IER News Issue 9
December 2022

IER News Issue 9 – December 2022

A Letter from Doug Kelley, President of IER

Hi Everyone!  It’s Christmastime!  I hope you all enjoyed Fall’s change of seasons, with Mother Nature giving us those glorious colors before going to sleep for a few months.  Now the snow is rapidly building in the Cascades, and the skiers are hitting the slopes!  Later this week we’ll have daytime highs of only 5oF in Spokane with overnight lows of -10oF – bbbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  

This is when we do our best to help our customers get through the cold weather months.  Please don’t ever hesitate to call on us if you’re struggling with the cold.  Nothing worse than frozen pumps and feed lines that can be avoided with a little proactive attention.

In this newsletter, we share a story about a customer that ran a trial of our new ALKA-Mag+ product right through the cold of last winter in an uninsulated thin-walled poly storage tank!  The quality of ALKA-Mag+ along with their proactive efforts definitely helped them make it through the winter without losing chemical feed.  The ability to maintain reliable feed of a slurry product regardless of the weather was critical, as wintertime in Washington state is the time of year when incoming flows are at a peak and alkalinity is at a minimum.

Since the terms “pH” and “alkalinity” are used so closely, we thought it would be good to include a short technical discussion on the difference between the two.  Hopefully it will help to better understand the importance of maintaining a strong buffer in your wastewater processes so that incoming “surprises” will not result in upset conditions.

Finally, in this newsletter you will be introduced to my better half, Theresa!  Being a relatively small company, members of our Administration Team need to “wear many hats” in order to keep the rest of us organized, and Theresa is amazing in her ability to manage our bookkeeping, accounting, and HR functions . . . not to mention helping to keep me pointed in the right direction!

Introducing Theresa Kelley

Prior to working at IER, Theresa was an administrative assistant and bookkeeper in the Skagit Valley area just north of Seattle, working for numerous companies in car sales, manufacturing, private flight services, and a college.  Most recently she decided to obtain her Paralegal Associates Degree and joined a Yakima, WA law firm.

Theresa began work at IER in January 2016 as a part-time administrative assistant.  When IER’s previous bookkeeper retired in early 2020, She accepted the challenge to become IER’s Full Charge Bookkeeper, providing invaluable support and guidance through the sale to Calix and the expansion that IER is currently undergoing..  Theresa is now in the process of transitioning back to a part-time role while maintaining a focus on HR and accounting responsibilities.

She enjoys a relaxing evening at home with a glass of wine and a TV show, or the occasional night out with music and friends.  Theresa is looking forward to less work hours and more time for a regular gym routine, book reading, bible study, visiting family, and exploring the world.

IER News Issue 8 – July 2022

A Letter from Doug Kelley, President of IER

Welcome to IER’s Summer 2022 Newsletter!  Hoping all are enjoying some much needed downtime with family and friends, either by taking the opportunity to further explore the mysteries and wonders of this incredible planet, or by relaxing quietly at home with a house or yard project, or simply enjoying a really good book that you can’t put down.  Whatever your inclination, I hope your summertime is exactly what you need!

IER is using this summer to roll out the formal name change from AMALGAM-60 to ALKA-Mag+ for our new and improved 60% magnesium hydroxide product.  Customers that currently use AMALGAM-60 will be getting an email describing this change and making the paperwork transition as simple as possible.  We are especially excited that one of IER’s municipal customers will be giving a regional seminar this Fall on the cost-saving benefits of ALKA-Mag+ in their membrane bioreactor treatment process.

We will also be sharing a short article on how the term “MagOx” gets thrown around loosely in the industry, providing a deeper understanding into the chemistry differences of magnesium oxide and various magnesium hydroxide products.

Finally, we introduce you to a key player in IER’s growth.  This person began as a Delivery Specialist at our Pasco, WA plant and developed into a Plant Manager now poised to leap into a new growth region!  He came to IER from a military background and expertise in diesel engine maintenance.  Now he is one of IER’s most highly trained experts in the manufacturing of our new ALKA-Mag+ slurry technology!  And he has the coolest last name ever!

