219 Transcript

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welcome to scaling up h2o though podcast
where we scale up on knowledge so we
don’t scale up our systems the podcast
where we industrial water treaters
celebrate industrial water week together
nation my name is trace blackmore and i
have had the honor of celebrating
industrial water week each and every day
with you this week today is our final
day in the celebration of industrial
water week now last year i asked
everybody to make a water cake to end
their celebration take a picture of it
hashtag it so we could all see it and
let me know if you liked it well some
liked it
some didn’t if you want the recipe you
can go to episode
163’s show notes that episode has that
go ahead and try it if you didn’t try it
last year you can try it this year i
actually talk about the history of the
cake it’s actually pretty cool when i
did some research on it but i’m going to
make you do a little bit of work for
that and go through the scaling up
archives just like i have done this week
and i hope that you had the same feeling
that i do that every single year that we
celebrate industrial water week together
it gets better and i think that’s
because more and more people are
learning about this holiday
and the reason that they are learning
about it is because you the scaling up
are out there sharing the news and i
absolutely love that
today is all about the fact that we have
careers in industrial water treatment on
friday we celebrate careers think about
all the jobs you could have had that are
not this job and how lucky you are that
you are
in a career in industrial water
treatment as many of you know my dad was
my first teacher in industrial water
treatment but i didn’t go into water
treatment right out of school in fact i
was a financial advisor i worked for
mass mutual financial and i have to say
i got some of the best
sales training ever it was second to
none i still
use it today
now something they did is they made sure
that you were never uncomfortable they
drilled that out of you so you were able
to stay calm in any situation kind of
like sales training for seals i think
anyway not that i’m anywhere near as fit
as a navy seal but they were so intense
when it came to this training it was a
combination of great role playing
great critiques people would go on
appointments with me they would ask me
questions about how i thought it went
and after they got my feedback they gave
me theirs
it was
coaching back on episode 213 we talked
about coaching and i have to say
that massmutual and all the managers
that i had there and bill of episode 113
is going to get mad that i’m calling
them managers they truly were coaches
and they allowed me to become
excellent in sales and product knowledge
through all of that training in fact i’m
still using part of that in how i do
sales and how i train other people to do
water treatment sales but here’s the
i really didn’t like that job i gave it
about two years and then i went over to
another firm that firm was transamerica
financial services
now i had the most fantastic boss i
could ever imagine at transamerica in
fact he gave me more flexibility than i
have ever had at any job he gave me
support he gave me resources
the only thing was
i didn’t like that job either
i was not doing what i enjoyed doing and
i was actually good at it i was making
decent money
and my clients liked me and i liked my
clients but i just never connected
with that job well my dad and i would
have lunch every couple of weeks and my
dad said hey son you just don’t look
happy what’s going on and i told him
exactly what i just shared with you
and he said well have you ever
considered a job in water treatment and
i kind of chuckled and i remember
dad that’s not a real job
well my dad said a couple things to me
and they were all around yes in fact it
paid for the house you grew up in uh it
was a real job but the reason i didn’t
think it was a real job is because i
used to i used to play with my dad’s
test kit i used to make blue things turn
red i used to make green things turn red
i used to make all these different
into different colors and then i would
count drops well that can’t be a real
career and then in high school
i was physical labor i would carry
things for my father taking them from
the truck into the mechanical room and
that can’t be a real job but my dad sat
me down and he really showed me how
water treatment could be a very
successful and lucrative career he
shared with me
the company that he worked for my dad
never owned a water treatment company he
worked for the company that was the
first water treatment company that i
started working with and that company
was called national chemical and he
shared with me what the compensation
plan was and he told me that his vision
was that he would go out there he would
sell accounts which he was extremely
good at and then i would service them
and we did that for several years until
i transferred down here
atlanta and then that’s really where my
career started taking off but it all
started because somebody had a
with me
and talked about all the different
that i could have if i became an
industrial water treater and i hands
down think that was one of the best
decisions that i ever made
whenever my dad would talk about water
treatment he would always call it a
and just think about that word a craft
now to get our friendly dictionary out a
craft is defined as an activity
involving skill and making things by
