Environmental Treatment Concepts

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Environmental Treatment Concepts is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.


Enigma Limescale Management
MP Suella Braverman
visiting the offices
Based near Fareham, Hampshire, Environmental Treatment
Concepts are manufacturers of electronic fluid treatment
technology that helps treat a variety of water systems
for limescale damage. It has evolved over its 30-year existence
and created a number of new applications for its technology,
which has allowed for expansion into the commercial,
industrial, hotel and marine sectors. CEO John Thompson tells
more about the business’s journey
and his ambitions for the future.
Despite our modest start to life as a company, we have pioneered electronic fluid
conditioning and made the process of heating and cooling water more economical.
The water we treat is healthier as our technology helps reduce the risk of bacteria,
leads to better levels of health and safety and ensures greater sustainability
for capital equipment. We introduced the very first effective electronic unit for
dealing with hard water and subsequently built an unrivalled reputation with our
customers, a reputation that persists today and which we guard passionately.
Hard water affects 70 per cent of people in the UK and many other countries in
the world. It is good for our bodies but limescale is not good for water systems.
Limescale left untreated can narrow pipes, block jets, reduce thermal efficiency and
is expensive to remove. It is estimated that limescale build-up costs industry over
£1 billion a year in descaling while further money is wasted in lost production and
downtime, early renewal of equipment, excessive use of chemicals harmful to the
environment and increased energy and water costs. There are also major health and
safety considerations, including increased risk of bacteria proliferation like legionella.
»CEO: John Thompson
»Founded in 1989
»Based near Fareham,
»Services: Fluid Treatment
»No. of employees: 9
Treatment Concepts
Highlighting best practice
With our technology, however,
limescale need no longer be an issue
or cost to industry, commercial or
government-owned premises. It can
permanently and continuously treat
hard water scaling without resorting
to harmful chemicals or expensive
water-softening equipment. This year
we were announced as the winners of
the David Green Sustainability Award
2018/19, a prestigious prize in the field
of sustainability and green innovation
that recognises the quality and
importance of our solutions.
Sustainable solutions for the
long term
Today, the use of our technology is
widespread throughout a number
of industry sectors. A key client is
the Ministry of Defence, whose
prime contractor, Debut Services Ltd,
commissioned our services for a £1.3
billion Single Living Accommodation
Modernisation project.
In 2003 this private finance initiative
gave DSL responsibility to build and
manage armed service accommodation
for seven years after which they would
hand back the building in as-new
condition. Within a year many of the
blocks had suffered limescale build-up
that threatened the sustainability and
profitability of the project. They initially
investigated salt softeners but they
calculated that using our technology
would save them £75 million during
the term of the PFI while maintaining
the portability of the water. Since
returning to MoD ownership, this
efficiency has been paid forward
and water systems haven’t needed
replacement to date. Following on, we
have secured orders at The Gherkin,
St Paul’s Cathedral and St Thomas’
Hospital as a result, while continuing
to supply the MoD on other projects.
Our technology is also particularly
useful in the treatment of ships’ ballast
water. In the example of an oil tanker,
after discharging its cargo it needs to
take on sea water in ballast tanks to
maintain ship stability. However, the
unfortunate consequence of so doing
is the transportation of invasive species
that upset ecosystems when released
in a different part of the world. As
an example, Thames Water systems
in the capital are infested with zebra
mussels, native to Russia. Ships are
now required to treat the water to kill
off these invaders and neutralise the
water prior to releasing it. International
regulators ran a number of efficacy
tests in September 2018 in which
some major players in the industry
failed. The one system in which our
technology is the critical component
passed the test impressively. Shore
based and sea trials are currently
being undertaken, aiming towards
International Maritime Organization
and US Coastguard approval. Once
approved, we hope our systems will
become widespread throughout the
shipping sector internationally.
Southern Water also invited us to
conduct a prototype treatment of
waste water at one of their Havant
locations. We treated the sludge
feeding their anaerobic digestion
tanks and their yield has increased
by up to 25 per cent as a result.
This significant increase in biogas
production has allowed them to
create more of their own electricity,
earning them significantly increased
Treatment of waste
water in Hampshire
build up costs
UK industry
over £1 billion
a year just in
feed-in tariffs. Southern Water has an
optimiser scientist analysing the data
and we anticipate wider collaboration,
and benefits to both them and
Potential regulatory change
Over a number of years, we have
worked hard to ensure our financial
future, and we are currently in a stable
position, employing nine members
of staff on a full-time basis. We have
run debt free for a long time and, as
I outlined above, we are involved in
some exciting ongoing projects. As
we look to the future, however, we
want to see a change in the way that
legislation and regulation work within
our sector.
Building regulations and compliance
guides demonstrate a lack of
understanding of the potential damage
caused by hard water in buildings’
water systems. Non-domestic buildings
compliance guides entirely ignore it,
while those for domestic buildings
lack the necessary accurate detail. As
a result, builders can choose not to
install hard water treatment measures.
This results in excessive energy
consumption, working against carbon
reduction and climate change targets,
premature failure and replacement
of systems, not commensurate with
the circular economy and risking
the increased threat of legionnaires’
Builders naturally look for the cheapest
possible solutions and, by not being
required to address hard water, are
allowed to ignore the long-term
impact. If regulators instead required
builders and councils’ enforcement
teams to consider the long-term
impact of limescale damage and
forced them to implement appropriate
preventative measures, the cost would
not simply fall on home and business
owners. Sadly, derelict regulations
are allowing this to perpetuate, and
residents, businesses, the country and
the globe are suffering as a result. A
huge difference could be made to save
money and resources in the future,
if only a minor change, with massive
impact, were applied to the existing
With our
limescale need
no longer be
an issue or
cost to
industry or


This article was sponsored by Environmental Treatment Concepts. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.