System Optimization Services (SOS)


Sustain high performance with system testing and analysis 

Each water treatment system is unique, and so are the challenges you face in keeping your systems running at peak efficiency. The impacts of a damaged or poorly operating system can include operational downtime and additional costs for:

  •  Repairs.
  •  Replacing system components.
  •  Cleaning a fouled system.
  •  Increased energy use.
  •  Inefficient chemical use.
  •  System down-times and reduced manufacturing capacity.

System optimization services (SOS) puts our global team of highly skilled, experienced scientists and technicians at your disposal. For a nominal fee, we’ll conduct an assessment using state-ofthe-art equipment and methods to identify critical issues affecting your ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), reverse osmosis (RO), and/or ion exchange (IX) systems. These services can lighten the burden of system startup and staff training, as well as assist with troubleshooting, ongoing operation, and maintenance.

  • We offer testing, evaluation, and troubleshooting of membrane elements and modules in reverse osmosis (RO), nanofiltration (NF), and ultrafiltration (UF) systems. Our battery of tests includes both nondestructive and destructive testing modalities.

    Nondestructive testing is generally noninvasive and can include:

    • Physical inspections of an element or module to observe the physical integrity of the element and identify potential foulants.
    • Performance testing to determine how the element or module performs compared to new product specifications.
    • Cleaning-cycle testing and visual inspection to indicate what type of cleaning would be most effective to improve performance.
    • Probing profiles (RO element) or integrity test (UF module) to see the rate of vacuum decay, indicating either mechanical integrity or a leak of the membrane element.
    • Module- and fiber-integrity tests to identify potential leaks by holding pressurized air in the feed side of the module.

    Destructive testing is more invasive and can include:

    •  NEW  Fortilife™ DIRECTOR™ Biofilm Visualization Tool to: 
      • Accurately determine membrane biofouling condition.
      • Optimize cleaning efficiency.
      • Define optimal replacement strategy.
      Dye testing to determine the cause(s) and the location of salt passage.
    •  Element or module autopsy and membrane analysis.
    •  Determination of fouling, scaling or chemical damage through:
      • Verification of scaling.
      • Biofouling analysis.
      • Organic fouling analysis.
      • Membrane chemical degradation.
      • Elemental analysis of the membranes (identification of metals, silica, etc.).
      • Identification of halogens.
  • We offer testing and evaluation of ion exchange resins and adsorbents to determine the performance and condition of your current system operation and, if needed, help troubleshoot and identify the root cause for challenges. We can also retest resins that have been warehoused beyond their recommended storage period. 

    IX resins testing includes the following tests:

    • Microscopic bead examination (MBE): determines the physical integrity of the beads and if there are contaminants or fouling on the resin surface.
    • Particle-size distribution: uses a light-blocking device to show bead harmonic-mean size, uniformity coefficient, and percent through or retained on standard screen sizes.
    • Total exchange capacity (TEC): measures the total number of ion exchange sites per volume of resin after regeneration in the lab and compares the performance of a sample to a new resin to show the sample’s operating capacity.
    • Total exchange capacity as received (TEC as received): measures the number of ion exchange sites in the regenerated (H+ or OH- ) form to help determine the efficiency of regeneration (if the sample is regenerated) or the extent of exhaustion (if the sample is not regenerated/exhausted).
    • Water retention capacity (WRC): measures the inherent moisture content of the resin. Elevated water content indicates degradation of the polymer chain, while depressed water content typically results from accumulation of foulants on the beads.
    • Organic and/or inorganic fouling: measures the degree of fouling (organic or inorganic) accumulation on the anion resin, with different analytical methods.
    • Salt-splitting capacity (SSC): measures the strong base (quaternary amine) sites on an anion resin. Salt-splitting sites are necessary to remove weak acid species such as bicarbonate and silica. A reduction in SSC typically indicates an increase in weak base capacity.
    • Mass transfer coefficient (MTC): measures resin kinetics (a resin’s ability to quickly remove ions from solution). As resins age, the rate of exchange may not be fast enough to remove all ions before flow reaches the bottom of the bed, thus exhibiting poor operating performance while maintaining a high total exchange capacity. 
    • Resin cleaning tests: determines if the resin would benefit from cleaning to remove organics, iron, silica, or other substances. After cleaning, retesting of the resin evaluates the degree of performance recovery.
    • Osmotic shock and attrition (OSA): evaluates the resin for osmotic stability by repeated cycles through exhaustion and regeneration using concentrated reagents. The parameter measured to detect the attrition resistance is designated as percent fragmented beads, which is an indication of the resistance of the beads to fragmentation and cracking.
  • We can conduct a complete water analysis and provide you with a specific breakdown and balance of:

    • Cations and anions.
    • pH.
    • Silica.
    • Metals.
    • Total organic carbon (TOC).

Receive a comprehensive report 

Once the recommended tests are complete, our technical experts will analyze the data and suggest corrective actions that address the root cause of system underperformance, with the goal of maximizing your overall operation.

Our complete analysis and report will include:

  •  A description of the tests performed.
  •  Implications of our findings on your operation.
  •  Suggestions for how to enhance system performance.
Getting started

Request an SOS analysis

To request SOS, please contact your account manager or technical service representative.

If you do not have a direct contact, please click here to provide the information through email and send it to Upon receipt of your request, we will connect you to the appropriate account manager or technical service representative to discuss your request.


Related resources

A scientist holds a pipette and small vial containing water as she does a system optimization analysis
Safeguard Your System: Receive Peace of Mind with SOS

Learn about each of the SOS tests we perform and how they can benefit your operation in our brochure.

FilmTec™ Fortilife™ DIRECTOR™ Biofilm Visualization Tool

See how the tool helps reverse osmosis (RO) users sustain water production while maintaining low operational cost.