Scaling UP! H2O

126 The One That Explains where 120,000 Comes From

I think that one of the most chaotic fields out there is water treatment. Think about it. Most of your customers don’t understand it, and many water treaters can’t explain it. Everything can be perfect today and then be off tomorrow. Add to that the fact that most water treaters are only at their accounts every few weeks; there is just so much that can happen. Another entry into the race of chaos is that water is very dynamic; it changes. The system’s operational parameters also change. Change is the norm when it comes to water treatment. Because of all this chaos, I seek salvation in math!  

Did he just say that? MATH? Yes, I did. Math, albeit an unpopular topic or even a scary topic to some, is the only non-chaotic item we have in our world of water treatment. I know several out there in The Scaling UP! Nation! are not fans of math because they have not been properly introduced. 

I get the privilege of teaching water treatment math for The Association of Water Technologies. When I first started this endeavor, I found that people had a hard time embracing the concepts around some of our mathematics water treatment equations because they did not understand the equation. That is the secret sauce to my math class. Teach the equation to help make sense as to why it works. Basic algebra is as advanced as we get for 90% of all of the equations we use. So, I believe that when a person understands why an equation works, they understand the equation.  

You can’t talk about a water treatment equation without using the words “rule of thumb.” This is typically the answer someone will get when they ask to where a constant in an equation comes from. I guess “rule of thumb” sounds better than “I have no idea where that comes from.” My self-inflicted task was to find out where all of these rules of thumb came from.  

Today’s episode is the second time I have talked about math on this podcast. I get requests all the time for me to talk about math. After airing episode 116 about the system sizing procedure, I received very positive feedback on how explaining the equation or doing math on the podcast was welcomed. We are going to talk about one of the most used constants or rules of thumb we use in water treatment equations, 120,000.  



Radical Polymers [00:10]

AWT Business Owner’s Conference [01:43]

WQA Conference [06:36]

The 120,000 Equation [09:12]

Proving The 120,000 [13:45]

How To Simplify 120,000 [17:12]



“If you don’t take time out of your day-to-day to work on your day-to-day, you’re not getting better.”

“Doing something incorrectly quickly is not fast; it is slow. It will cost you more time, and it will cost you just about every other resource that you can think of.” 


Links Mentioned:

Rising Tide Mastermind

AWT Business Owners Meeting

Water Quality Association

111 The One with Eric Russo, CWT

116 Pinks and Blues: System Volume


Water Treatment education

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