okay so woodworking is clearly a craft
but water treatment thinking about why
he used this term has really helped me
define how i think of my career an
activity involving skill okay we know we
need knowledge we need skill to perform
all the tasks that we have to complete
as an industrial water trader so that
part’s pretty easy in the definition
but what about making things by hand and
that’s where i think the term really
takes on meaning especially for me
each and every day i practice water
treatment i make it personal i put
myself into everything that i do
i personally make what i touch better
and i personally take on making the
industrial water treatment industry
better i hope these are things that you
do too
i do water treatment by hand and how i
interpret that is i take pride in how i
water treatment
now i’m not sure if that’s why my dad
chose the word craft for all of those
but when i say it or when i think about
water treatment being a craft
i’m sure glad that that is the word that
he chose
because it really got me thinking
about how i’m going to be
this wonderful career
so i hope you’re asking yourself is
water treatment your career
is it your craft do you respect it
is it just a job and i hope it’s not
just a job if you can elevate it and
take pride in everything that you do
you are doing water treatment as if you
made it by hand
i’ve met so many people
hosting this podcast so many people
that have made water treatment their
craft now two of these people you’ve
heard from in the past
jim lauria and adam tank now jim’s been
on the show a couple times but jim and
adam join me back on february 21st of
2021 on episode 181
now they talk about being water
treatment professionals and here is an
excerpt of that show
and that’s the big thing that we look at
traces what what are the trends and uh
we try and build upon those trends in
the industry to understand
solutions around what adam’s company has
to offer what my company has to offer
and and that’s kind of where it starts
and and um that that’s kind of where our
writing begins at least you know for my
long-form blog posts and uh and articles
i try and start there because i think
that’s where people are interested in
finding out they’re not so much
interested in specifically what maisie
has to offer
unless they are of course but um you
know generally speaking i like to tell
the stories of of water from a you know
more general general aspect
a lot of the conversations that we had
you know as i’m thinking back on it at
the time i was running a water-related
robotics startup in san francisco and
jim served as a
mentor to me because of his diverse
background in water and so we talked
about things like you know who to hire
in the water industry and and how to
sell to water utilities and
what the real value of water is and how
you can price that in terms of your
product and so the the conversations
were were pretty diverse but like jim
said what we always sort of came back to
when you tell your story on water the
goal is not to pitch your yourself your
product you know your you be you focus
the goal is to be focused on the value
of water for everybody it’s a global
good that ultimately is critical for
life on earth and so if you can
always tie the strings
to that overarching mission of just how
important water is people will listen
now before we move on to our next
episode we’re going to look back on here
is today’s james’s mini challenge
hello scaling up nation and happy
industrial water week today’s careers
friday james’s mini challenge is
post a selfie of yourself on social
media along with the story of how you
got into industrial water treatment
as is often said you’re either born into
industrial water treatment or you fall
into it there’s rarely an in between i
fell into it
people also enjoy hearing how others got
into industrial water treatment it would
be nice as well if you mentioned whether
you recommended it to others or not
most of all be sure to share your
pictures on linkedin and other social
media by tagging it with hashtag iw21
and hashtag scaling up h2o
this is james mcdonald and i look
forward to seeing what you share
another industrial water treater and
someone who i have really gotten to know
well is sean mcgrade
sean was one of the first listeners of
the scaling up h2o podcast and sean was
one of the first members of the rising
tide mastermind and in my eyes is a
really solid water treatment
professional being part of the rising
tide mastermind i’ve been able to take
an active role in his career
and watch all of the things that he has
accomplished and he’s accomplished some
amazing things sean joined us back on
april 2nd of this year and he was
talking to us about why he chose water
treatment as a career
you don’t have to you know have some
real technical background to be
successful and to get into this industry
basically i was a building engineer for
a school district had been there for you
know roughly 10 years
i had been struggling i had been
thinking that this wasn’t going to
suffice what i wanted to do with the
rest of my life
so it just so happened
that the school district i was working
for was going out for bid and
due to this there was a couple water
treaters who came in to do surveys
while they’re doing their surveys i’m
kind of picking their brain
you know how did you get in the industry
you know i had talked to many water
treaters throughout my travels at the
school district and i’d always kind of
been curious you know what did these
guys do
to land this job you know
