large inventories but can depend on us to deliver the products that we manufacture to their doorstep at the right time.”
The “total system approach”
Chem-Aqua’s success in the industrial market is a result of their “total system approach.” While most competitors chiefly consider how they can sell their chemicals or sell a particular system, Chem-Aqua’s focus is on bringing value added solutions rather than just making sales. They work with the customer by providing a survey of their plant, finding possible deficiencies, pointing out areas of concern and then collaborating with the customer to address these concerns. Moreover, introducing suitable modern equipment to clients’ workplaces allows a synergy between what the client expects and what happens on-site, while also minimizing labour expenses.
A champion for sustainable, site-specific solutions
Chem-Aqua holds promoting sustainable solutions as being among their core values. Nandan Atre, the Senior Manager of Business Development for Chem-Aqua Canada’s New Construction Division, explains that in heating and cooling applications, water is essentially used as a heat transfer fluid. Therefore, all of the water treatment services that Chem-Aqua offers are critical in the field of heat transfer, directly impacting energy and water efficiencies. Despite this, the importance of water is not acknowledged.
“As a result, what we have are situations that are not environmentally friendly and solutions that are not environmentally sustainable due to outdated technologies,” says Atre.
Atre mentions that since many companies make the mistake of using cheap, improper equipment and products for their water treatment needs, they end up with substandard results that do not protect their assets. Therefore, after assessing the site, Chem-Aqua offers the right type of water treatment technology for each individual client. Through their use of automation and control systems, customers are kept notified of the current status. Chem-Aqua works with their customers through training and educational seminars.
Chem-Aqua has taken the pioneering step of launching a website for design engineers and mechanical contractors with ready-to-use engineering specifications, product and equipment data sheets, manuals, installation guidelines and green water treatment solutions.
Chem-Aqua aggressively promotes Solid Water Treatment Systems that were developed to address the handling, safety and environmental concerns associated with liquid chemicals.
Minimizing and managing Legionella outbreaks
For clients in the healthcare industry, the major issues are Legionella (the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires’ disease), and other waterborne pathogens that can cause healthcare-associated infections.
“The healthcare industry deserved a higher level of attention, so we created a division that specializes in reduction and minimization of waterborne pathogens in both hospitals and long-term care facilities,” states Terry Runka, Senior Manager of Chem-Aqua Canada’s Environmental and Healthcare Division. “We have put together a wealth of expertise in a variety of scientifically validated, proven technologies to reduce pathogens.”
Runka explains that all water can contain pathogens that could cause infection, especially among high-risk patients. There are a number of different susceptible systems, such as cooling towers, decorative fountains and in healthcare especially, domestic hot water distribution loops. Pathogens such as Legionella are naturally occurring and come in with the city water. After entering the facility, bacteria will amplify in dead legs and low flow areas and form biofilms where they proliferate. Pathogens can then transfer to a patient via inhalation or contact with the water, causing healthcare-associated infections.
Chem-Aqua is currently working to help clients understand the risks posed by the bacterium and implement new standards for both minimization and remediation of Legionella outbreaks. For instance, systemic programs (such as the use of copper silver, chlorine dioxide, secondary chlorine feed systems and point of use filtration) can be added to a domestic hot water system to minimize the chances of an outbreak. If an outbreak has already occurred, Chem-Aqua has also helped clients across Canada manage and reduce the pathogens.
Runka recommends using Chem-Aqua Services Division to comply with standards such as MD 15161 for cleaning and disinfecting cooling tower systems, coils, etc., to reduce pathogens, increase energy efficiency and protect customer assets.
Each facility is unique, as there are different types of water, building systems, maintenance programs and temperatures. There are a lot of things that go into deciding which the best program is for you.
“The treatment options are really site-specific. Unlike any other water treatment company, it doesn’t matter to us which option you pick. We can show you all the advantages and disadvantages. We’re not married to one certain technology,” adds Runka. “We can come into the facility and do a presentation to show where the susceptible systems are, and all the available options you have to minimize pathogens.”
Chem-Aqua recognizes that business is ever evolving; the requirements at customers’ sites are also ever evolving. Therefore, the company endeavours to ensure that their programs always meet the highest standards of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), a U.S.-based public health institution known for setting global standards for infection control by working with an independent CDC ELITE laboratory.
By constantly keeping updated with the latest standards, technology and ideas, Chem-Aqua is able to educate clients and builders about how to create a safer environment through sustainable water treatment. Through providing clean water solutions, Chem-Aqua is working to create a healthy environment for both their clients and the public in general.