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If you haven’t been to Lord Fletchers yet, it’s one of the most popular restaurants on Lake Minnetonka. Since Lord Fletcher’s was established in 1968, it has won national awards for its food, wine and individualized service.

But Lord Flethcher’s had a problem: poor water quality was driving their operating costs out of control! They were trying to solve their problems with an old traditional water softener and dozens of little water filters. IT WAS NOT WORKING!

It’s been 1 year since Premier Water stepped in to help this iconic Lake Minnetonka restaurant. Let’s rewind back to May, 2010 and take a look at the problems they were facing.

96,000lbs of Salt + 84 Water Filters per Year = Maintenance Nightmare

Culligan water softener

Lord Fletchers is supplied water from the city of Spring Park, MN.

Like other west metro suburbs, the water in Spring Park contains almost 6x more “dissolved rock” than the national average.

They have a serious Hard Water problem.

To combat the water hardness, they were using a Culligan water softener that was just over 15 years old.

The old water softener was constantly failing, they had hard water spots and hard water stains everywhere!

1 pallet of salt was delivered EACH WEEK to keep the old Culligan softener going.
They were using 96,000 pounds of salt each year, and were discharging 100,000’s gallons of salt water down the drain.

Drinking water filters

In addition to the old softener, Lord Fletchers had installed 21 Drinking Water Filters to try and protect their equipment and improve their ice and beverages. These carbon filter and sediment filter systems were supposed to be maintained every 3 months for a total of 84 filters per year.

Despite the constant filter changes, they still had a problem with high levels of dissolved solids.

Cloudy Ice Cubes, Funny Taste – Blame the Total Dissolved Solids

Total Dissolved Solids, or “TDS” is a combined measure of inorganic and organic substances in water. It’s the stuff in the water that’s NOT water.

Total Dissolved Solids will begin to negatively affect the taste of water and the clarity of an ice cube when levels exceed 100ppm.

What happens when you combine extremely hard water, an outdated water softener, and all of the other solids in the water?

With the addition of salt from their old water softener, Lord Fletchers had over 700ppm of dissolved solids in their water!

2 water heaters, 2 steamers, 3 ice machines, 2 coffee stations, and 6 soda stations were all plugging up because of the high TDS water. Every week, a different company had to make a service call to clean and maintain the equipment.

Premier Water had a challenge, but with sound science and engineering, anything is possible.

High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis = Pure Water Nirvana

Pureoflow reverse osmosis

The heart of the new design was a 2,800 gallon per day Pureoflow System.

The Pureoflow uses a patented new GE Water and Process Technology that is similar to a Reverse Osmosis System, but is unique in that it also acts like a Salt Free Water Softener.

Water softeners remove hard water through a process called “ion exchange” where the hardness is replaced with sodium.

The Pureoflow uses a membrane that physically separates dissolved solids, like hard water, out of the water. So you get soft water, without added salt.

While most Reverse Osmosis membranes require soft water to avoid plugging up with scale, the special membrane material in the Pureoflow was designed to avoid scaling.

As an added bonus, the Pureoflow is exceptionally water efficient. In fact, this system uses up to 20x less water than a traditional Reverse Osmosis system, making it a “green” purification system.

Since it’s technically a Water Purification System, it was used to make all beverages and ice. The flavor profile of beverages and clarity of ice was instantly improved.

Pure water was also used in the steamers and dishwashers. The plugging, scaling, and spotty glassware was completely eliminated.

Water Softener + Salt Water Recycling = a Green Solution

A Hellenbrand H200 Commercial Water Softener was used to treat the “working grade” cold water that runs to utility sinks, and toilets, etc. While these fixtures are not critical to a restaurant, they still wanted to protect them from hard water damage.

Hellenbrand Water Softener
We designed the unit as a Twin Tank Water Softener that alternates back and forth between the two 24″ tanks. A Twin Tank Softener allows for 24 hours of soft water, and can handle the huge fluctuations between weekdays and weekends where water usage can change by 15,000 gallons a day.

What’s unique about this twin tank softener is the way it regenerates with salt.

During the regeneration process, a special “Brine Reclamation System” actually reclaims and re-uses 30% of the salt and water that was used to regenerate the softener.

By softening only the “working grade water”, and recycling 30% of the water and salt used to regenerate, we were able to reduce the salt and saltwater discharge by 80%.

Happy Customers, and a Quick ROI

So how did everything turn out?

Within 24 hours of installation, the restaurant clients and staff began to comment on the following improvements:

  • crystal clear ice cubes
  • lighter, crisper tasting tea
  • spotless glassware
  • sweeter tasting sodas
  • better overall dishwasher results

The owners and management were pleased to hear how happy their clients were, but how would this affect their bottom line?

12 months after the installation, Premier Water and the management team reviewed the restaurant’s water-related operational costs.

Lord Fletcher’s saved $8,100 in one year with 80% less salt, reduced equipment maintenance, less filters, soda syrup, and labor wiping down glassware.

“Since we put in this new system we haven’t had to do any maintenance on water-using equipment,” said one of the owner/operators of Lord Fletcher’s. “Before, we were constantly having service people out working on our ice cube makers, steamer, beverage stations and water softeners.”

The results were so impressive, that our project made the cover of Water Quality Products – a water treatment industry trade magazine.

Can Premier Water Help You?

Our client base is approximately 50% residential and 50% commercial. Everyone can benefit from saving money with soft, safe, clean water!

In the Twin Cities, you can run into a variety of water problems. We provide a full line of Water Softeners, Iron Filters, and Water Filters and of course the Pureoflow System.
Give us a call at (952) 479-4553 or sign up for a FREE WATER TEST to find the best options for your water.

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