walking around with their test kit and
their you know magical power cape i was
like how do i become this person
so long story short during those surveys
i picked their brains and just said hey
i’m curious i’m interested what did you
guys have to do to get into this and
they basically let me know you know we
all have a different story
some of us are pipe fitters some of us
are you know got into sales or
accounting or real estate or whatever
and oftentimes as you know people kind
of fall into water treatment unless you
have you know family or a history that’s
something that is often passed down
but a vast majority of people kind of
fall into the role and once they’re in
it’s they typically never leave
so by the end of these conversations
they both offered me a job which i was
kind of dumbfounded
i didn’t expect that result and i talked
to a gentleman jay first so i wanted to
honor my commitment to him because i
kind of gave him a verbal commitment hey
you know i’m really excited thank you
for the opportunity
did not you know in my wildest dream
think the next person i talked to would
offer me a job as well
so i uh started working with jay over at
you know a mid market company
and my role was a service technician
and basically what that involved was
helping alleviate you know the load for
him whether it was
running pinks and blues helping him you
know without hit throughout his
and then they were also creating a
service division
to do some of these tasks oftentimes
water treatment companies
don’t necessarily help out with whether
you know cooling tower cleanings boiler
new control installs and piping and
i mean you basically name it so
i did that and worked under jay for
about a year and a half
throughout that time
i really looked at this role
as an opportunity to really make
something of myself i wanted to take it
to the next level so
i’d spend many nights many weekends
face planted in a book trying to soak up
as much knowledge as i could because i i
looked at it as my
ticket to really make something in a
lifeline if i could prove to you know my
supervisors that
i had the technical knowledge i knew
how to you know interact with customers
solve their problems
if i could gain a commitment from them
to become a rep that this would really
take it to the next level
another friend and fellow mastermind
member is thomas hardy we met tom on
episode 54 when we were celebrating
careers friday back in october of
2018. tom shared with us some of the
things that he learned about what makes
a good water treater
in our organization at this point we’ve
kind of built a structure of not only
running the company but also how we’re
hiring people that being said we’ve
found that
one finding people that are new to the
industry are the easiest because they’re
a clean slate to train we’ve also hired
people that have been in the industry
for a while i’d say the biggest thing
that comes along is i’m looking for
people that really uh besides normal
stuff that they know how to do the job
and can learn the skills that are needed
but that they could really fit into the
culture that we’ve built here at tarot
war so thomas i’m curious how do you
look for new people when you have a gap
and you’ve got to fill something well
first of all we’ve built a structure to
really kind of predict when we’re going
to need somebody because we’re
trying to trying to grow past the need
hire somebody at the last minute so once
we’ve can predict it and we can see that
hey in six months from right now we’re
going to need someone we start putting
out the resumes out there and we start
at people that are just graduating
college with degrees similar to the
field that we work in also put out stuff
out there into the industry facebook
linkedin everything out there and start
interviewing uh we do a phone screen and
then i usually sit with them we like to
get them out in the field for a day to
really witness the job and observe what
it is that they may be doing if they’re
interested because it’s just so much an
interview for them is for us
i know we all love detective h2o last
year we were introduced to his daughter
dr h2o and we fell in love with her as
welcome to dr h2o the case of hard
hilda helen oxidane phd cwt sat in her
immaculately white laboratory studying
the results of her latest scale
inhibition analysis of a new polymer she
had been developing it looked promising
she jumped a little when her smartphone
came to life in her lab coat pocket
ringing once twice
know only once she was too efficient to
waste time
hello dr h cho here the best water
treater this side of the ohio diagnosing
water problems for a healthier system
how may i help you wait a minute doesn’t
your father detective h2o say the exact
same thing how can you both be the best
water treater this side of the ohio we
live on opposite sides of the ohio river
now that we’ve gotten that cleared up
how may i help you well doc this is
danny down at waterton food and beverage
our softener is sick what are the
she’s not getting a full run she
produces hard water long before she
should we need your services doc we
heard you make house calls
oh yes i make house calls powerhouse
calls i will be over shortly
dr h2o arrived at waterton food and
beverage in her white late model
she removed her black test bag from the
trunk checked in with the front gate
guards and made her way to the
on her way to see danny the powerhouse
superintendent she stopped briefly to
peruse the powerhouse logbook she saw
several notes of the water softeners
