At RK Water, we specialize in providing custom water treatment systems to meet the unique needs of our clients. We take care of every part of the fabrication process, from identifying treatment needs to delivering a fully functional operational water treatment system.
Identifying Water Treatment Needs, Goals and Approach
Every custom water treatment project begins with a thorough assessment of site-specific treatment requirements. By understanding our client’s needs, we design comprehensive water treatment solutions that align with desired outcomes. This includes considering contaminant levels, flow rates, and water quality standards. Our team will engineer a system that meets or exceeds desired standards to meet environmental regulations. Based on the needs and treatment goals, RK Water will explore the best available technologies, such as reverse osmosis, medias, resins and chemical treatment.
Creating Schematic Design and CAD Fabrication Drawing
With the treatment approach determined, our experienced engineers create a schematic design that serves as a blueprint, outlining the treatment system’s layout, equipment arrangement and process flow. Using cutting-edge CAD software, RK Water generates detailed drawings of the fabrication process. These drawings provide precise specifications for each component, including dimensions, materials, connections and assembly instructions.
Procurement, Fabrication and Testing
Our in-house team of plumbers and pipefitters will fabricate the designed water treatment systems. By working with other RK business units, we have the in-house capabilities and facilities to ensure every component is installed correctly and according to the design specifications. Once fabrication is complete and signed off, the completed fabricated system is carefully packaged and prepared for shipping to the installation site.
Operational Treatment System
If desired, the RK Waters field team will install the treatment system upon arrival at the site. Before system operation begins, we’ll ensure that all components are properly connected and calibrated, guaranteeing a smooth start-up sequence. Furthermore, RK Water offers ongoing operational and maintenance services, including technical assistance, to keep the treatment system operating at peak performance.
At RK Water, we understand that each water treatment project is unique and requires a tailored approach. Our fabrication process ensures that our clients’ water treatment goals are effectively and efficiently achieved. If you’re looking for a reliable partner in water treatment, count on RK Water to provide comprehensive solutions.
Learn more at rk-water.com.
Spring is a great time to consider your facility’s cooling tower system. As the weather warms up, many comfort cooling systems shut down in the late fall and winter will soon be put back into operation. Following a few “good housekeeping” procedures are important before these systems are filled with water and started up. These steps allow facilities managers to save money and avoid headaches during the cooling season.
Step 1: Clean Cooling Tower Fill, Basin and Hot Deck
To prepare a cooling system for the upcoming season, clean the cooling tower fill, basin and hot deck. Dirt and debris from the previous cooling season and winter months can build up and must be removed. Failure to remove this debris can foul and plug system components, leading to poor cooling system performance.
Additionally, debris can be a food source for microbiological growth, which can cause corrosion and fouling of heat exchange surfaces and can lead to airborne pathogens such as Legionella. To avoid these issues, debris should be removed from the hot deck and distribution holes. Any broken sprayers or distributors should be repaired or replaced, and the system should be sanitized before being returned to service.
Step 2: Clean and Calibrate Cooling Water Controller
To ensure the optimal functioning of your cooling systems, it’s crucial to clean and calibrate various components. These include the cooling water conductivity controller, probes, flow switch, level controls and chemical metering pumps. Conductivity, pH, and ORP probes that have not been serviced for several months should be cleaned and calibrated. Chemical metering pumps may also need to be cleaned and primed with fresh chemicals before calibration.
Components not properly maintained during the previous season may need to be repaired or replaced to help your cooling systems run smoothly and efficiently. Check that all parts function correctly to keep the cooling water’s chemical balance and prevent scale buildup and corrosion.
Step 3: Clean and Lubricate Fans and Motors
The final step in preparing for the cooling season is cleaning fan housings, lubricating fans and motors, and checking for oil leaks. Ensure fan belts are tight and in working order and replace them if necessary. Oil leaks in fan motors can foul the cooling water system, reducing heat transfer efficiency and causing microbiological growth.
RK Water can assist with your facility needs by providing maintenance services for cooling tower systems, including cleaning and disinfecting the water tanks, checking and repairing leaks, and ensuring that the system is functioning correctly before the start of the cooling season. RK Water’s expertise can help you save money on energy costs and avoid costly repairs down the line.
PFAS, also known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are thousands of chemicals belonging to a single chemical class. PFAS contaminants are found in drinking water as a result of industrial releases and the use of firefighting foam. However, PFAS may also be used in a wide range of products, from food packaging to stain-resistant furniture, and our exposure comes from multiple sources and routes. PFAS does not break down in the environment and moves through soil to drinking water, which is why many scientists refer to them as “forever chemicals.”
What products contain PFAS?
