Scaling UP! H2O

046 The One About Phosphate Testing

If you have ever listened to my show, you know I am totally dependent on your suggestions on what I should be talking about. Today’s show is straight from the “Scaling UP! Mailbag!”  You ask for it, so here it is… Phosphate…  (Tap…Tap) Is this thing on?

Yes, I said Phosphate. Believe it or not, questions around phosphate top my list of the most asked questions from the Scaling UP! Nation! So, who am I to argue.   Phosphate it is…

I have also taken this opportunity to play “Mythbuster” Scaling UP! Style. A few months ago, several blogs and listservs started talking about using a particular device used for digestion in phosphate testing. The device is called the SteriPen and it was developed for outdoor lovers to sterilize their drinking water. Many water treaters have found that it could be used as the ultra violet source in the phosphate digestion process (azole too.) The aforementioned post alluded that the SteriPens would not work for this purpose. Join me as I take the Nation! though how I explored these questions myself.

You will hear how I take my own advice of, “Trust but verify” (I think Ronald Reagan said that) when you get water treatment opinions.  I also get a little help from my friends (John Lennon said this one) by interviewing people that have been using the SteriPen and who developed the SteriPen.



Viewer Requested Show [00:35]

What Phosphate is? :01:00]

AWT Annual Convention [01:30]

Industrial Water Week [02:28]

Scaling Up! Nation Testimonials [04:27]

What are the different types of Phosphate? [07:15]

Building blocks of scale [11:26]

Testing Phosphate [12:34]

Kinds of tests for Phosphate [06:22]

SteriPen [22:23]

Techniques on testing [29:37]

Repeatability [33:05]

How SteriPen works? [38:01]

Batteries works with SteriPen [42:15]

Difference on SteriPens versions? [35:53]



“Take away on today’s show: Keep your ears open, read everything you can about what you do on a regular basis. ” – Trace Blackmore

“Trust me, every water treater out there has an opinion about how you do it, what you use. @traceblackmore.” – Trace Blackmore

“It’s great to hear what those opinions are but that’s all they are to you.” – Trace Blackmore

“Do something that allows you to believe in what you are doing.” – Trace Blackmore

“Improvements on Steri Pen is a huge time saver. ” – Trace Blackmore

“Episode 46 Tip: Make sure you bring extra batteries when you do Steri Pen tests. ” – Trace Blackmore



Steri Pen

Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Batteries

Eowpower 30pcs 50ml Plastic Vial Storage Container

The unboxing of everything you need to use the SteriPen in your Phosphonate and Azole testing

Augmenting your testing procedures for Phosphonate and Azole testing

Hach UV Lamp Kit, 115V

Taylor Technologies Test Procedures:  Phosphonate, Azole



Nation!  I misspoke about LSI and RSI on this show.  As I think you know, I am an RSI guy (so that’s how I think.)  Here is the breakdown of Ranges for LSI, RSI and PSI:

      • LSI Range: -3.0 – 3.0
        • >0=Scaling
        • <0=Non-Scaling
      • RSI Range: 1 – 12
        • <6=Scaling
        • >6=Non-Scaling
      • PSI Range: 1 – 12
          • <6=Scaling
          • >6=Non-Scaling

For more information on this, check out the show we did on it by clicking here.



Water Treatment education



2 Replies to “046 The One About Phosphate Testing”

  1. Chris talked about a 3 minute digestion period while using his meter and procedures. Is that the same if using the HACH meter and procedures.

    1. Hi Roger! This is Margie, your podcast coordinator. I know that this quite late, but here is Chris’s response to your question.

      “Thank you for your question about the digestion time for the Taylor phosphonate test.

      The 3-minute digestion is made possible by using the SteriPen product referenced in our procedure. The SteriPen (Taylor part #6656-RC), when used in conjunction with Taylor’s Sample Tube (9198), allows for a 3-minute digestion time, as opposed to the 10-minute digestion with the HACH UV system. Our directions could be seen here: file:///C:/Users/cgolden/Downloads/5853%20(1).pdf

      The Taylor R&D team found this improvement, and “our own” Trace Blackmore validated its effectiveness in his 46th podcast, “The One About Phosphate Testing.”

      In all transparency, this UV digestion method could be used with other manufacturers’ phosphonate and azole methods. If you use this with other testing equipment, please tip you hat to the bright Taylor R&D chemists who found this for us! However, our Taylor TTi®3000 colorimeter cannot be beat as a field testing device.

      Thank you for listening to Trace’s podcasts. I hope you find them useful. Try to catch Episode 033, that is the one where Trace and I have a nice conversation about water treatment.

      Best regards,
      Chris Golden, CWT”

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