Anionic or Cationic or Ain’t it Ironic?

Anionic or Cationic or Ain’t it Ironic?

Anionic or Cationic or Ain’t it Ironic?

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Polymers, Polymers, Polymers… We have heard of them.. “Are they plastic?” We know they are used in many things including flocculating dirt out of water.. “How Does It Clean the Water is it Soap? “I heard it kills all the fish!”, “I heard you can eat it” Blah Blah Blah..

The one thing we do know in the water cleaning business is that there are many types of polymers for different jobs. They are mostly divided between anionic and cationic polymers. Still confused?

Anionic polymers have (-) negatively charged ions so the postive (+) dirt particles cling to the polymer and start a snow ball effect creating a larger and larger floc capturing more and more (+) dirt. Yes opposites do attract….

Cationic polymers are (+) postive charged polymers and work in the same way. This is where the comparisons stop…

Cationic are fast acting and work on a wide range of soils.. HOWEVER.. since they are (+) positive charged they also are attracted to gills, respiratory features of living things and will kill or harm these animals and environments unless they are neutralized before the clean water is discharged. Cationic polymers require lots of due diligence and can cause environmental disaster if something goes wrong.

Anionic polymers are a little more fussy and take some more time to react however they are completely safe in the environment. Yes you can eat them…but you will not like the results on the other end. It is the fussiness of these polymers that caused Interfaceh2o to create equipment that utilizes anionic polymers so our clients can work with environmentally safe polymers while achieving consistent results.

The key to any polymer operation is mixing and contact time. Contact time is the amount of time the polymer is touching the water and starting to create a floc. Normal is about 30 seconds. Mixing is what gets the polymer in the water and makes it snowball to larger and larger floc particles (the larger the better) and when these two actions are correct we can take the cream out of your coffee. (OK dirt out of your water….but not just dirt lots of other stuff too).

The Floc Hog acts as a agitator (think of your clothes washer) spinning the water around the polymer logs creating turbulence and mixing. This continues down the discharge hose adding your contact time to get results. at 100 GPM via a 100′ of 4″ hose will give you 30 seconds contact time.

When things are tough, the big boy can move in and take the water from the floc hogs and continue mixing. It then creates a laminar quiet settling area which the water flows through a serpentine of jute matting to filter and polish the water resulting in clean water for discharge.

Well I hope this your questions about polymers!

About ih2o

Formed in 2010, the company’s three founders bring together 60 plus years of experience uniquely suited to address the increasingly recognized concern that suspended and dissolved contaminants are adversely affecting the safety, environmental quality and aesthetics of surface waters.

This practical, problem-solving experience comes from four complementary careers – a Professional Engineer and owner of an erosion and sedimentation
control products distributorship; a contractor specializing in the installation and maintenance of erosion and sedimentation control BMPs; a consulting hydrogeologist with 30 years experience in environmental stabilization and remediation projects; a experienced PAM water clarification expert with "real life" practical application success... a solid team to solve difficult water quality problems.

Inter.faceH2O’s current offerings include WaterMatrix™ and Floc Hog™ units - portable treatment equipment that uses environmentally safe flocculation/chelation agents to capture and remove a broad spectrum of contaminants from water. Whether fed by pump discharges or gravity flow, with either continuous or batch treatment requirements.

InterfaceH2O also is the Michigan distributor of Suntree stormwater infrastructure products.

WaterMatrix units use gravity flow-through processes that enable floc/chelate formation and then the separation of the coalesced contaminants from the water by settlement and tertiary capture, if needed. Floc Hog units are PAM introduction systems that are connected inline to your pumps discharge hose. They can be used alone or to enhance the Water Matrix systems

Our Team

  • Dennis Gebben
    Dennis Gebben
    Member and Consultant

    1-616-510-1046 Dennis J. Gebben is a seasoned environmental consultant with 30 years of experience. A geologist by trade, Mr. Gebben began his career in 1972 with Williams & Works of Grand Rapids, MI, a public works civil engineering firm. In the 1970’s, when new environmental laws and regulations were being promulgated, Mr. Gebben was quickly elevated to…

  • James Smits
    James Smits

    1-616-836-3535 James Smits is the founder and CEO of Frontier Solutions, a service contractor specialized in environmental regulatory compliance. His experience and unique capabilities in installing, maintaining and removing (when desired) a broad spectrum of SWPPP BMPs, both on conventional construction sites as well as during brownfield remediation, has rapidly established Frontier Solutions as a…

We value our clients and respect the work that they do. We provide scaleable and affordable solutions to handling turbidity and polluted water problems on construction projects.

We are proud of the success of our products and our client list is a direct reflection of our products performance.

Feel free to ask us for more references.

Interface H2O is a company that , at its core, is based in experience and field work. We do not shy away from difficult projects and instead embrace the opportunity to solve tough problems. Over the last few years we have been successful only because of our tenacity and a "can do" attitude.

The services we provide are backed up by years of hard work, education, experience and a well rounded knowledge base.


  • Turbidity Reduction

    Interface H2O was born from the necessity to have a competent, reasonable and reproducible results when dewatering turbid water, especially during construction activities. Seeing the need we created the Water Matrix and Floc Hog Systems to address turbidity reduction on many levels. Water Matrix Systems are the highest flow rate treatment/capture systems available today with…

  • Environmental Remediation

        Interface H2O’ equipment can be used to reduce nutrient loading in water bodies, decrease chlorophyll or even remove heavy metals. The systems we currently use have been part of mercury cleanup’s and hydrocarbon remediation that was spilled in navigable waterways. We can extend beyond ordinary turbidity reduction and provide solutions to meet many…

  • Consultation and Design

    The staff at Interfaceh2o is fully qualified to provide you with requirements and specifications to accomplish your projects goals. We have CAD drawing services available, project layout and equipment/materials requirement lists. We also have water testing and water monitoring services available to you. We are willing and able to analyze your project and submit a…

  • Dewatering

      Similar to turbidity reduction our equipment and services can be used in a variety of dewatering applications that include heavy metals, hydrocarbons, nutrient reduction and general suspended solid reduction. The systems are scalable and can have flow rates that meet your needs. We can treat anywhere from 20 GPM and greater.

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10694 Chicago Drive
Zeeland,Mi 46494

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