BEAMAEnergy has formed the Domestic Water Treatment Association (DWTA) and is actively seeking to expand its membership to provide an inclusive and focused approach to promoting the interests of the chemical water treatment sector.
The DWTA has three founding members: Fernox, Kamco and Sentinel. Its initial work plan has been dominated by the development of a chemical treatment quality approval standard and application code of practice.
The new association launched a comprehensive consultation process for the standard and the code of practice during early November 2004. A consultation meeting was held on 9 November to discuss, and agree, the suitability of the standard and the code, with a cross-section of equipment manufacturers and contractor representatives.
Alongside this activity, the DWTA has been developing its response to Part L of the Building Regulations. Both the standard and code have been referenced in the response.
Based on previously agreed draft BS testing methodologies, the DWTA’s industry standard concerns the use of chemical treatments in primary water systems, while the new industry code of practice supplements its introduction, steering installers towards it when specification is appropriate.
DWTA director Kelly Butler says: “Presently in final draft form, the development of our industry standard and code is a significant leap forward, as the overall water treatment sector has been trying to reach agreement on this issue over many years – without success.
”Our consultation process is across the industry, via the HHIC, equipment manufacturers, contractor bodies and key Government agencies.
“It’s essential to have an industry standard - and complementary code of practice - for appropriate manufacturing and application best practice.
"Without one, products not reaching acceptable performance quality can negatively impact on a market - and consumers fail to realise any return on the promised benefits.
“Of major concern is the industry’s need to ensure that poor quality products do not cause damage to a heating system (e.g. the boiler). Our code will ensure the products are correctly applied.”
Butler continues: “With Benchmark’s recent decision to reconsider its membership criteria, this is an important step towards establishing an impartial, inclusive, platform for the chemical water industry to re-define membership and resurrect the scheme.
“Establishing minimum quality standards will kick-start Benchmark again.”
CODE OF PRACTICE:
The DWTA’s first chairman, Ernie McDonald, European director of Fernox, believes the code of practice provides a more current reference source than BS7593.
He comments: “Taking into account modern cleaning methods, including power flushing and measurement instrumentation, it encompasses the spirit of Building Regulation legislation in ensuring maximum system efficiency.
“We want products made and installed, which give best heating system performance for the paying customer. Manufacturers of products not meeting the required level laid down in our simple, and previously agreed, testing methodology should question if they are serving the customer’s best interests.
“Our objective is to have an entry-level standard not requiring endorsement by a boiler manufacturer, but ensuring the customer receives enhanced system performance.
“We are striving for an industry manufacturing and application benchmark, with which everyone agrees, and adheres to. Compliance with the standard is neither financially or technically onerous for companies manufacturing and/or supplying chemical water treatment products.”
POSITIVE SUPPORT FOR DWTA INITIATIVE:
Already the DWTA initiative has received positive support from organisations:
Helen Beardsley, trade marketing manager, Energy Saving Trust comments:
“The EST welcomes this DWTA initiative. The argument for using chemical water treatment products within a wet heating system is well covered, but ensuring quality performance and the system efficiency benefits that brings for the customer is now firmly on the agenda.
“We are particularly pleased, because establishing minimum performance standards for products and installation, allows us to develop the best practice levels that lead to eventual Energy Efficiency Recommended endorsement.”
Peter Thom, chair of the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes Heating Strategy Group adds: “I welcome this initiative from this section of the industry to harmonise the performance standards for chemical water treatment products.”
Bill Bucknell, chief executive, Institute of Domestic Heating & Environmental Engineers, reinforces the support for the DWTA’s work and objectives:
“I am all in favour of an organisation (DWTA) that will bring some clarity and order to the water treatment and system cleansing market".
MORE ABOUT DWTA WORK:
Domestic water treatment is the generic term for products preventing the corrosion and scaling of ancillary pipe-work and equipment within a heating system.
As system corrosion and scaling differs regionally (different water types), the DWTA standard works on the basis that an inhibitor must ‘inhibit’ i.e.‘be significantly better than water in all water conditions’.
A main DWTA objective is communicating to the heating industry and consumers, the importance and benefits of chemical water treatment on the energy efficiency and longevity of heating systems.
DWTA chairman, Ernie McDonald continues: “Our aims focus on establishing chemical water treatments as best practice for heating systems.
“Domestic water treatment plays a crucial role in maintaining the efficiency and efficacy of central heating systems for consumers.
“With Government focusing on energy efficiency, the need for effective system cleaning and inhibition will increase. Following the inclusion of water treatment in the Building Regulations Part L consultation, the time is right for domestic water treatment companies to demonstrate they make an invaluable contribution in this field.”
The DWTA has been formed under the umbrella of BEAMAEnergy, the home of the heating controls association TACMA, and the Thermostatic Mixing Valves Manufacturers’ Association, TMVA.
BEAMAEnergy director, Dr. Howard Porter, added: “DWTA allows the industry to establish positive relationships with Government, the Energy Saving Trust and the HHIC.
“The association invites all manufacturers and suppliers of chemical water treatment products to join. The DWTA is playing a significant role offering many benefits.”