producing hard water prematurely with
the units manually placed into
regeneration there is definitely a
problem here
doc you made it glad to see you you too
danny let’s take a look at this water
softener of yours
making their way down the stairs to the
powerhouse basement the water softener
loomed before them she’s actually two
twin alternating softeners but we see
her as one large piece of equipment
if you don’t mind me asking do you refer
to all of your water treatment unit
operations using feminine pronouns
oh no that aura over there is a he we’re
an equal opportunity offender here he
chuckled i see smiled the water doctor
dr h tool reviewed the water treatment
logs observing so both water softener
tanks are exhibiting premature hardness
breakthrough at approximately the same
time that means the likely cause is
common to both of them and not a
mechanical issue on an individual unit
itself let’s start at the beginning
though by doing an analysis of the
incoming city water i want to know if
anything has changed opening her black
bag she extracted her water testing
supplies and started running her
analysis on the city water comparing it
to her notes from previous waterton city
water analysis she observed nothing has
changed significantly with the city
water total hardness ph iron etc
all are basically the same
the free chlorine is higher than many
areas around the city at greater than 1
ppm but still within the city’s control
parameters by my calculations your water
softener is producing only 85 percent of
the design softening capacity and
wow doc i told you she was sick yes our
next step is to manually place the
online softener vessel into regeneration
observe the steps and perform an
illusion study to ensure proper brine
concentrations are being reached dr h2o
stood beside the softer drain line that
opened to the floor drain as danny
opened the control box and initiated a
manual regeneration
valves opened and closed the standby
software unit came online and the online
unit went into regeneration
the first step was a back wash to expand
the resin bed and remove any debris or
broken beads
on a smaller unit i could use a bucket
to measure the flow rates out of the
softener during each regeneration step
to ensure they meet manufacture
specifications or industry standards
with flow as large as this where that is
impossible one must fall back upon
observations instead of absolute
while the backwash continued dr h2o
inspected the brine tank and tested its
level of saturation with her sodium
chloride celometer
it was 100 saturated as it should have
she also measured the brine tank
diameter and brine depth the back wash
went through its entire cycle as
expected for as long as expected no
cause formalities so far
with a thermometer and graduated
cylinder in hand when the brine cycle
started dr h started recording the
salinity of the water every three
some people like to measure every five
minutes but i find i get a much more
detailed illusion curve every three
minutes sometimes the enhanced data
resolution helps
at the end of the brine cycle the slow
rinse cycle started dr h2o measured the
brine depth again while keeping an eye
on a slow rain cycle flow and duration
lastly the fast rinse cycle started and
she observed and timed as well
plotting the celometer data points on
her tablet computer danny watched over
her shoulder and asked well did you find
no this is a textbook example of what an
illusion curve should be it shows just
over 30 kilometer degrees for 30 minutes
per industry standards i calculated the
brine usage from the change in the brine
tank level and that is perfectly within
industry standards as well so far we
have a healthy specimen let me take a
closer look at the floor drain area
using the flashlight setting on our
smartphone dr h2o made a close
inspection of the floor drain do you see
this danny see what doc
these little broken resin beads there
aren’t many but there are a few you
don’t have a resin trap installed i see
which could have been helpful i think it
is time for a surgical approach let’s
open the standby softener up with the
other unit online we have several hours
before that one is due for regeneration
sure whatever you say doc
relieving the water pressure on the
standby softener danny opened the top
maintenance hole on the softener vessel
after inspecting the ladder dr h dual
climbed up and took a look the surface
of the resin bed was relatively even no
obvious signs of uneven flow or
the surface also looked clean and free
of debris
next she measured how far the resin bed
started from the top of the vessel and
marked this level on the side of the
there were no previous markings so it
was not possible to see if there had
been any change what do you see up there
dr h2o
so far so good now to take a core resin
improvising a resin thief with pvc
piping she drove it into the resin bed
and obtained the best representative
sample that she could pulling out her
magnifying glass she took a look at the
the color looks typical although without
a sample of the original resin it’s hard
to tell what color it truly was
originally i do see some broken beads in
here the doctor observed then she placed
some resin beads between her fingers and
begin to rub them around danny come here
what’s up doc
asked danny as he came running
watch this replied dr h2o and she rubbed
more resin beads between her fingers
they disintegrated that’s weird what’s
happening here we made our diagnosis
danny that’s what’s happening