Introducing Asa Thunder Eagle

Before joining IER Asa served his country in the U.S. Army as a mechanic with multiple deployments. After his service, he spent 5 years working as a night foreman for a diesel mechanic shop.

From there Asa took a job as a Diesel Mechanic Instructor at WyoTech in Wyoming.  During this time he got his CDL and started driving long haul loads.  With this wealth of mechanical and truck driving experience Asa joined the IER team in 2019 as a trucker driver.

At the Pasco Plant, Asa worked his way up from being a truck driver to the Assistant Plant Manager, where he played a key role in the development of ALKA-Mag+.  In the near future Asa will be moving to the Midwest to become the Plant Manager of IER’s newest hydration plant.

Asa looks forward to family time, whether it’s building things with the kids, just hanging out and throwing the ball around with the kids and dogs or eating his wife’s homemade spaghetti.  But nothing beats listening classic rock while working on his 1957 GMC Suburban, a former ambulance from Wyoming, with his service dog Patriot by his side.

IER News Issue 7 – March 2022

A Letter from Doug Kelley, President of IER

Welcome to Spring of 2022, everybody!  I thought I’d begin this letter by sharing the core values of who we are as a company, and as a division of our global parent – Calix Limited.  We have defined our core values using the word SPIRIT, as described below:

Sense of urgency means we embrace the rate of change necessary to minimize the effects of climate change and are committed to making a sustainable future a reality for all.

Positive impact is what drives us to work every morning – driven to use our unique skills to repair, maintain, and prevent future harm to our planet.

Innovation reflects our ability to think outside the box, to challenge each other, and adapt quickly to new opportunities.

Resolute means we are a purpose-driven company and determined to make a positive difference for the long-term.

Inclusive means we are fostering a diverse and inclusive culture, which is not just a moral imperative but a foundation to driving innovation and business success.

Teamwork is at foundation of our SPIRIT. We are a down-to-earth, caring, honest, ingenious and dedicated team of people united to solve global challenges.

In this newsletter, you will be introduced to an IER team member who embodies our SPIRIT, who has been with us for many, many years, providing his expertise and overall handyman skills to lead our manufacturing growth, as well as helping to identify opportunities for improvement in product quality.  No one knows better than the Plant Manager about the day-to-day variations in product quality, interacting closely with Plant Operators and IER Truck Drivers for their feedback on “how things are running”.  He has shown a fantastic ability to get the most out of his team with his willingness to lead by example when times are tough, and to show respect for all each and every day.

We are also highlighting in this newsletter the development of our new magnesium hydroxide product formulation that was born from the synergy of IER and Calix expertise!  You will learn about the development and performance of ALKA-Mag+ – our new 60% Mg(OH)2 formulation for addressing odor, corrosion, and FOG control in collection systems.  We are extremely excited about this achievement to provide dramatic cost and performance improvements for troublesome problems in the collection system, while simultaneously improving the nature of the sewage entering the treatment plant.


Introducing John Strong 

John Strong has literally been the man most responsible for building IER!  Since joining the company in 2007, John has been the primary IER Manager responsible for the design and construction of IER’s manufacturing plants, including the Centralia WA plant which he currently manages.  No one within IER knows more about the day-to-day operations of IER’s facilities than John, and he has been a tremendous resource for training new IER Plant Managers and Operators.

As a teen, John started working for a family plumbing business, where he obtained his welding certificate and learned the ins and outs of the industry.  From there, he went on to own and run a cattle ranch in Oregon, while at the same time learning to install satellite TV systems.  He decided to leave the ranch behind and moved up to Coeur d’Alene to install satellite TV’s and hot tubs, where he developed a strong understanding of electronics.

