The Bottled Water Insider
An inside look at the Bottled Water Industry, dispelling myths about bottled water and providing information to bottled water entrepreneurs.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
By Philip Collins, D.H.Sc., M.P.H.
(Originally printed in Mother Earth News. This is an excerpt of the full article.)
A number of years ago, the Swiss put together a fine mountain-climbing team, hopping it would be the first to scale Mount Everest. Many months went into the group's preparation because of the tremendous demands that would be made upon human energy in the effort to reach the top of the world. Unfortunately, despite all that careful planning, the Swiss team had to abandon the attempt because of sheer exhaustion, not realizing that a source of relief was covering the ground all around them.
A year or so later, when a group of British climbers undertook the same challenge, their team physician, Sir John Hunt, remembered that the Swiss had consumed only two cups of water per day during their assault on the mountain. Dr. Hunt recommended that the U.K. team carry additional snow-melting equipment, since he believed that the climbers would function better if they drank more water. He felt that when working in the thin, chill air, people lose a lot of water not only through perspiration, but also through respiration, because the air entering the lungs has to be humidified as it's brought nearer to body temperature. Therefore, the doctor insisted that each British participant drink a minimum of 12 cups of water daily. That team, headed by Sir Edmund Hillary, followed his advice and became the first expedition to plant its flag on the summit of the world's highest peak.
Little-Known Scientific Facts About Water
In order to further examine Dr. Hunt's theory about how water consumption affected endurance, a Harvard physiologist, G.C. Pitts, tested groups of male athletes by putting them on treadmills timed at 3-1/2 miles per hour.
The subjects in the first group were given no water at all and were asked to walk until they were so fatigued that they could go no farther. These athletes lasted about 3-1/2 hours. Their temperatures rose rapidly during the test period and, in the exhaustion phase, finally reached an average of above 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
The members of the second group were allowed to drink as much as they desired, and their temperatures didn't rise nearly as rapidly. However, after approximately six hours of exercise on the treadmill, as the men reached exhaustion, their body heat zoomed up.
Finally, Dr. Pitts chose a third group and carefully calibrated their water losses, replacing the exact amount of water lost (about one cup every 15 minutes) while the men were exercising. As a result, though they stayed on the treadmill seven hours, the test subjects did not experience a drastic rise in temperature nor did they reach exhaustion. In fact, when asked how they felt, they replied that they could go as long as the doctor wanted them to!
Several conclusions based on the benefits of water can be reached from these experiments. The first is that thirst isn't necessarily a good indicator of the body's need for water. You must, in general, drink more liquid than your thirst seems to call for. Second, there's a close relationship between water consumption and fatigue. Third, drinking water appears to have a significant effect upon the regulation of body temperature. And fourth, a more active person is in greater need of water because of the dehydrating effects of perspiration and rapid breathing.
Generally speaking, the average person loses at least two cups of water daily through the respiratory process. Another two cups are emitted through perspiration, even when no significant amount of physical work is carried on, and the intestines and kidneys together lose a total of about six cups during the day. So if you add it all together, you come up with a total loss of ten cups (and that's not counting any excess lost through perspiration during exercise).
The body cannot economize on water. Because temperature control has a very high priority in the body's operation, the human system will dehydrate itself in the struggle to keep cool. It's been reported that such fluid losses can actually reach two quarts a day in very hot climates, and people have been known to lose as much as 15 quarts in 24 hours. In fact, perspiration continues to provide cooling even when a person is dying of thirst in the desert!
As you do your day's work, put a cup of water in front of you. When it's emptied, fill it up again. You'll be astonished at how much you toss off without any difficulty. Make it a habit to stop and refresh yourself every time you pass a drinking fountain. Or try putting a pitcher containing your estimated daily requirement of water in the refrigerator, and periodically have a glass until it's used up.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Waters Brings Prosperity to Nigeria
Daren Waters loved his recent trip to Nigeria, because he loves visiting the people, the country and the culture. He also enjoys helping entrepreneurs realize there is a profitable business to be made in bottled water.
Daren has been helping grow Nigeria’s economy for the last 20 years, spreading the word about Norland International’s expertise in the bottled water manufacturing industry.
“When I go to Nigeria, it’s so people recognize our presence in the country,” Daren said. “We have staff located in Lagos, whose sole job is to help our African customers maintain their Norland equipment. With Norland, you minimize your downtime and maximize your profitability.”
During his most recent trip in February, Daren toured all over the country, visiting cities such as: Lagos, Ikeja, Lekki, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kaduna, meeting with 20 potential new customers and visiting old friends.
