Introducing Evan Mendoza

Pasco Plant Manager at IER

Introducing Evan Mendoza Pasco Plant Manager

Before coming to IER Evan worked for Lamb Weston for 15 years as a Production Team Leader, where he worked to ensure production schedules and goals were met while assuring the safety of his production team members.

Evan came over to IER in 2022 and took on the role of Plant Manager at IER’s Pasco plant.  In this role Evan oversees the day-to-day operations of the production and delivery of IER’s ALKA-Mag+.

In his time away from work Evan likes to spend time with his family, especially out on the soccer fields with his boys.

Want to learn more about our other team members? Click here!

Wastewater treatment plant

Magnesium Hydroxide for Improved Membrane Bioreactor Performance


The processes of treating wastewater have evolved dramatically since the Clean Water Act became law in 1974, resulting in scientific synergies that blend advances in engineering and microbiology to more effectively recover valued wastewater components.  For this reason, wastewater treatment plants are now called Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRF), producing clean water for reuse, nutritional solids for land reuse, and renewable energy – valuable resources!

This article describes a further synergy of engineering and microbiology with chemistry. More specifically, results are provided that demonstrate the dramatic benefits that can be observed by simply transitioning from the use of caustic soda (NaOH) to magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2) as the alkalinity agent in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) wastewater system.

In this discussion we will share:

  • How an MBR compares with the conventional wastewater treatment process
  • Results and benefits of switching from NaOH to Mg(OH)2 for pH control
  • Effect of magnesium on biofilm growth

IER News Issue 10 – March 2023

A Letter from Doug Kelley, President of IER

Headshot of Doug Kelley, President of IER

Hello, everyone. I am writing this message on March 20th, the last day of winter!  Let’s hope we’re finished with the snow and cold, as I am SO ready for Springtime – daffodils, crocuses, cherry blossoms, and thawed-out metering pumps and feed lines!

During the winter months, IER’s Operations Team has been working hard to make further improvements to our new ALKA-Mag+ Magnesium Hydroxide product, so much so that we have put together a short video for this newsletter to show you the enhanced reactivity of our 60% slurry product!  We love to use Vinegar as the “acidic wastewater” in our beaker testing, making it relatively easy to see the difference in reactivity of various alkaline products.  For instance, a Vinegar Test similar to the one shown in our video was used over a decade ago by one of IER’s customers to demonstrate how a dose of 0.6 g of IER’s 60% Mg(OH)2 provided the same resulting pH as 1.0 g of 50% NaOH.  While this was consistent with the stoichiometric calculation, it was the first time anyone had demonstrated that performance in a beaker.  By the way, that customer is still an IER customer – one of our best!  Nothing better than being able to learn new stuff every day right along with your customers!
Regarding learning new stuff, I’ve written a three-part article that summarizes the benefits of Magnesium Hydroxide for use in three general areas of wastewater treatment:  1) pH adjustment in pretreatment, 2) collections system odor and corrosion control, and 3) alkalinity for full treatment at the water resource recovery facility.  I hope you find these useful to provide new insights into the observed benefits of such a strong, but gentle, nonhazardous product.

Finally, this newsletter highlights one of IER’s newest Plant Managers, Ryan Smith of Muscatine, Iowa.  Ryan is developing into a strong leader in our Midwestern Region, taking great pride in the ability of his team to manufacture only the highest quality Magnesium Hydroxide products and to provide the highest quality delivery and technical service.
I am so very proud of IER’s growing team of professionals that are dedicated to helping our customers realize the benefits of Magnesium Hydroxide-based products to help solve global wastewater challenges . . . because (yep), Mars is for quitters!
I hope you enjoy the newsletter!

Ryan Smith, Muscatine Plant Manager

Introducing Ryan Smith

Headshot of IER Muscatine Plant Manager Ryan SmithBefore joining IER, Ryan Smith ran his own construction company that focused on finishing carpentry in new homes until the softening of the housing market in 2008.  Ryan then shifted his focus to a calf cow farm operation that he ran with his family; in that process he got a CDL to help with farming operations.  While continuing to farm Ryan worked for 4 years at a start-up company in Rock Island IL, before joining IER.

At the Muscatine Plant, Ryan worked his way up from a Service Technician to Plant Manager, where he oversees the day-to-day operations of product manufacturing and delivery to the customers.

In his free time, Ryan enjoys riding horses and spending time in the outdoors with his family.

Want to learn more about our other team members? Click here!

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).