Every modern consumer depends on water quality monitoring technology, either directly or indirectly. Water quality instruments are responsible for ensuring the safety and quality of food, beverages, household products, drugs, and natural water resources.
They’re also integral to the modern manufacturing process and to biotechnical, environmental, medical, and pharmaceutical research. In fact, for many top-performing industries, water quality monitoring equipment and standards are mandated by local and federal law.
Due to the versatility and necessity of water quality monitoring equipment, these products are sold by both B2B and B2C distributors in a variety of markets. Below, we’ve listed seven industries that rely on water quality equipment and the types of distributors that consumers seek out in each sector.
1. Process Manufacturing
If you’ve ever watched the show How It’s Made, then you’ve likely seen water being used at some point in process manufacturing. Even before the assembly line, water is used to refine and mold raw materials such as wood, plastic, chemicals, and metals for use in product manufacturing. To ensure the uniformity, safety, and quality of the end product, in-line meters are used to monitor and control water quality at various stages of production.
Process manufacturing also creates large amounts of wastewater—that is, water that has become contaminated due to use. Wastewater must be sanitized in order to be recycled back into the manufacturing process or released into a public water system. At this final stage in the manufacturing process, water quality testing is vital to ensure compliance with local and federal standards.
Distributors for this industry include: industrial equipment suppliers, wastewater management system retailers, food and beverage equipment suppliers, and manufacturing equipment suppliers.
2. Food and Beverage Manufacturing
In the food and beverage sector, water can be an end product, an ingredient, a processing tool, or a sanitizing agent. When you’re dealing with consumable goods, even the slightest amount of contamination can pose a serious health hazard to the consumer. For this reason, water quality must be monitored regularly throughout production and maintained according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards.
In addition, different beverages and ingredients have different pH control ranges, according to taste and other properties. Different electrodes are required to measure semisolids (such as yogurt) versus liquids, and accurate pH ranges must be maintained for both safety and quality-assurance reasons. Glass electrodes are typically favored for hygiene reasons, and in-line controllers and analyzers are often linked to alarms and chemical pumps.
Distributors for this industry include: industrial equipment suppliers, wastewater management system integrators and suppliers, food and beverage equipment suppliers, and manufacturing equipment suppliers.
3. Pool and Spa Maintenance
Individual consumers use water quality monitoring equipment to maintain sanitation levels in backyard pools and spas. Water quality instruments are used to measure the strength of the sterilizing agent in the water—typically, chlorine—and determine whether the water is safe for swimming.
Owners of backyard pools usually use portable testers to measure pH, oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), free and total chlorine, and temperature levels. Because glass can be dangerous to have in areas where people will be walking barefoot, most pool owners use portable meters with built-in electrodes, epoxy bodied electrodes, or glass electrodes in a bypass line. For commercial-sized pools, in-line meters are necessary to provide continuous monitoring and control of water quality.
Distributors for this industry include: pool and spa equipment retailers, in-ground pool and spa installation companies, pool and spa maintenance stores, and test and measurement tool distributors.
4. Environmental Monitoring and Research
Water quality monitoring equipment is the bread and butter of the environmental monitoring and research sector. Most environmental research agencies use a combination of portable meters for field use, benchtop meters for laboratory use, and in-line meters for continuous monitoring of drainage systems or other water sources. Some in-line meters need to be placed in weatherproof enclosures or floating buoys, so it’s exceptionally important that they can withstand moisture, dust, dirt, and other natural erosive elements.
Distributors for this industry include: environmental equipment suppliers, life science and lab equipment distributors, test and measurement tool distributors, and outdoor gear distributors.
Freshwater and marine aquaculture each have unique water quality requirements that must be maintained to ensure that fish and sea plants are able to grow and thrive. Fish and other aquatic species require certain levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) in order to survive—the amount of oxygen required depends on the type and volume of species present and the frequency of feeding. Measuring pH is also important because changes in pH affect water’s ability to transport DO.
In this industry, in-line meters are typically used to measure DO and pH levels and to automatically trigger dosing pumps and water agitators to maintain safe levels. Portable meters are also used to do spot testing to confirm in-line readings.
Distributors for this industry include: aquaculture equipment distributors, manufacturing equipment distributors, life sciences and lab equipment distributors, industrial and lab equipment suppliers, and test and measurement tool distributors.
6. Aquarium and Fish Tank Maintenance
This vast industry includes everything from SeaWorld-sized aquariums to the small one-gallon fish tanks you find in offices. Water quality and testing requirements vary depending on the animal species present. For commercial aquariums, in-line meters are used to provide continuous DO, pH, salinity, ORP, and temperature monitoring. As in the aquaculture industry, commercial aquariums also use portable meters to conduct spot tests.
For goldfish-sized tanks, aquarium owners usually look for low-cost portable meters that are easy to use and maintain. In this space, Bluetooth meters with built-in electrodes are often favored for their intuitive user interface.
Distributors for this industry include: aquarium suppliers, pet stores, life sciences equipment distributors, and commercial aquarium suppliers.
7. Wastewater Treatment
Wastewater treatment is more than just sewage treatment—it’s a necessary part of the modern agricultural, aquacultural, and product-manufacturing process. Treatment can occur in a stand-alone wastewater treatment plant or as a secondary function of a larger industrial operation. Wastewater typically goes through three levels of treatment to purge and sanitize contaminants that are present. Before wastewater can safely be released into local surface-water reservoirs or sanitary sewers, a variety of water quality tests must be done at various stages of the treatment process.
Because wastewater treatment usually occurs in sealed-off containers, in-line water quality meters are used to provide reliable, continuous readings from otherwise inaccessible locations. Some industrial facilities also have on-site labs and use benchtop meters to conduct additional tests.
Distributors for this industry include: wastewater management system retailers, food and beverage equipment distributors, and manufacturing equipment distributors and systems integrators.
Becoming a Distributor
Water quality monitoring equipment is a necessity for many top-performing industries. If you’re considering adding water quality instruments to your company’s inventory, make sure you research what features and functionality will be most relevant to your customer base. To learn about Jenco’s diverse line of portable, desktop, and in-line meters, and to determine the best fit for your business, click here.