How to Change Water Treatment Suppliers: A Guide for Decision Making Teams

Whether you’re an engineer, maintenance, process or facility manager, you know how important it is to maintain a safe and efficient mechanical system for your building or industrial process. One key aspect of this is partnering with the right water treatment supplier. 

But what happens when your current supplier is not meeting your needs? Changing suppliers can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. This guide will walk you through the process of how to change water treatment suppliers. 

Step 1: Assess Your Current Situation

Before making any changes, audit the effectiveness of your current program and understand your requirements for service and automation. Some questions you may want to ask include: 

  • “What issues do I have with my current supplier?” 
  • “Is my representative experienced in our industry?” 
  • “Does my representative understand our level of in-house expertise? Do they help fill any gaps?” 
  • “Are they familiar with the makes and models of equipment used in our operation?” 
  • “Do they meet our service requirements and chemical delivery expectations?” 
  • “Are we getting the results that were promised? (Scale, corrosion, and microbial control) 
  • “Are our systems running at the lowest cost to operate?” For this evaluation consider chemical, maintenance, and energy costs. 

Understanding any weaknesses in your current program will help you identify a supplier that is more aligned with your needs.

Step 2: Shortlist Potential Suppliers

Once you know your requirements, it’s time to identify water treatment suppliers that are experienced partners in your industry and local geography. Water conditions vary by geography and suppliers with local representation are best positioned to offer treatment programs tailored to your needs. Local representatives are also more responsive to meet regular and emergency service requirements. 

Look for companies with a proven track record of success. Ask for references and check online reviews to get a sense of their reputation. You’ll also want to compare delivery options, billing terms, and ease of doing business with a new partner. 

Some other questions you should ask include: 

  • “Will my representative get to know me and our account, or will I be dealing with someone new each time I call?” 
  • “What certifications for quality, environment, health, and safety does this supplier hold?” 
  • “Does this supplier have an empty container return policy?” 
  • “Does this supplier have a live order desk?”

To help you assess potential suppliers, use our checklist to find the right water treatment supplier for you.

Step 3: Make the Switch

When you’ve found a new supplier that you feel confident in, it’s time to make the switch. Set a date for the transition. Your new partner should completely manage the transition. Depending on your system requirements, this may include: 

  • Installation and calibration of any new equipment 
  • Establishing dosage rates and proper chemical injection points 
  • Managing inventory as products are changed 
  • Training staff in their core responsibilities 
  • Documenting a clear starting point for water quality and current equipment condition 

Your new supplier should be held responsible to ensure a smooth transition in a reasonable amount of time. Your entire team should feel comfortable with their level of involvement and be confident that the right change was made. 

Step 4: Monitor the Results

After the transition is complete, be sure to closely monitor the performance of your new water treatment supplier by observing the trends in the data. Water management involves record keeping that includes: 

  • Simple water tests and readings performed by your staff 
  • Regular water tests performed by your supplier 
  • Periodic physical inspections of mechanical equipment 
  • Water and energy analysis on a year-over-year basis 

The return on investment should be clear to you. Your new partner should keep track of any issues or concerns and address them with you. By working closely with your new supplier, you ensure your water treatment system is running smoothly and efficiently to ensure program success. 


Changing water treatment suppliers can seem like a daunting task. By following these steps, you can find a supplier that better meets your needs and improves your results to ensure an efficient and well-maintained mechanical system. 

If you’re not satisfied with your current water treatment supplier, we’d love to talk with you about the difference Guardian Chemicals can make. We know changing suppliers can be challenging and we’re here to help. 

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