If, like me, you are despondent about the constant relay of bad news then - read on. At Van Walt, we know we can’t ignore what’s going on in the economy but we’re determined to be more bullish about concentrating on the positives and what’s important – in life and business.
Our benchmark in terms of equipment, prices, service, staff and suppliers is: the best. And we recognise that it is you, our customers, who will judge whether we consistently succeed.So again I thank you for your continued custom, support and for reading this issue of Water Chestnuts. I am humbled that so many of you take the time to catch up with what’s new at Van Walt and I sincerely hope that you find the following articles of value.
Vincent van Walt
In this issue of Water Chestnuts we have a few new initiatives and items of equipment to bring to your attention. Some you may already have heard about, others are very new so please take a few minutes to browse through the latest selection.
You will be pleased to hear we recently had our annual ISO 9001 audit and passed with flying colours. We have updated our certificate and are pleased to display the new UKAS Management Systems ISO 9001 logo.
This process was extremely thorough and gave us much food for thought and proved the old adage: ‘there is always room for improvement’. So we will be doing one or two things differently in the future – we’ll let you know if this affects you – and we won’t forget we have another audit in 12 months time!
At Van Walt we’re passionate about photography and have launched this month a photographic competition to encourage our customers and contacts to share our enthusiasm.
The competition is free to enter; we hope it’s fun to take part and the reward - we’ll get some stunning photographs which we will feature, fully accredited, on our website and present a Canon Powershot S90 Camera - a comprehensive, compact camera with a fast, useful zoom in a 'carry anywhere' convenient size. Excellent image quality and a well thought out user interface that delivers a surprisingly fast and fluid shooting experience - to the winner.
As part of the competition we will introduce a new page to our site – Van Walt 2010 Photographic Competition Gallery which will feature entries.
Recently the BBC News website ran a story with arguments for and against the question: what’s wrong with GM food?
Professor Jonathan Jones, senior scientist for The Sainsbury Laboratory, based at the John Innes Centre, a research centre in plant and microbial science argued that with the world's food security facing a looming "perfect storm", GM food crops need to be part of the solution to deliver a sustainable global food system.
Our dedicated Sampling Systems are custom made to your individual specifications. A Bladder Pump (or any other pump if preferred) is secured in place with your choice of well caps and tubing. These sampling systems save you installation time and virtually eliminate the potential of cross contamination when compared to portable systems.
For more than a year we have been selling and renting wireless TDR equipment – the Trime Pico Blue Edition and we are delighted to report - this equipment is good, in fact: “state of the art”, according Dawn Keim, Leeds University.
This TDR technology has found its way into Universities, Environmental Consultancies and Local Authorities to measure soil moisture content percentage. It has proved to be extremely accurate, fast and represents excellent value – to buy it equates to the same price as a good quality capacitance probe but it is also available to rent from £237.70 per week.
Dr Simon Caporn and Dr James Rowson, of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Department of the Environment & Geographical Sciences are researching the threats to peatlands by climate change and nitrogen pollution on a site in Whixall, Shropshire.They are investigating the impact of peat cutting, drainage, and land conversion as well as the threat of ‘unseen’ changes in precipitation, temperature and nutrients on the health of peatlands. The project is funded by the European Research Association BiodivERsA programme and will run from spring 2009 through to the end of 2012.
For some time now the world has known about a "plastic soup" of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean that continues to grow at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States.The vast expanse of debris – in effect the world's largest rubbish dump – is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting "soup" stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan.