Dan Wilkinson on Providing Specialized Solutions for Pharmaceutical Clients

We can’t do our job by looking up in a textbook,
a solution. So what we really have to do is apply our
knowledge and our understanding of wastewater treatment and technology, and figure out what
that solution is. So there’s a process we go through and often
that involves doing treatability work. In our office in Raleigh, we have a treatability
lab set up to do bench scale biological and chemical/physical experiments. Whenever we’re doing anything that’s unique,
we feel it’s very important as proof of concept to demonstrate on a bench that the application
will work. We might set up a series of biological reactors,
and run things on a bench to show what’s going to happen. Then we take that information to the client
and say, “If you’re going to do this combination of things, here’s data that shows you what’s
going to happen.” That allows us to make technology selections
where we have data to show that it’s going to work. We work at a lot of different sites and we’ve
seen a number of examples where people did not do that, and they got themselves in trouble
by installing the technology that really wasn’t appropriate for the situation. It seemed to make sense when they selected
it, but because they didn’t do any proof of concept testing, it didn’t work out very well. For example, I worked at a project in South
Carolina, where it took people almost a year to do this because it’s habit. People are ingrained into doing a certain
thing. So it took about a year working together to
get their trust and have them actually begin to change the way they work. But once they did that they saved almost $300,000
in chemical costs. In this particular project, there was no capital
at all; it was just a straight savings to the bottom line. People above them love it because it saves
money. And from a business perspective we get a friend
for life.

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