Everyday products may be made with PFAS compounds, such as:
• Clothing like raincoats, yoga pants, shoes and accessories
• Paper packaging, including microwave popcorn bags and takeout packaging
• Stain-resistant carpets, rugs and furniture
• Non-stick cookware
• Firefighting foams and ski wax
Exposure to PFAS is virtually everywhere, from food, air and water, resulting from manufacturing releases and use of PFAS-containing products. Fortunately, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been taking active steps to update drinking water health advisories to replace those issued in 2016. The updated advisories indicate that some adverse health effects occur with concentrations of PFAS in water near zero and below the EPA’s ability to detect. Essentially, the lower the level of PFAS chemicals, the lower the risk to public health.
In addition, EPA is encouraging states, drinking water utilities, and community leaders that find PFAS in their drinking water to inform residents, undertake additional monitoring to assess the level, scope, and source of contamination, and examine steps to reduce exposure. Individuals concerned about levels of PFAS in their drinking water should consider actions that may reduce exposure, including installing a home or point-of-use filter.
How to reduce PFAS contamination?
Under the State of Colorado’s guidance, over 100 communities are retesting drinking water to create dilution or treatment plans if PFAS levels are high. The EPA’s drinking water guidance for PFAS was formerly no more than 70 parts per trillion. However, in June 2022, the EPA’s guidance for two forms of PFAS, PFOA and PFOS, was cut to 0.004 parts per trillion and 0.02 parts per trillion, respectively.
While the EPA has only proposed guidelines for PFAS levels in drinking water, states across the country are implementing enforceable drinking water standards and pursuing litigation against manufacturers of PFAS chemicals for contaminating water supplies and other natural resources.
With more data being shared with government entities about PFAS contamination and states adopting more policies to protect their residents, restrictions will get more rigorous to help eliminate PFAS chemicals. Local governments, state governments and businesses need to work together to help protect those in their communities by taking proper action now.
PFAS Chemical Treatment and Disposal
RK Water has the knowledge and expertise to guide your business through treatment selection, system sizing and ongoing operation. As water treatments experts, RK Water will:
• Perform initial PFAS sampling and testing through DOD certified laboratories
• Evaluate the characteristics of the PFAS requiring treatment
• Take into account site-specific conditions, sustainability of the treatment methods, and cost-effectiveness of viable treatment options
• Perform CAPEX vs. OPEX evaluation of competing treatment options
• Design and install temporary or long-term equipment, including treatment media
• Operate and maintain equipment and treatment systems, including media changeouts
• Compliance testing and reporting
• Manage disposal of media
The result is the reliable treatment of PFAS contamination to desired treatment goals. RK Water has you covered with in-house technical expertise. As RK Water is not committed to one proprietary product line, you are ensured that you will receive the best treatment options available in the market and client-focused attention throughout the process.
Learn more about RK Water’s PFAS treatment services.
Written by Ileana Morales
EPA Announces New Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS Chemicals, $1 Billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding to Strengthen Health Protections, accessed July 29, 2022, Environmental Protection Agency
Get the Facts: PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), accessed July 29, 2022, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
South Adams County water district is buying Denver’s water to dilute “forever chemicals,” accessed July 29, 2022, The Colorado Sun
Companies are always on the lookout for employees who will stay long-term and are committed to growing and improving. Likewise, employees want to work for companies that will provide them with opportunities to develop their skills.
Mentorships are a great way to help employees, both new and experienced, expand their knowledge and personal development. They focus on positive workplace behavior and performance, providing employees with the training needed to be successful.
Traditionally, mentoring relationships have involved senior employees guiding their younger colleagues, but hierarchy and age aren’t necessarily important in modern workforces. As long as mentors have experience that can help others learn, this is all that matters. For instance, younger employees can teach older employees about ever-changing technology in the workplace.
Successful mentoring relationships can also naturally create a rich multigeneration office culture by combining the top qualities of each participant. Senior employees traditionally have a great work ethic, loyalty and dedication. Whereas, younger employees may come to work with new ideas and passion. Together, they can make for a positive and effective team.
Research has shown that workers who have a mentor enjoy greater job satisfaction, and mentors learn from those they are guiding. But, mentoring in the workplace not only benefits the mentors and mentored, it also benefits companies with increased employee retention and knowledge sharing. On top of that, mentoring programs have shown to increase company diversity, with participation expanding minority representation in management-level positions.
Top Benefits of Mentorship in the Workplace
Something important to note is that mentoring relationships should never be forced. This can cause employees to resent the idea as an obligatory task. Instead, sharing the positive benefits with employees and offering to help connect them with a mentor, when and if they are ready, is most effective. To be prepared, companies should gather information about employee skills, communication styles and career goals. A major key to successful mentorship relationships is connecting employees who communicate well together, can connect on a personal level and are working toward attaining similar goals.
In the end, mentors need to feel that their time is valued in order to achieve a successful mentorship relationship. Those who are mentored must think of the experience as an investment in their growth, rather than a sure path to promotion.
