How Will You Use It?

April 22, 2010

If you were at WQA Aquatech USA 2010 in Orlando in March, there was no way you could avoid hearing about the release of the highly anticipated results of the Battelle Study. If you haven’t taken a look at the study results, see “Battelle Benefits” on page 8 to see a summary.

The independent Battelle Institute performed accelerated life testing on various appliances and devices fed with both softened and unsoftened water, including household water heaters (gas, electric and tankless gas) as well as faucets, low-flow showerheads, dishwashers and washing machines. The focus was on potential efficiency improvements in the water heaters from softened water, and the subsequent performance and longevity improvements on other appliances and fixtures in the household.

The main findings:
• The natural gas savings from using softened water lead to energy and economic savings.
• Water softeners lead to lower use of natural gas, which leads to carbon footprint reductions.
• Higher hardness in water leads to greater energy consumption and greater energy costs.
• The use of a softener increases longevity of fixtures like low-flow showerheads and faucets, which clogged in less than seven days of accelerated life testing when using unsoftened water.
• Dishwashers and clothes washers using unsoftened water had noticeable scale buildup after 30 days of accelerated life testing.

Much of the environmental criticism that targets water softeners focuses exclusively on brine discharge and does not consider the system’s entire life cycle and its long-term benefits to the household. Now you can be confident promoting these efficiency and cost benefits with hard data to back them up. In some regions where water softeners are a point of contention, this information can be a timely tool to respond to negative press. If this is not a concern in your community, even better—get the word out before you find yourself on the defensive.

If carried out well, the Battelle study has components that can be implemented into all aspects of your business. Of course, direct advertising can feature the most powerful statistics (and Water Quality Research Foundation ads are available for WQA members), and the facts can also be incorporated to play a major role in sales presentations.

Also take into consideration more subtle ways to get the message across. You could dedicate a page on your website to the study results. You could feature one statistic prominently on your front page and provide a link to the rest of the results. You could print a statistic on the back of your business card, or have fact sheets to distribute to potential customers. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity. The quality research and authority behind the study are there; attach your name to it and reap the benefits.

What are ways you are planning to use the Battelle study? Let us know at [email protected].

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