Just one more push, but at what cost. Solids and solids, knowing the difference.

Just one more push…

But at what cost?


No matter if it’s that long sought, but still elusive major sale, that perfect hire, the absolutely perfect partnering with another business, or any other major deal that taunts us by staying just beyond our reach, the simple fact is that sometimes we don’t succeed no matter how attractive that bright, shiny objective looks.


That failure can be debilitating if it really is a “must do” opportunity spelling the difference between success and failure. But the truth is that most of these frustrating situations are just that – frustrating. Their accomplishment (or lack of) probably won’t be the end-all-be-all that defines our success for years to come.


But we tend to get fixated on them – especially after we’ve made a repeated investment of time and treasure in their pursuit. And that can be a trap that causes us to labor way too long and unnecessarily trying to succeed in our quest to accomplish them. By doing so we waste our limited resources and lessen the time and effort we should invest in all the things we need to keep doing in order to sustain the upward trajectory of the businesses.


And let’s not forget that your business was (and probably still is) growing despite that lack of closure. It may be that you’ll eventually succeed in winning that sale, that hire, or that deal, but in the meantime, we need to be mindful of what got us where we are –  and accept that same formula can probably still get us where we want to be.


Solids and solids…

The differences


All solids in our water are not created equally. In the case of soluble versus insoluble solids, the difference is critical. No matter the cause, when total dissolved solids or TDS reach a sufficient threshold, we end up with white film on glasses, flatware and plates and bear the burden of correcting it for customers who want the situation reversed.


Soluble solids, like sodium carbonate, are capable of being dissolved in water, whereas its’ cousin Calcium Carbonate (lime scale) won’t dissolve to any meaningful degree. Regardless of the nature of the solids, we have to deal with them and they are all grouped under the collective category of total dissolved solids.


The difference between the two TDS sources can be pretty quickly determined by soaking one glass on its side half submerged in distilled water and another in a lime scale solution. If it’s a soluble TDS film, the water will remove it. If it takes acid to do it, it’s insoluble. (BTW, if neither does, it’s probably a protein film.)



In the case of hardness alone, we have a fairly good shot at correcting the problem via water softening – but even then, only to a point. When TDS reaches about 1,000 PPM it’s really only solved outright by treating the water to remove (versus treat) the solids with a Reverse Osmosis or a Deionizing system. Those processes are expensive and burdensome and for that reason they’re rarely an option in foodservice operations.