Apprenticeships prepare workers for highly skilled construction jobs. Employers invest time and money in hands-on training, often along with regular classes. The model provides valuable real-world experience and educational instruction for workers who would like to break into an industry that is new to them. The end goal of an apprenticeship is attaining national skills standards and becoming licensed in a particular skilled trade.
There are many benefits to apprenticeship. However, many people often overlook apprenticeships, instead opting to attend college or beginning their career with an entry-level position.
Here are the top three reasons to consider an apprenticeship:
- Learning While Earning
Going off to college or a trade school can be a great educational experience, but it can cost a lot of money that many simply do not have. On top of that, it can be challenging to hold a full-time job in order to pay for expenses while in school.
Apprentices are paid a basic living wage (the national average is $15/hour) to start while also learning and gaining experience every day. As an apprentice’s skills grow, wage increases and promotions often follow.
- Access to Ongoing Mentoring
Apprentices are usually assigned a mentor who is an experienced construction professional. The mentor’s role is to help plan and guide an apprentice’s learning along the way. They provide valuable feedback and support to improve an apprentice’s skills and are always available to answer questions.
- Increased Future Opportunities
Being involved with the day-to-day operations of a business during an apprenticeship, which usually takes two to four years to complete, allows apprentices to make connections with many important people within the industry.
Future employers will also see the hard work that was required to complete the apprenticeship and will surely value that education and work ethic when considering hiring an individual.
In addition, apprentices have the potential to earn college credit toward a degree through their apprenticeship program, should they decide to work towards gaining an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree at a later date.
The apprenticeship model prepares workers to compete in today’s economy. The hands-on training keeps apprentices current with innovations and technology. Moreover, the majority of apprentices stay on as full-time employees upon completion of an apprenticeship, allowing for a successful long-term career with a competitive salary without college debt.
The RK Apprenticeship Program helps provide skills for a much needed construction workforce. If you are interested in starting an apprenticeship in construction, click here to learn more about what our program offers.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year was anything but predictable or normal. Predictions for 2021 are cautiously optimistic with a combination of positive and some negative growth for the construction industry, arguably one of the largest sectors worldwide. Although large hotel and higher education projects have declined recently, others have increased, such as healthcare facilities and warehouse construction to meet current needs.
Because of measurements put in place to keep everyone safe, businesses have had to change how they function and communicate both internally and externally, limiting in-person interactions. This has also caused delays in some projects. The need to know what is happening on a job site has become greater than ever. As a result, even in an industry that is otherwise resistant to embracing new technology, construction has seen an increase in adoption of construction-specific technology, from BIM to 3D-printing, facilitating a more versatile way of working.
Without further ado, here are the top eight construction trends predicted for 2021.
- Keeping focused on safety with continued social distancing, protective gear and enhanced protocols for cleanliness
- Increased hiring for seamless execution of current and unexpected future projects
- Implementation of construction-specific equipment and technology to supplement a declining workforce
- Expanded distribution and manufacturing facilities to meet current e-commerce demands
- More complex urban development and infrastructure projects
- Renewed focus on sustainability and renewable energy
- Expanded use of modular construction, increasing quality while also reducing costs and project timelines
- Increased construction cost and pressure on the bottom line, as net profits remain slim
Construction companies must prepare themselves for the uncertain future. Luckily, with many recent innovations already in place, the construction industry has begun to optimize processes in all phases of construction.
Key developments in the construction industry will likely continue to grow and change as we progress through 2021, and we look forward to it.
Digital Builder, 2021 Construction Trends: 20 Insights from Experts, 12.17.20
Construction Dive, 2021 Outlook: 6 Trends that Will Influence Construction this Year, 1.04.21
Chad Fisher Construction, Commercial Construction Trends For 2021, 12.07.20
Method:CRM, Key trends in the construction industry for 2021, accessed 1.19.21
Let’s Build, 5 construction trends you want to look out for in 2021, accessed 1.19.21
Culture is the character of an organization. It’s the values, traditions, behaviors, interactions and attitudes displayed every day. Workplace culture is to an organization what personality is to an individual.
Positive workplace culture attracts talented people, affects happiness, engagement and satisfaction, while also improving performance. A company’s culture is influenced by everything from leadership and management to workplace policies, practices and people.
When looking to work for a company, the primary factors are often the company’s brand value and compensation to employees. While many believe these are enough to attract talent, work culture often plays an even bigger role in retaining good employees. Workplace culture makes some places great to work and other places miserable. It affects relationships between employees and leadership. This can mean the difference between working with each other for the common good of the company or arguing every step of the way.
A company’s culture is so important in bringing out the best in employees even during not-so-great times. Negativity not only crushes creativity and an employee’s will to perform but also stops the development of dedication to a company’s success.
