Bidding out Water Treatment

For those facilities without the resources or funds to hire a consultant, we have prepared a simple guide to follow when bidding out basic water treatment for a facility. This guide is geared toward facilities with simple systems and is very generic. Most water treatment bid scopes should be fully customized to meet a facility’s unique goals for cost, environmental impact, and system setup/processes.


Why require possible vendors to use a standard RFP?HAZMAT_Removal_300x231

Without standard RFPs, it can be difficult to compare water treatment bids. What is included in one company’s standard service agreement is not included in another’s.


 Common misconceptions:

Giant firms offer superior products and services
  • In reality, smaller firms tend to over perform compared to the larger ones. Smaller, local companies understand the importance of personal relationships between the customer and vendor. Therefore, they work hard to maintain continuity of the same assigned service member at each facility.
  • Smaller firms also have more flexibility to accommodate unique situations.
  • Smaller firms have much less overhead and are able to provide more service for less the same if not a lower price.
All treatment products are the same
  • Not all treatments are the same. Just like companies’ philosophies of service differ, their philosophies of chemistry for water treatment differ. You must be careful that their philosophy matches your facility goals.

Questions to consider when evaluating water treatment service agreements:

  1. Is treatment for applicable systems (i.e. cooling towers, boilers, loops) included?
  2. Are there any restrictions or conditions such as a treatment limit in relation to water usage?
  3. What happens if the facility goes above the estimated water usage for the year?
  4. Are test kits and replacement reagents included?
  5. Is freight and tax included?
  6. What is the frequency of service visits (i.e. monthly/weekly)?
  7. Are troubleshooting visits complimentary?
  8. Is empty drum removal included?
  9. Is bulk delivery and containerization an option? If So what are the costs of implementing such a program?
  10. Will you provide updated log/MSDS books?
  11. Is there an annual price increase?
  12. What is the company’s procedure for chemical spills?
  13. What is the company’s procedure for safety and accident prevention?
  14. Will facility staff have to come in contact with chemical treatments?
  15. What improvements, if any, are the companies suggesting?
  16. Does the company offer green alternatives, if so, how would this affect the agreement?

Reputation, references, and more…

  1. Did the company provide references?
  2. Were the references positive and did the facility systems match your facility?
  3. Is the company minority, women, veteran, small business, or disability certified and do any of these meet corporate standards?
  4. What trade organizations is this company a part of?

What other services and products does this company provide?

  1. Legionella control programs
  2. Independent Laboratory Services
  3. Glycols
  4. Remote System Monitoring
  5. Maintenance Supplies
  6. Industrial/Commercial Cleaning Products

General Bid Specifications to Include in your RFP to Possible Vendors:

Below is some information each vendor should be presented with in order to get the most accurate bids relative to your facility’s unique system.

Steam Boilerssteam

  • Make-up volume, source, and pressure
  • Condensate return quality and any steam distribution diagrams
  • Any pretreatment systems
  • Any pertinent system equipment such as dearators, economizers, turbines, condensate polishers
  • Lay-up procedures or year round operation

Cooling Towers

  • Make-up volume and water source
  • Cycles in tower
  • Biocide requirements: Many facilities use both an oxidizing and non-oxidizing biocide.
  • Inhibitor requirements: You may want to require or prohibit a certain type of inhibitor or tracing method.
  • Lay-up procedures or year round operation

Closed Loop Systems

  • System Volume
  • Any pertinent system equipment such as side stream filtration and pot feeders
  • Current treatment base chemistry
  • System drained annually?
  • Type of Anti-Freeze if any? Current percentage of glycol and type?