“During the visit I had multiple site visits with new factories, worked with contractors, electricians, members of the NAFDAC and even local banks to smooth out future business relationships between Nigerian entrepreneurs and Norland,” Daren said. “There is an increasing population in Nigeria and now is the time to invest in a growing market in the bottled/canned water business.”
One of the many new market opportunities Daren promoted was Norland’s new LinCan water canning system. Designed by American engineers at Norland headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska, the LinCan line can fill up to 60 cans per minute with distilled, flavored or carbonated water, juices or sodas. Norland also offers all of the distillation and purification equipment necessary for any business to put the best tasting product in the can.
“There’s still a huge market opportunity,” Daren said, “as Nigeria imports more bottled water than it can currently produce.”
If you would like to arrange to meet Daren during his next visit to Nigeria, currently scheduled in November, or if you have any questions about purchasing Norland equipment, please email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Dehydration linked to strokes
Dehydration linked to stroke damage
More than 795,000 Americans have a stroke every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
People who aren't well-hydrated when they have a stroke are about four times more likely to have a worse outcome than people who've had more fluids, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that stroke effects worsened or stayed the same in 42 percent of dehydrated patients after hospitalization for their stroke, compared to 17 percent of hydrated patients.
Stroke outcomes may be worse among dehydrated patients because their blood may be thicker than patients with adequate body fluid levels, according to study author Dr. Mona Bahouth, a cerebrovascular fellow in the department of neurology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
"I think we had a hunch ... that hydration would be a key feature for stroke patients," Bahouth said. "So it's not too surprising, but it's just the beginning. Now we need to figure out what to do with the [findings]."
The research is scheduled to be presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Stroke Association in Nashville. Studies presented at scientific conferences typically have not been peer-reviewed or published and results are considered preliminary.
More than 795,000 Americans have a stroke every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vast majority of strokes occur when a clot blocks blood flow to a portion of the brain. Strokes kill nearly 130,000 annually in the United States, according to the CDC.
Bahouth and her team collected data from nearly 170 people who had clot-related (known as ischemic) strokes at Johns Hopkins Hospital during a nine-month span. About 44 percent of patients were found to be dehydrated, based on results of two tests of hydration levels, according to the study.
The researchers used MRI scans to monitor brain damage from the stroke. They also tried to factor out possible effects from age and other variables. Even after adjusting the data, the investigators found that dehydration was still more likely to lead to worse outcomes.
Bahouth said that prior research found that about 60 percent of people are dehydrated when they have a stroke, but it's not clear why. While seniors tend to be more dehydrated than younger adults for a variety of reasons -- including a diminished sense of thirst -- patients in Bahouth's study averaged in their 60s, which is "still fairly young," she said.
Dr. Paul Bendheim, a clinical professor of neurology from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, said there are no hard-and-fast rules for staying well-hydrated, despite recommendations to drink eight glasses of water each day or similar advice.
"The critical thing is that people maintain frequent volumes of urinary output during the day, that they don't feel thirsty and they regularly consume sufficient liquids," added Bendheim, who wasn't involved in the new research. "We're all different in that regard."
Future research should examine how to best rehydrate patients after a stroke occurs and if doing so could improve longer-term outcomes, Bahouth said. Current practice advises caution in giving stroke patients fluids because some people may also have heart problems too, and if that's the case, then extra fluid could cause problems.
Bahouth cautioned that anyone who thinks they might be having a stroke shouldn't try to drink anything since brain damage might make it difficult for them to swallow correctly. That could cause them to inhale fluid into the lungs.
"A decision about fluids should be given at the hospital," she said. "The first thing to do is call 911 and come to the hospital."
Friday, January 30, 2015
Hold your water to a higher standard
The best drinking water doesn't come straight from the ground.
There are seven identified sources of water pollution, all of which make it necessary to treat life’s most precious commodity before we consume it.
In developing countries, up to 70% of industrial wastes are dumped straight into the waterways people use to cook, drink and bathe. Additionally, 99 million pounds of fertilizer and chemicals are used on farms around the world, and many of those chemicals make their way into the groundwater people use to drink.
Industrialized countries like America aren’t free of groundwater contaminants. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that up to 40% of our surveyed rivers, lakes and estuaries are not clean enough to meet basic uses such as fishing or swimming.
And even though many communities are required to provide clean drinking water to their residents, water treatment plants don’t remove everything. A joint research project between the United States Geological Survey and Virginia Tech discovered that petroleum spills cause drastically elevated levels of arsenic in groundwater.