your resin is breaking down due to the
over 1 ppm free chlorine in your
incoming city water the chlorine attacks
the polystyrene crosslinking in the
resin beads causing its moisture content
to rise and the beads to swell the beads
start to break and get washed out with
the backwash reducing overall capacity i
prescribe replacing the resin as soon as
possible i see is there anything we can
do to prevent the new resin from
degrading the same way that’s a great
question while there’s really no such
thing as a chlorine resistant softener
resin you can get resins with higher
cross linkings that will withstand the
chlorine oxidation for longer periods of
time you could also install
dechlorination technology upstream of
the water softener such as a carbon
filter i’ll work up a report on a few
our software should be on the mend
running a full capacity soon because of
you thanks dr h2o
dusting off her white lab coat and
picking up her black testing bag dr h2o
replied it’s all in a day’s work danny
healing water treatment problems is in
my blood
in industrial plants across sprawling
waterton where boilers get upset and
cooling towers operate at fever pitch
one woman has made it her calling to
diagnose their ills to soothe corrosion
mitigate scale disinfect microbes and
save water drop by drop that woman is dr
h2o best water treater the side of the
ohio one doctor that still makes house
powerhouse calls
that was originally aired october 9th of
last year on episode 163
and i love all of the detective h2os but
this one is my absolute favorite it’s my
favorite because that was james’s
daughter grace
now i don’t know if she’s going to
choose water treatment as her career but
because her dad has shared
all of these possibilities with her
maybe she will and the door is open
how many people out there don’t even
know that this is a possible career so i
want you to consider this
are you priming the pump for the next
generation of water traders
and if you’re not consider how rewarding
that might be
now to close out industrial water week
2021 here is james mcdonald
happy industrial water week everyone
while today may be the last day of the
week it is by no means the least
important day
careers friday
how do we pass on our love our passion
our knowledge to the next generation of
industrial water treatment professionals
industrial water week is about you
and those who come next
i genuinely hope you have taken some
time to celebrate this week
time to appreciate what we do
time to share with others what makes you
get up out of bed each morning
as this week draws to a close i
challenge you to think about the year
ahead of us how will you continue to
learn more
improve your skills
expand your industrial water treatment
network and share what you know with
you don’t have to do it all at once but
one drop at a time or as i like to say
drop by drop
happy industrial water week
nation i would love for you
to take a picture of somebody that has
really helped you in your career maybe
you can stand next to them and you can
post that maybe that takes longer than
maybe it takes you a week maybe you’ll
see them next month i would love if you
continue whenever you get that picture
and hashtag that to iw21
and hashtag scalinguph2o
there are so many people in our lives
that have helped us become the people
that we are today
and in fact something we can do today
is as soon as it’s safe to pull over go
ahead and text that person in your life
somebody that’s helped you out and let
them know that you just appreciate them
i hope you get a text like that someday
if you don’t get one today but i know
for sure
you can brighten somebody’s day and
letting them know what they did and how
it mattered to you
nation i hope that this is more than a
job to you i hope you love it i hope you
respect it and i hope
you make industrial water treatment
every chance that you get
i also hope that you help others at the
end of the day i think the only thing
that truly matters is our relationships
how are your relationships
are there some relationships that you
need to work on and why not start today
also are you being mentored by somebody
in water treatment if you’re not
call somebody today and ask them to
mentor you are you mentoring somebody in
water treatment trust me you know
information more about a particular
topic than somebody else does
reach out to somebody and ask them if
they want to enter into a mentor mentee
relationship with you
here’s the thing
if you enter into that relationship even
things you think you know because you’re
explaining them to somebody else
you will know them better
you will get better because you’re
making somebody else better we have so
many opportunities all around us i hope
you’re taking advantage of them i hope
you love this industry as much as i do
and i hope you’ve enjoyed celebrating
industrial water week i’ll be back with
you next friday for a brand new episode
of scaling up h2o happy industrial water
week everybody
nation there’s no doubt after listening
to this episode life is about
relationships and when you have quality
relationships that you can talk about
the things that you need to talk about
and get answers to questions that
probably nobody else you know can answer
life just has a way of getting better
those are some of the things that we try
to do in the rising tide mastermind and
if this sounds like something that you
should be a part of i urge you to go to
scalinguph2o.com forward slash
mastermind to find out if this is the
right group for you