York University seals SUEZ water purification unit deal

Including a flexible service contract

SUEZ Treatment Solutions installs two water purification units

SUEZ Treatment Solutions UK has provided two new water purification units to the University of York’s biology department – backed by a flexible service contract.

The two machines are a Select Fusion and Select Neptune. The Fusion is for analytical and life science applications that need small volumes of ultrapure water – typically up to 50 litres per day – while the Neptune is for higher volumes of up to two litres per minute.

Purified water is a vital resource in the department, and is used everywhere from the tissue culture and microbiology labs to horticulture glasshouses where genetically modified (GM) plants are grown.

The department recently started replacing its ageing water purification units. The 14 polishing units, from a range of suppliers, are distributed between its laboratories and produce pure and ultra-pure water for use by around 300 people. Many were beginning to show wear and tear, which meant in-house technicians were required to spend time repairing them.

SUEZ Treatment Solutions UK won the tender to supply both the replacement polishers and a flexible three-year service contract.

'SUEZ solves problems proactively – even if it’s not their own machine – and has helped us countless times on the ring main,' said Lucy Hudson, who as the department's Operations Manager is responsible for procurement of laboratory equipment.

The department was keen on a new service contract, having had a poor experience with its previous supplier. Mark Churchman, a dedicated SUEZ Treatment Solutions UK service engineer, now visits the department once a quarter. As well as dealing with SUEZ Treatment Solutions UK machines, he services the central ring main and any non-SUEZ units that need attention – at no extra cost.

On his first visit to the department, he saw that the ring main filters were fouling up, causing the system to lose pressure, which he solved by disinfecting and balancing the system. He has also fitted new pipework to solve a problem with level controls on the ring main, making it run more efficiently.

'It doesn’t matter whose equipment and system is in place,' he says. 'If it’s a fundamental part of the system, we help to maintain it.'

The SUEZ Treatment Solutions UK service contract was half the price of a competitive quote, and flexible enough to allow university technicians to carry out routine tasks, such as changing UV filters on the purification units. It also means that filters can be bought in advance; retaining a small stock of filters in its store saves money and aids a reliable service.

Commenting on the service she has received from SUEZ, Hudson said: 'Overall, I’ve been very impressed with what SUEZ has achieved through its service contract and supplying replacement equipment.'