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Hydrochem chief welcomes unusual findings by Malaysian water specialists


A WATER treatment boss says an unusual discovery in the Far East underlines the fact that research into contaminated supplies is constantly improving.

Bill Abbott is Managing Director at Hydrochem, one of the UK’s longest serving water treatment firms, having set the firm up in 1987 after a spell working in the Middle East.

Bill keeps abreast of innovative treatment processes, and claims a discovery made by research teams in Malaysia is proof that the whole of the water treatment sector is continually developing.

During a recent research programme, scientists in Malaysia learned that crab shells are effective in removing copper and cadmium from contaminated waters.

Those elements are often diverted into water supplies through industrial activity, but now the discovery has been made it is hoped that the contamination can be reduced.

Copper in water supplies can cause health problems such as general sickness, while cadmium leads to kidney irregularities.

While general water treatment reduces the risk, the latest development from Kuala Lumpur has seen the scientists test the effectiveness of using crab shells to absorb the elements.

Bill said: “It is fascinating to read this sort of research, and it just goes to show that no matter how well versed you are in water treatment and the risk of contamination, there are constant developments.

“This particular finding has shown that these shells are suited to removing copper and cadmium through absorbing them.

“Firms spend millions of pounds on research and then chemicals to treat the water, but this particular finding is different as the shells are obviously a waste material in the water so it really is cost-effective.”

The report was published in the Pertanika Journal of Science and Technology, and found that crab shells could remove up to 95 per cent of the copper and 85 per cent of the cadmium within hours.

Bill added: “It is always interesting when research like this comes out as it can be developed and brought into more regular use, so I’m sure it is something which will be welcomed across the sector.”

Hydrochem has an impressive list of clients, including Bannatyne’s, Bourne Leisure and the Marriott Hotel chain, and has teams of specialists working at sites across the UK on a daily basis.

Hydrochem has recently expanded its workforce by taking on a team of new engineers, and specialises in assessing water systems, diagnosing problems and then supplying solutions to assist in the operations of steam boilers, hot and cold water circuits, air conditioning systems and building pipework infrastructure.

Hydrochem also uses the innovative Safe-Water facility, which has been devised to include risk assessment of Legionella and other bacterial issues.

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