... not least all the bank holidays! It seems many of you took advantage of combining annual leave with statutory holidays to secure extended breaks over the Easter period – lucky you!
Weddings, royal or not, make us reflect on our relationships and at Van Walt we’re delighted to report our own, with customers and suppliers alike, are strong with all parties respecting the needs of the other and, like all long lasting marriages, we recognise the need to constantly work at it!
Thank you to our customers for giving us the opportunity to be part of your work and to our suppliers - we appreciate that you listen to our feedback and delight in the changes and innovations you are making to your equipment.
It’s not just relationships that have come under the spotlight at this time, tenuous but true: some of our equipment was spotted on news coverage of the royal wedding preparations – a Van Veen Grab used for sampling on the route of the procession! It seems the celebrations offer opportunities for us all!
Vincent van Walt
April was the month we took our environmental training out on the road. Vincent, Yvonne and Jan Frank, plus a car loaded with equipment, were up in Freuchie, Scotland, delivering a bespoke training course, based on our CIWEM accredited Practical Fieldwork Theory & Techniques course.
It's a first for us having a world first and our trial of IMKO's new profile probe and telemetry system on site at our offices is a first. This equipment is so new that we have the only one in existence and, so far, it's extremely impressive. The whole system was very easy to install, taking less than an hour to set up and start receiving data.
In the last issue of Water Chestnuts we told you about our new Snap Sampler and the growth in popularity of the passive sampling technique, particularly in the US. In this issue we are delighted to announce that the Snap Sampler is getting snapped up.
A down well sampler that collects a sample in a sealed bottle, which is then retrieved and sent directly to a laboratory for analysis so your sample is never exposed to the open air was sure to catch on. Particularly when you grasp that the collection of the sample does not require pumps, controllers, meters and purge water waste containers. It is simpler, safer and more cost effective to collect the samples and data quality and field repeatability is improved.
It seems the Americans lead the field when it comes to poo power! Recently the California Energy Commission gave $1m of funds towards a research project that will cost $4.7m in total, to convert solid human waste to energy.
A technique, yet to be applied to bio solids, which vapourises waste liquids and turns bio solids into gas and, when added to a mixture of steam and carbon dioxide, syngas will be developed.
We're not the only business in the environmental research sector to recognise it's all about the data: accurate, consistent, easily repeatable. That's why we have been working with Aquaread, the award winning, British manufacturer of multiparameter water quality test equipment, designed for use in the field and Streamline, specialists in taking remote data to be viewed and collected via the Internet.
A charity along the lines of the National Trust is to become the new custodians of our inland waterways. Currently around 75% of waterways in England and Wales are managed by British Waterways but this organisation is scheduled to move from a public corporation to a charity, as part of the Government's bonfire of the quangos.
There will be a consultation on establishing the charity but it is intended to be set up by April 2012 with full control transferred from the Environment Agency's by 2015/16.
The new charity will represent the biggest shake up of the waterways since nationalisation in 1948 and it is expected to attract new investment as well as giving the public a greater say in the running of their local canal or river: let's hope that the Big Society doesn't get wet!
Ecoremediation is the term on everyone's lips at the moment. It is the method of remediation used on recent oil spills and a technique we teach on our training courses.
In Holland the largest ever remediation project has just been completed at the new Volgermeerpolder nature reserve, formally the landfill site for North Amsterdam where some ten thousand barrels of dioxins and benzenes was dumped during the 1960's.
Van Walt has gone video crazy!
Not only have we recently installed security video cameras around our building – hopefully all they'll be shooting is the local wildlife – but also we are going into serious production on videoing our equipment, particularly all the new items we have added to our catalogue in the first few months of this year!
We will also put together some films to help you use our equipment onsite which will be particularly useful if you or it is new. In the pipeline is: a video to support how quick and easy it is to install our new soil moisture TDR systems; how to change a bladder on our rental bladder pumps; what exactly is a Snap Sampler; seeing the multi pump controller in action; calibrate, calibrate, calibrate.
We're convinced none will be best sellers but we hope they'll be useful. As we're doing them for you let us know if you have any special requests, email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.