Safety is at hand
Despite all the dangers that can be lurking in your glass, obtaining safe-clean drinking water can be easy.
Bottled water companies that utilize water treatment equipment like Norland’s Reverse Osmosis, distillation, vaporization and Ozone machines remove 99.9% of harmful contaminants.
RO, or Reverse Osmosis, systems are designed to produce low dissolved solids water from tap or well water. These systems use highly efficient RO Membranes and the resulting product is so clean it is used in everything from food processing to hospitals.
Vapor compression, water is heated the resulting steam is separated. The end result is high-quality, distilled water (less than 1 ppm TDS) at the lowest possible cost. Spectrum Vapor Compression Systems from Norland can produce up to 3,000 gallons a day and have 98% less waste water than other models.
For an easy read explaining the difference between vapor compression and multiple effect distiller, click here.
Last but not least, Ozone machines shoot a stream of ozone through water as it runs through a pipe, killing almost all biological organisms in the water.
Ozone is an unstable, colorless gas, a powerful oxidizer and a potent germicide. It has a much higher disinfection potential than other disinfectants such as chlorine.
Ozone consists of three parts of oxygen. Once ozone is generated, it takes a short time for it to break apart and return to its natural form of oxygen. As this phenomenon occurs, the free atom of oxygen will seek out any foreign particles in the water and be attracted to them. This action creates an environment where bacteria or organic matter virtually disintegrate when they come in contact with this free oxygen molecule. This in turn protects water from waterborne, bacterial contamination. Ozone is used in the bottled water industry because it controls the growth of bacteria in water. It is desirable because it can do this without leaving a residual taste, such as you would find with chlorine.
When you reach for a bottle of water that’s been purified by Norland’s equipment, you and your customers can rest easy knowing you are drinking the cleanest water possible.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
20 years of customer service & company growth
Richard (Dick) Schuessler is in a unique position to comment on Norland’s growth and development as a company. Hired in December 1994, Dick was the company’s second employee, brought on board by president Mike McFarland.
“I had been working as a salesman for another company, and found myself on the road more than I was at home,” Richard said. “So when Mike started the company and was looking to fill the position of Manager of Customer Service, I eagerly agreed to come on board a new and exciting venture.”
Over the next 20 years, Richard helped the company grow from its humble beginnings focusing on a core product to a world-class manufacturing powerhouse with three divisions and 65 (and growing!) employees.
Although Richard semi-retired earlier this month, he will still be around on a part-time basis to continue helping Norland succeed.
A proven record of customer service
Richard brought years of diversified experience with him when he joined the Norland family. He had an established background in sales and customer service, and electrical and industrial engineering in both the private sector and the military.
He has patents in the design of oscilloscopes, using ultrasound to detect cracks in human teeth, and at Norland helped design evaluations and testing of single effect, and high efficiency multiple-effect and vapor-compression water distillation systems.
“Distillation equipment was the initial machinery Norland produced and had great success in manufacturing and selling,” Richard said.
Initially, Richard’s main role at Norland was Managing Customer Service, the coordination and scheduling of customer start-up services and in-plant technical support services for Norland technicians who traveled around the world to help customers. He also provided after-the-purchase customer support for the full range of Norland equipment. Richard even traveled a time or two himself, recalling fondly his first international trip for Norland.
“I had the opportunity to help a customer in the setup, operation and training of equipment purchased from Norland.” Richard said. “Since that first trip, I have made many friends around the world by putting myself in the customer’s shoes and trying to help them find the solutions to their problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Richard was born and raised in Grand Island, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He went on to graduate school at UNL and obtained a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also met his wife, Phyllis, while attending graduate school.
Today, the couple have been married for 37 years and have two children, Erin and Jess, and one grandchild, Zion. Before joining Norland, Richard taught classes in Industrial Engineering at UNL. He also spent three years in the Army during the Vietnam era, where he was the project manager for the first use of fiber optics in communications.
During his semi-retirement, Richard plans on watching his grandson’s sporting events, listening to SW radio and playing fantasy sports with his son.
At Norland, Richard will still help out with customer service and scheduling customer start-up services.
“The environment here at Norland is very rewarding so I don’t plan to fully retire anytime in the near future, if health permits,” Richard said.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Siemers are doing business "The Right Water" way
1)Why did you decide to get into the bottled-water business?
We had a desire to diversify. When the opportunity to purchase an established water bottling and delivery business presented itself, we saw it as an exciting new proposition for our family to invest in, with growth potential. On July 4, 2011, we became the new owners of that business.
