Water Matters - Dolphin WaterCare Blog

The Top 10 Myths of Sustainable Water Treatment

Posted by Mike Glynn on October 10, 2013 @ 03:08 PM

Top 10 Myths of Sustainable Water TreatmentSustainable water treatment solutions represent a transformative shift in how building owners and operators approach cooling tower water treatment.  The Dolphin WaterCare solution, with over 5,000 installations to date, continues to attract both new and repeat customers who have been delighted with the water savings, operational cost savings and level of HVAC system health (control of scale, corrosion and biological activity).

Through Dolphin's proven water treatment performance and extensive field studies over the past 15 years, the efficacy of the Dolphin solution for the control of scale, micrbiological activity and corrosion has been clear demonstrated.  As you can imagine, not everyone is thrilled with this advancement in water treatment technology!  In fact, we often hear from our customers that legacy water treatment companies make uniformed claims about the Dolphin solution in an effort to win them back as customers.  Their claims are many, often creative, and almost always inaccurate.  View the Top Ten Myths of Sustainable Water Treatment (and the truth behind each myth).

Do you have another myth or misconceptions that deserves a place on our list?  Share them in the comments section below this article.


Myth: "The Dolphin technology does not work."

Fact: Dolphin WaterCare is a proven water treatment solution with over 5,000 installations world-wide.  The Dolphin solution’s efficacy (controlling biological activity, scale and corrosion in cooling towers) has been rigorously evaluated and validated through multiple independent research studies documented in prestigious organizations such as CTI, ASHRAE, NACE, etc.  Many Fortune 500 companies are repeat customers who have been delighted with the significant water savings, reducedoperating expenses and improved facility safety they have achieved with Dolphin WaterCare.


Myth: "The Dolphin is just another magnet-based water treatment system."

Fact: The Dolphin WaterCare system uses proven pulse-power technology to deliver reliable and sustainable control of scale, corrosion and biological activity.  The Dolphin WaterCare system does NOT use magnets.

Myth: "The Cycles of Concentration claimed by Dolphin WaterCare doesn't match up with their set point."

Fact: Dolphin WaterCare works by physically treating water.  Specifically, the Dolphin’s pulsed-powertreatment activates suspended particles naturally present in cooling water which enables precipitation to occur around the suspended particles rather than forming scale on the walls/tubes of your HVAC process cooling and refrigeration equipment.  Thus, a Dolphin-treated system operates in a saturated environment where calcium carbonate precipitates from solution lowering the conductivity (or TDS) of the cooling water.  While Dolphin WaterCare conductivity set point may be lower than expected, cycles of concentration determination using ASHRAE recommended methods of chloride ratio or water mass balance clearly show higher cycles of concentration than one would expect from the conductivity set point.

Myth: "Dolphin-treated water appears to exhibit missing calcium hardness; therefore the Dolphin treatment must be scaling the equipment."

Fact: This common claim is quickly dismissed by reviewing how the Dolphin technology works.  As described above, the Dolphin’s pulsed-power treatment activates suspended particles naturally present in cooling water promoting precipitation around the suspended particles rather than forming scale on the walls/tubes of your HVAC equipment.  Thus, a Dolphin-treated system operates in a saturated environment where a targeted amount of calcium carbonate precipitates out of solution as harmless Dolphin powder. Therefore, the missing calcium does not indicate scale; it is merely validating that the Dolphin system is working as expected.

Myth: "The Dolphin Powder is going to clog up your system and basin."

Fact: By design, the Dolphin’s pulsed-power water treatment creates a targeted amount Dolphin powder (see above).  This harmless powder is typically managed by normal blowdown.  In rare cases a filtration unit may be needed to manage powder; this determination is made during the initial site review with Dolphin WaterCare and, if needed, has a negligible impact on system payback.

Myth: "The Dolphin can't control the bacteria that cause biofilm; you need chemicals to do this."

Fact: Biological control is one of the Dolphin system’s strongest attributes.  Where chemical water treatment must use aggressive surfactants, bio-dispersants and toxic biocides, the Dolphin system achieves superior biological control through encapsulation (bacteria trapped in Dolphin Powder) and electroporation (bacteria cell walls damaged through pulsed-power treatment).  Dolphin WaterCare treated systems have bacteria levels below industry guidelines.  In fact, it is not uncommon for Dolphin-treated water to have lower biological counts than the accepted standards for drinking water.