When it comes down to it, humans are relatively simple beings. Working in a positive environment with a good culture affects the way we think and how we act with one another. So, make your workplace a positive one!
RK strives to create a rewarding workplace for employees by hosting several employee-focused events and recognition ceremonies throughout the year, check them out here.
By: RK Water
In the second installment of “Understanding Dewatering,” we’re diving into the importance of representative groundwater sampling — one of the most undervalued aspects of temporary dewatering.
According to Pinyon Environmental, “The groundwater chemistry data collected for permit applications is often flawed because the collection techniques don’t adequately mimic the turbidity associated with the various construction means and methods. This results in either an under- or over-representation of the geotechnical impacts. And under-represented geotechnical condition could result in [the] under-design of the treatment system and [introduce] potential project delays and unanticipated costs.”
Groundwater sampling is essential because each of the following behaviors has the potential to distort groundwater treatment requirements by inadequately characterizing the groundwater chemistry:
- Reliance upon one test well for groundwater sampling.
- Only one groundwater sample analyzed for chemistry.
- Inadequate purging of the test well.
Be sure to uplevel the sampling process by taking heed of potential sample biases. A sampling event is merely a description of general chemistry at a specific moment in time. When test wells are installed, not only will the groundwater table vary according to each well, but the chemistry of groundwater will also fluctuate, sometimes drastically. Clay layering, bedrock, and underground rivers are below the surface, which is what causes naturally occurring obstructions; these obstructions can introduce chemistry variances that will be overlooked if only one test well is used.
Sampling activities over an extended period of time will provide a more accurate measurement of fluctuations in the groundwater table and its chemistry. Furthermore, water that is allowed to stagnate with soil, will naturally contain higher levels of heavy metals and other contaminants. Through proper purge procedure, or even extending beyond the minimum, it is possible to obtain lower levels of heavy metals in the sample.
Once dewatering commences, groundwater will begin flowing downstream according to the natural flow of alluvial groundwater. Research also needs to be conducted regarding existing dewatering permits in the vicinity of the project to validate results from sampling activities. More importantly, permits upstream of the project will identify the chemistry to anticipate through continued dewatering activities. In the end, it’s not always about the chemistry of the groundwater within the confines of your shoring, but what’s in your neighbor’s groundwater that may make or break a project.
By: RK Water
The use of steam boilers for industries in the U.S. is essential, especially when you consider they are used in highly monitored industries including food and beverage processing, medical facilities, power generation and sanitation. One of the main components in a successfully functioning steam boiler is the quality of its feed water.
In order to ensure proper operation of steam boilers, high purity water is required. However, through years of experience, RK Water has discovered that the single biggest issue in nonfunctioning steam boilers is poor feed water pretreatment, or, in some instances, no pretreatment at all. This leads to much larger maintenance problems.
TOP 3 REASONS FOR FEED WATER PRETREATMENT IN STEAM BOILERS
- Boiler failures result in operational downtime, repair and cleaning expenses
- Extensive scale deposits require more fuel for steam production
- Hot spots can cause boiler tube corrosion or failure
The evidence of poor pretreatment speaks volumes about the importance of having a scheduled service in place. A good boiler feed water treatment system will help you avoid costly plant downtime, expensive maintenance fees and boiler failures as a result of scaling, corrosion and pollutants in the boiler and downstream equipment.
If you suspect you are having issues with pretreatment, allow RK Water to take a sample of your feed water and run several tests to see what level of hardness is making it to your boiler. Our team can make recommendations, adjustments and even studies and analysis of your current system to see what best meets your needs.
By: RK Water
Before and during the excavation phase, project developers, architects, general contractors and other project partners take many considerations into account when planning the groundwork for a project including soil analysis, solar angles and other site-specific conditions. One of the most overlooked and under-valued planning activities involves an analysis of groundwater on the project site and how it may affect the project. This step is essential; those who skip it are at risk for project shut down or slow down due to unidentified water.
Dewatering is the action of removing groundwater or surface water from a construction site. It’s most commonly performed due to water that has accumulated during excavations or in places with a high water table. In these cases, the water must be removed for safety in order to proceed with construction as scheduled.
So, what’s required to dewater your next project? We will dive into four key pillars in future blogs to include:
- Representative groundwater sampling
- Flow rates and dewatering methodologies
- Permitting – Which one is appropriate to your project?
- Treatment methodologies
With proper planning, treatment of groundwater on construction projects can be a manageable process that allows your timeline to remain on track.
Did you know that RK Water provides temporary and permanent dewatering services? Our team treats a wide variety of water contamination issues in dewatering operations from Total Suspended Solids (TSS) removal to complicated remediation activities. RK Water approaches every project with a high level of engagement leading up to project commencement followed by unmatched field service during dewatering and remediation operations. Contact Steven Cummings at Steven.Cummings@rk-water.com to discuss a groundwater plan for your next project.