We further expanded the business in May 2012 with the purchase of our closest competitor and merged the two companies together under the new name, “The Right Water Bottling Company.”
2)How did you find Norland and why did you decide to purchase from us?
When we got into the water business, the bottling process was still very hands on. We felt there had to be a better way to bottle water that was more effective and efficient, while reducing the possibility of contamination. So we started researching on-line and found Norland. After contacting Chris McCormack and visiting the facilities at Norland, we knew that Norland was the best choice for us. Norland designs, builds and tests all of its equipment on site. There is a qualified person behind every step of the process, available to answer any questions or concerns, including technical support. And even though Norland is over 1,400 miles away from us, we consider them a “local” company that we can easily deal with.
3)You mainly use the Triton 160. How is the machine working for you? How many bottles a year do you produce? How has Norland’s customer service helped you over the years?
We started using the Triton 160 in March 2012, and it has been a fantastic machine for us. It has been a real work horse, simplistic in its use and maintenance. It has increased our productivity, and alleviated our concerns regarding possible contamination issues, and has even received high praise from our health inspector. Norland stands behind its equipment, and staff are always available to answer any service questions or concerns we've had, including shipping out parts to us in a timely manner to keep us up and running with minimal down time, which is extremely important to us.
In the 2 ½ + years since we've been using the Triton 160, we've bottled over 430,000 3 and 5 gallon water bottles.
4)How do you use your equipment? (What size bottles do you produce? Do you add flavors or minerals to your water?)
We are involved mainly with the production and delivery of the 5 and 3 gallon water bottles. We use the process of reverse osmosis with ozone to produce the purest drinking water. As of this time, we do not add any flavors or minerals to our water, however, with the set up of our new facility, we’ve allowed for the future expansion into this area.
5)Tell us about your business. How many employees do you have? How big of a territory do you cover? How has your business grown since you’ve started? Any plans for future growth?
We currently service a large area, delivering water bottles within a 125 mile radius to convenience stores, oilfield sites, schools, businesses and private residences, both rural and urban. We started with one business, one truck, then bought out a competitor, added 4 more trucks, 2 smaller in town delivery vehicles and more employees. We have 3 employees and ourselves, and deliver approximately 3,000 – 3,500 bottles a week. We are very hands-on owners, involved in the daily production, delivery runs and office administration. Our four kids, ages 12 to 8, put their time in too on a daily basis, making this a family oriented business.
Further expansion is underway with the renovation of a larger facility to accommodate our growing business. This will include upgrading the Triton 160 to the Triton 450, which will enable us to keep up with the demand. This will also reduce the need to hire more employees, as Alberta is currently experiencing a labour shortage.
In addition to the production of the 5 and 3 gallon water bottles, we are gearing up to produce 500 mL custom labeled water bottles. Our goal is to market this product to businesses, organizations, schools and community groups. Norland, of course, has supplied us with a complete SpectraPak 3000 bottling line. This includes the blow molder, unscrambler, case pack and shrink wrap systems, and we are very excited to start producing our own small water bottles.
In addition to the production and delivery of water, we also produce party ice, which we supply to liquor stores, convenience stores, and lake resorts, with peak ice season from May to September. This part of our business has also seen increased growth this past year, and we are currently looking to upgrade this process for next year to accommodate the growing demand.
We also have two self serve water dispensers for customers to use.
6)Any other thoughts you wish to share about your business, the importance of bottled water, or how Norland has worked with you to make your business a success?
Norland has been absolutely fantastic to deal with. Their staff is knowledgable, professional and a pleasure to deal with. We’ve been to the Norland facility three times in the past three years, and each time they have been very welcoming, like old friends. We are able to put a face to every name. They also understand our desire to grow our business, and offer valuable advice to help us do just that.
Norland’s technicians also attend on site initially to properly set up the equipment and ensure it’s running to specifications, and provide training on all of the equipment. We look forward to seeing the Norland team at our new facility to get us up and running.
Patrick McFarland at Norland has also provided us with oxo-biodegradable caps, which has allowed both us and our customers the ability to minimize our impact on the environment, while still maintaining a competitive edge. This is especially beneficial to our customers in the oilfield industry, who have received a bad reputation with their “dirty oil.”
They’ve also given us contacts to suppliers for preforms, shrink wrap, and cardboard trays, which has been invaluable to us, especially since we are just starting out with the small bottling line.
We would highly recommend Norland International to anyone in the water bottling business, and will continue to do business with them in the years to come.