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Local Water Quality Reports

Independent study: Softeners among ‘very best’ household energy

September 2, 2010Devices offer green benefits to water heaters, appliances, shower heads

LISLE, Illinois — Water softeners can save significant amounts of money and energy in the home, a major new study by the independent Battelle Institute revealed.

Softeners help preserve the efficiency of water heaters and major appliances and keep showers and faucets unclogged, the report found. The study was commissioned by the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) in 2009. Battelle Memorial Institute is a renowned independent testing and research facility dedicated to applied science and technology development.

Among some of the key findings of the study:

Gas water heaters:Gas storage tank household water heaters operated on softened water maintained the original factory efficiency rating over a 15-year lifetime. On the other hand, hard water can lead to as much as a 48% loss of efficiency in water heaters.

Every five grains per gallon of water hardness causes a 4% loss in efficiency and 4% increase in cost for gas storage tank water heaters when using 50 gallons of hot water per day. (On 30 gpg hard water, that’s 24% less efficient than with softened water.)

Every five grains per gallon of hardness causes an 8% loss in efficiency and 8% increase in cost when using 100 gallons of hot water per day in a gas storage tank water heater. (On 30 gpg hard water, that’s 48% less efficient than with softened water.)

Electric water heaters:

Up to 30 pounds of calcium carbonate rock-like scale can accumulate in these heaters over time, according to the study. The life of the heating element will be shortened due to scale buildup because of increased operating temperature of the heating element.

Also each five gpg of water hardness causes 0.4 pounds of scale accumulation each year in electric storage tank household water heaters. Such scale adversely affects the water heater’s performance. Battelle says in the electric storage water heaters operating on unsoftened water “the life of the heating element can be expected to shorten due to scale buildup increasing the operating temperature of the element.”

Tankless heaters:

Indoor instantaneous gas water heaters (tankless heaters) operated on softened water maintained the original factory efficiency rating over a 15-year lifetime.
The study found that tankless water heaters completely failed to function because of scale plugging in the downstream plumbing after only 1.6 years of equivalent hot water use on 26 gpg hard water. Softened water saves 34% of costs compared to operating on 20 gpg and saves 47% compared to operation on 30 gpg hard water.

Shower heads and faucets:

Shower heads on soft water maintained a brilliant luster and full flow. Faucets on softened water performed well throughout the study; nearly as well as the day they were installed. Shower heads on hard water lost 75% of the flow rate in less than 18 months. Faucets on hard water could not maintain the specified 1.25 gallons per minute flow rate because of scale collection of the strainers. The strainers on the faucets using unsoftened water were almost completely plugged after 19 equivalent days of testing.


In the study, dishwashers and washing machines were operated for 30 days and 240 completed wash cycles on soft and hard water sources. The units using soft water were almost completely free of any water scale buildup. As the report states, they appeared as if they could be cleaned up to look like new with just a quick wipe down. the appearance of the inside of units using hard water showed the need for deliming and cleaning due to the buildup of scale and deposits.

WQA is a not-for-profit association that provides public information about water treatment issues and also trains and certifies professionals to better serve consumers. WQA has more than 2,500 members internationally.

Water Supplier for Jazz Festival

June 24, 2010

Hawkins Water Tech has been chosen as the exclusive water provider for the 2010 Elkhart Jazz Festival. The 23rd annual Festival will take place June 25th and 26th 2010. Over 20 artists will perform in various locations throughout Elkhart Indiana and Hawkins Water Tech bottled water will be there to keep them hydrated and comfortable. Jim Freeze, Executive Vice President commented on the selection: “This is one more great way to support the Elkhart Community. We love the opportunity to make all the great musicians feel welcome.”

Each 12-ounce bottle is filled with water purified through reverse osmosis. Hawkins Water Tech offers drinking water in 12 and 20-ounce bottles as well as 5-gallon containers for water coolers. Founded in Middlebury, Indiana in 1967 Hawkins Water Tech is a second generation family-owned business that specializes in water treatment for residential, commercial and industrial applications. More information about the company can be found at

Elkhart Office Celebrates Official Ribbon Cutting

November 17, 2009

Hawkins Water Tech. hosted the official ribbon cutting of their new retail store and showroom on Friday, November 13th. The new building is located at 2200 Cassopolis Street in Elkhart – just ¾ north of its former location. Hawkins purchased their original Elkhart building in 1994. Since then, the number of customers and needs of those customers have grown and so the location was moved to accommodate a larger building.

Dave Hawkins opened the ceremony by thanking those gathered for their attendance and acknowledging the building partner DJ Construction for their valuable guidance from the first design stage to completion of the building. Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore thanked Hawkins Water Tech. for demonstrating their belief in the future of Elkhart. Elkhart Chamber President Phil Penn stated that he was grateful for the collaboration between two Chamber members to complete a great project.

After the ribbon cutting, attendees toured the 3300 square foot facility viewing the large array of water-related products Hawkins Water Tech. offers as well as the warehouse storage space and convenient drive-up service lane.

Headquartered in Middlebury, Indiana, Hawkins Water Tech was founded in 1967 and provides residential, commercial and industrial water treatment products and services to the Michiana area.


October 12, 2009

Would you like water with that?

There’s a new drive up on Cassopolis Street. No, not burgers, tacos or fish – it’s a drive-up for purified drinking water and solar salt, too.

On August 31st Hawkins Water Tech moved its Elkhart location to a new facility at 2200 Cassopolis Street. The new 3300 square foot building holds a spacious retail showroom, customer service area, and product warehouse. The facility is the result of a five-month collaboration between Hawkins and DJ Construction.

Hawkins Water Tech is not new to Elkhart or the surrounding area. Founded in Middlebury in 1967, it has been serving Michiana continuously for the past 42 years. In 1994 the company built the second of its three locations in Elkhart, and, as a result of the tremendous response from Elkhart residents, the need for even greater accessibility and convenience was soon realized. The outcome? The beautiful new building, including office space for future tenants, located only three-quarters of a mile north of the original Elkhart location.

“Elkhart has always been a wonderful community to serve.” says company Vice President Jim Freeze, “We felt that this was the perfect time to support the community with a new and improved building to enhance the customer’s experience with us. Times are tough for folks right now, but we want them to know we are here for the long haul. We’re committed to this city and appreciate its commitment to us.”

While having products loaded into their vehicles is nothing new to Hawkins customers, the new drive up provides easy access to these services. Customers are now able to drive up to the service window, place and pay for their order there, then pull forward to have their purchase loaded into the vehicle. The drive up window also hosts a convenient payment drop box to allow bill payment after hours. Speaking of hours, the Elkhart location’s store hours have also been expanded to accommodate busy schedules. It is now open Monday through Friday 8 am until 6 pm and Saturdays from 8 am until 12 noon.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our long-time customers to our new store and we look forward to meeting new customers. We think our expanded store hours will make that even easier.” says Freeze. “Of course, we will continue to care for all our customers with the to-your-door convenient sales, delivery, installation and repair services for which we’re known, but we recognize that some people are just more comfortable with being able to come into a building to transact business. We want to make working with Hawkins as convenient and pleasant as possible.”

Future plans for the store include expanding their selection of water-related products such as drinking water products for pets and water treatment and containers for camping. “We want people to know that when they need information or a product that relates to water we’re there for them. We plan for this building to be the one and only stop they have to make for all things involving water.”