IER News Issue 1 - September 2020

IER News Issue 1 – September 2020

A warm welcome to our very first Newsletter.

A Letter from Doug Kelley, President of IER

“IER is thrilled to become a new member of the Calix Team of global wastewater experts!  As part of this team, we are excited to launch our new website and the first issue of a quarterly Newsletter, both of which are designed to help municipalities and industries solve their wastewater challenges by optimizing financial, safety, and environmental factors.

We have signed you up for our Newsletter hoping you’ll find in its contents an occasional nugget of value that specifically addresses a need or goal to help your organization succeed.  If you find that what we offer is not for you, simply click ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of any email.

For any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please contact us.

Thank you! “

Chemistry 101 – Better pH and alkalinity control

A very informative, yet brief session from Dr Doug Kelley, one of the field leaders in pH and alkalinity control. Doug outlines the basic chemistry that lies under the pH measurement and how alkalinity and other chemicals can affect your process.

In an interview with Michael Wheatland, Doug will go into detail about the differences between using caustic, lime and soda ash for pH control and the cost benefits of using Magnesium Hydroxide products.

Fighting COVID-19 on the front lines of wastewater management

Wastewater management professionals are playing a silent-yet-crucial role in the fight against COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.

One of the most important preventative actions people can take against COVID-19 is to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly. While consumers expect clean water to come out of their taps on demand, they often aren’t aware of what goes on behind the scenes to keep that water clean.

Wastewater treatment plays a pivotal role in public health. Regular wastewater treatment methods are sufficient to protect against infection through water. Wastewater is, therefore, a critical activity and the work being done by wastewater treatment plant operators is essential in this race against COVID-19.

These workers are the silent heroes behind the scenes of this pandemic, showing up to work every day and ensuring that clean water is available to help maintain strong hygiene practices to avoid infection.

Wastewater treatment is also a vital service because of the role it plays not just in keeping cities and towns sanitary but also in solving some of the humanitarian challenges being faced globally. More than half the global population lacks access to clean water, and three quarters of households in developing countries don’t have access to somewhere to wash with soap and water. This could become significant as COVID-19 continues to spread; handwashing with soap and water is one of the key ways to avoid infection.

Water infrastructure is underfunded according to the UN, despite the essential role it plays in maintaining sanitation and healthy living conditions. Treating wastewater is expensive but it can deliver a strong return on investment, particularly when wastewater is used to generate biogas for clean energy.

Given the exceptional importance of ongoing and reliable wastewater treatment, IER would like to thank all those in the wastewater industry who continue to work during these challenging times to help ensure public safety. 

Improving water quality sustainably

We often take access to clean water for granted but the same isn’t necessarily true all over the world. As industrial emissions continue to increase, global warming contributes to worsening drought conditions, and urbanization proceeds at a rapid pace, maintaining the quality of available water is quickly becoming a significant global challenge.

The United Nations has included clean water and sanitation among its SDGs, indicating its importance on a global scale. According to the UN, millions of people including children die every year from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene. More than two billion people are living with the risk of reduced access to freshwater resources and, by 2050, at least one in four people will live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.

Without effective and sustainable management of water and wastewater, agriculture, mining, and manufacturing industries could suffer.

In helping improve the sustainability of wastewater treatment, IER can help these industries minimize their environmental impact, protect valuable water sources, and reduce operating costs.



The impact of poor wastewater management is often highly publicized. For example, dying fish in the Darling River showed what happens when high-nutrient run-off from farms creates an environment where blue-green algal blooms form, depleting oxygen and releasing toxins into the water.

Using a solution such as Magnesium Hydroxide can help remediate water and wastewater, reducing or eliminating smells, reducing blue-green algae, reducing the amount of sludge in the water, and changing the composition of the sludge from anoxic to aerobic.

Prevention includes treating wastewater from industries and farms. This allows the treated water to be recycled which can help cut down fresh water use, with the waste load from the wastewater also convertible into biogas that can be used to produce electricity or heat. Using an anaerobic digestion process, the organic matter in wastewater can be converted into biogas, which is then combusted to produce energy. Businesses can use this energy to offset their own energy costs and feed any excess back into the grid. This saves money and potentially unlocks a new revenue stream.

Managing wastewater is also an increasingly critical challenge for water authorities. As sewer system ages and expands, the number of odor complaints and potential health and safety hazards also keep ramping up. As this infrastructure copes with increasing amounts of wastewater, water authorities are looking for safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly ways to minimize its impact. Like industrial businesses and farms, water authorities can address this challenge while also turning wastewater into energy.

Using Magnesium Hydroxide, water authorities can eliminate odor issues from wastewater, more effectively break down low-density, large-chain fatty acids (which can then be digested by the bacteria in the wastewater), and improve the quality and quantity of biogas created by anaerobic systems.

With cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, and non-toxic solutions available today for industry, farms, and water authorities, it is possible to dramatically improve the way we look at wastewater treatment, because there is only one Earth… Mars is for quitters.