Myth: "You can't just install a Dolphin and expect it to magically handle all of your water treatment needs."

Fact: This myth is true!  Dolphin WaterCare transformed its business model in 2011 to ensure customer delight through world-class water treatment service through the creation of a DolphinWaterCare Service organization.  This group is comprised of highly-skilled technicians with a unique blend of HVAC and water treatment expertise.  Additionally, the Dolphin Service organization includes a fleet of fully-equipped service trucks ensuring that each technician has the equipment and tools needed to handle any situation.

Key elements of Dolphin WaterCare service:

  • Maintain proper and naturally occurring cooling water chemistry through on-site analysis of water and real-time determination of set point

  • Monitor bacteria control through quantification of bacteria population

  • Ensure effective and efficient function of water treatment equipment through:

    • Verification of Dolphin equipment and accessory equipment efficacy

    • Maintenance and calibration of control equipment

    • Provide peace-of-mind that comes from regular and informative system service/health reports

Myth: "Dolphin WaterCare is not yet a Fortune 500 company and therefore unable to fully support customers like the big chemical companies can."

Fact: Customer delight is essential for Dolphin WaterCare to fully transform how an industryoperates.  Recognizing this, the Dolphin Service organization was created in 2011 (see above).  Through this service organization, Clearwater ensures that our customers receive world-class water treatment service and support with each Dolphin system. Additionally, all Dolphin-serviced customers receive a 10-year warranty on the Dolphin system.  Clearwater Systems fully stands behind every Dolphin System we service and that won’t ever change.

Myth: "To comply with industry standards on Legionella control, chemical treatment is needed."

Fact: Leading industry organizations such as ASHRAE require that water treatment methods for cooling towers and evaporative condensers provide control of scale, microbiological activity and corrosion. Use of a Dolphin WaterCare treatment program meets all these requirements.  Dolphin WaterCare treatment has been successfully treating the open loop of cooling systems for over a decade.  Efficacy in controlling scale, microbiological activity and corrosion by Dolphin WaterCare treatment programs has been demonstrated in extensive field studies over the last 15 years and through excellent water treatment performance of thousands of Dolphin Systems since 1998.  We've created a site devoted to this topic that includes a knowledge library and FAQ: 188standard.com

Myth: "The Dolphin WaterCare system only has a 1-year warranty."

Fact: The core Dolphin System equipment consists of a treatment module and a signal generator.  The elegant system has no moving parts and is designed to last for over 10 years.  Many of our earliest installations are still going strong 14 years later! Through our service organization, Clearwater ensures that our customers receive world-class water treatment service and support with each Dolphin system. Additionally, all Dolphin-serviced customers receive a 10-year warranty on the Dolphin system.  We stand behind every system we service.

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Topics: Dolphin WaterCare, sustainable water treatment, cleantech, cooling tower, scale prevention, corrosion control, biological control

How Cleantech Entrepreneurs Can Respond to the Worsening Freshwater Shortage

Posted by Mike Glynn on October 1, 2013 @ 01:38 PM

With over 1.1 billion people without access to clean drinking water, our global water crisis requires a fundamental change in how we view, manage and treat water.  The United Nations’ 2012 World Water Development Report cites four key contributors to our current water shortages: economic growth, increased population, rapid increase in the need for food and energy and climate issues.  As pointed out in the recent Yale Insights article, the study’s conclusions point to the fact that freshwater availability is complex problem that must be considered in all of civilization’s development efforts.  

To that end, the world of cleantech has a crucial role to play in ensuring a sustainable water supply for future generations.  In the Yale Insights interview below, Anupam Bhargava (Clearwater Systems CEO) discusses cleantech, entrepreneurship, and opportunities for increased water availability.


 In the , Bhargava addresses the following topics:

  • The relationship between economic development and water use
  • Raising awareness and educating the marketplace
  • Social responsibility: going beyond passion for a cause


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Topics: Dolphin WaterCare, Anupam Bhargava, water efficiency, sustainable water treatment, water re-use, cleantech, Yale, innovation, social responsibility