Water Solutions

Mary Lou Henry

When Mary Lou Henry, foodservice director for Knox County Schools in Knoxville, Tenn., noticed a recurring—and expensive—problem with equipment becoming clogged due to minerals such as lime and calcium present in hard water, she found the solution was installing a water filtration system.

“I realized the problems were not with the equipment but rather with the water, so I installed a whole kitchen water filtration system. Not only did it take care of the clogged water jets, but also in a matter of months, the interior of the dish machine looked new again. The trays were free of the white scale buildup, the need to de-lime was dramatically reduced and we no longer needed to install the small cylinder-type filters on ice machines and steamers, which were ineffectual.

Also, [we discovered] the quality of  foods and beverages that use water in their production, such as tea and mashed potatoes, improved, which resulted in a better end product.

Spending a few thousand dollars—ours was less than $10,000—to put in place a system that is protecting thousands of dollars in equipment and eliminating costly maintenance has now become standard on all new school cafeterias in our system. It will pay for itself in a short time and greatly extends the life of the equipment.”

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