In 2007, John brought his overall handyman skills to IER were his foundational knowledge and experiences gave him the ability to lead the building of IER’s new manufacturing plants.  As IER is currently undergoing another strong growth phase, John’s expertise is again being called into action as we look to expand our product and service offerings to new locales.

Outside of work, John enjoys spending time woodworking and upgrading his old Chevy’s (71’ Nova and 80’ El Camino).

IER News Issue 6 – December 2021

Introducing Talon Hutchinson

Talon joined IER in 2017, after working several years working as a nuisance wildlife control specialist and arborist.

Talon drives from our Centralia plant to our customer sites and has been an important part of the team over the last few years. His role and responsibilities go well beyond delivery, as he provides installation support to our customers, and also assists the plant manager when needed.

Born and raised in the Olympia, WA area (20 mins north of Centralia), Talon now lives in Rochester, WA, where he enjoys hiking, gardening, remote control hobbies and spending time with his two beautiful children.

IER News Issue 5 – October 2021

A warm welcome to our fifth Newsletter.

A Letter from Doug Kelley, President of IER

“So, just a few months ago we thought we had COVID in the rear-view mirror, but along comes the Delta variant, and the battle goes on. Massive forest fires in the West and record-setting floods in the East. As this is likely our new normal, we’ll need everyone globally to pull together around the foundations of science to address these challenges.

My thoughts and prayers are particularly focused on those in communities most ravaged by the increasing power of nature.

In the midst of this battle, IER has added some troops! Joshua Howard and Scott Langner have joined IER’s team of regional experts, bringing their knowledge in wastewater operations and technical problem solving to serve IER’s customers. With Joshua in Houston and Scott in Sioux Falls, IER has dramatically expanded our resources to support our Midwestern customer base. Welcome to the team, Joshua and Scott!

As we expand our sales and service team, we know that we can always rely on tremendous support from the home front – our Administrative Team! In this newsletter you’ll be introduced to our long-standing Customer Service Manager, who cares deeply about each customer’s needs and strives to orchestrate the very best logistical solution even under emergency situations. In the world of wastewater treatment, especially for our industrial customers, there are times when the bacteria in the plant are behaving dramatically differently today than they were yesterday. This could be due to a seasonal upset, or perhaps someone up in the plant dumped a chemical down the drain that they shouldn’t have. It takes an extremely committed and capable administrative person to juggle all the internal and external resources in order to meet the fluctuating needs of our growing customer base.

We are also highlighting in this newsletter the tremendous benefits of IER’s Magnesium Hydroxide products for controlling odor and corrosion in sewer lines. We refer to this application as “killing two birds with one stone”, meaning that by feeding AMALGAM-60 (60% Mg(OH)) into a lift station for collection system odor and corrosion control, the increased pH and alkalinity entering the treatment plant greatly minimizes or eliminates the need for added alkalinity in order to maintain effective nitrification. We hope you enjoy reading this technical story!

While the COVID battle continues, we encourage all to follow the guidance of science and to be as thoughtful as possible toward the health and safety of all those we encounter. This philosophy is identical to IER’s philosophy of providing sound scientific solutions while supporting our customer’s applications with world-class technical service. These times are still far from “normal”, but we can best reach a successful new normal by pulling together around the foundations of science.”

Introducing Karen Kurle

Karen Kurle previously worked as an international account manager, assisted the trade show manager for an electronics firm, and assisted the safety director for a truck brokerage company.

Since joining IER in 2005, Karen has contributed to the health and wellbeing of the company, her teammates, and our customers by taking on numerous responsibilities including customer service, bookkeeping, purchasing, scheduling, dispatching, inventory control, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and maintaining DOT and driver records.

Today Karen is IER’s Customer Service Manager and her priority is to ensure every customer’s request is researched and answered in a timely and professional manner. If you call IER, Karen will always be there with a smile and her full attention.

Outside of work, Karen enjoy spending time with my family.