Articles & Case Studies

Panton Mcleod enjoys first taste of US success

Posted: Wednesday 16th January 2008

WATER quality expert Panton McLeod has successfully completed its first cleaning project in the US through its new North American division.

The company has a 15 year pedigree in cleaning water structures to the most exacting regulatory standards using its own specially-developed cleaning chemicals.

Earlier this year it launched Panton McLeod Americas with a head office in Denver to begin production and distribution of the cleaning compounds in North America. Now senior figures from Panton McLeod have completed their first demonstration of those products during the clean of a water tank in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

It was watched by executives from US firm Natgun, an established nationwide tank building firm with seven offices throughout the US including an operations facility in Grand Prairie, Texas, specialising in water tank construction, repair and cleaning.

Iain Weir, managing director of Panton McLeod has made several trips to Boston for a series of meetings with Natgun executives to demonstrate the product in action and investigate possible longer-term collaborations.

He said: “We were thrilled with the results of the first clean and couldn’t have hoped for a better showcase for what our products are capable of. We know the products made in Europe work superbly when applied to European tanks, but this was the first time we’d seen the product that is manufactured in the US being used in a North American arena.

“We were confident without being complacent that everything would work out, but there was certainly a sense of relief that it went entirely without a hitch. We got exactly the same excellent results we are renowned for in Europe.”

A second tank clean in Lebanon, NH, also yielded the added bonus that heavily stained pipe work and pump equipment was also cleaned, without harming the surface coating or paintwork.

Weir added: “Natgun is looking to offer an expanded tank cleaning service across the US and we really want to have our materials on board, so it is crucial that everybody is very clear on what our products can and can’t do.”

Joe Manzi, Vice President of Natgun’s Concrete Tanks Services division said: “I though the product worked very well. There was some heavy staining, probably iron and manganese, on the interior of the tank and it was pretty amazing how it took that stuff off.

“We typically would have taken that off with a pressure wash and it would have taken a considerably longer time to do that than it did using the Panton McLeod product.”

In June PMA was awarded the vital NSF Standard 60 certification to supply its five key cleaning and de-biofouling chemicals to the North American drinking water industry.

The products are designed for the removal of iron and manganese deposits and bio-fouling from drinking water infrastructure such as storage tanks and towers. They can also be used where bio-fouling or hydro-carbon contamination has occurred.

Manzi added that he would now be closely following Panton McLeod’s efforts to have the PM products also approved by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) as a disinfection product for use in potable water structures.

He added: “If they get that approval it will be an important step forward as it will be a lot less hazardous for the staff who carry out disinfection work. If you are applying a spray solution that is typically 200 parts per million of chlorine, and it comes in contact with your skin, it can burn you. These PM products are a lot less aggressive yet still highly effective.

“At the moment we are mostly involved in rehab and retrofit of tanks and if we are doing internal work then we will also carry out a clean. But the straight-forward stand alone cleaning is something we hope to move forward after being exposed to these products.”

The original demo was provided by John Copeland, Vice President of Panton McLeod Americas, along with UK executives Jim Panton and Operations Director Paul Henderson. The tie-up with Natgun was arranged because of the similarity in profiles of the two firms.

Natgun staff normally erect scaffolding inside a tank to power wash walls and ceilings, a process in a million gallon (US) tank that would typically take three workers up to three days.

Since many water tanks in the UK - Panton McLeod’s home country – have flooring easily damaged by scaffolding, the firm developed a less intrusive wash down system, using lance sprays and its chemicals. This allows a similar sized tank to be cleaned by three people in a matter of hours.

Weir added: “Given the differences in how labor intensive one system is compared to the other, I think Natgun were extremely keen to see our system in action and to check the results.”


VETERAN workers at a busy water treatment plant have praised Panton McLeod’s water quality products after witnessing the first US demonstration projects.

Jim Angers, Superintendent at City of Lebanon Water Plant, in New Hampshire, was with colleagues to see the PM 55 product at work in their 35,000 gallon clean water tank.

He said: “We were impressed and really liked what we saw. Our tank walls and the pumping equipment were heavily manganese stained and the way this took it off was pretty amazing.

“We normally figure it’s an all day job to take a tank down for cleaning. It’s at least five or six hours and we have to use a fire hose and heavy brushes to clean it up. Then we pump it out and put water through until it runs clear.

“With the Panton McLeod product it was all done in less than three hours and it was really clean – I’m talking cleaner than it’s ever been before. One of my colleagues here is an 18 year man and he’s never seen it this clean.

“It is right back to the concrete and the only unfortunate thing was if we’d known it would be this clean we’d have factored in more time so that we could have put an approved coating on the concrete.”

Jim and his team serve a population which varies from 10,050 to 40,000 and typically put out between 2 million to 3.25 million gallons of water per day. The plant uses a conventional treatment process, including flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and chlorination.

The manganese content is a hallmark of the local water and although it never goes beyond the aesthetic range it typically leaves a difficult-to-remove encrustation on water structures where there is prolonged contact.

A pilot project is under way to introduce potassium permanganate dosing during the treatment process, which would reduce manganese staining.

Jim added: “That is still some way off and in the meantime this PM cleaning product is as good as anything I’ve seen for cleaning manganese staining.”

Panton McLeod Americas is based at 355 South Teller Street, Suite 200 Lakewood, CO 80226. Phone: 303 231 1020, Fax: 303 235 0124,

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