The Challenge

A top-tier New England university was opening a state-of-the-art laboratory, research, and incubator space in a growing technology hub. The university required a flexible solution to provide ultrapure water to a variety of applications: laboratory sinks, sterilizers, and glassware washers. When the university’s project team approached Atlas, they were considering using a central pretreatment system to feed laboratory polishers for 12 points-of-use, and a DI water system to feed glassware washers and autoclaves. The required end water quality varied across each application.

Furthermore, space was at a premium. The facility had a 6′ x 8′ closet to house a central ultrapure water system. It was clear that the inflexibility of a traditional “skid” solution would not be suitable for these spatial requirements. Additionally, the customer’s project team sought a single vendor to provide a) ultrapure water systems, b) loop installation & faucets, and c) turnkey system installation, including electrical work.

As the university project team considered their options, they wanted to know if it was possible to have a single system serving such a diverse set of requirements. If it were possible, what were the economic benefits of opting for a central system versus lab polishers at each point of use? Could the selected vendor meet their tight installation window: a 2-month time frame before their go-live date? And finally, what would be the ongoing service requirements after the installation was complete?

Our Solution

Having executed many similar projects in the past, Atlas worked swiftly to model the tight space in 3D using SolidWorks. This gave the end users confidence that the proposed solution would fit squarely within the allotted space without any concerns. The design also addressed the key requirement of providing specific water qualities to each specific application. Laboratory sinks would be provided with ASTM Type 1a water delivered to recirculating faucets at each location. Sterilizers and glassware washers would be provided with both deionized (DI) water and reverse osmosis (RO) water per manufacturer requirements.

Given the tight space, Atlas built the system vertically, using valuable wall space to house key components of the DI water system while maintaining serviceability. Also, as the system was located on the third-floor, leaks were a major concern. Atlas designed the system with containment and leak detection features to ensure that any drips or leaks were captured and controlled. Finally, Atlas’s team of expert installation technicians installed three separate loops to feed each location within the lab space.

The Economic Case

By opting for a central ultrapure water system instead of purchasing twelve laboratory polishers (one at each point-of-use), the customer achieved meaningful cost savings. Laboratory polishers are outstanding tools for the right application. However, at a certain scale, the economics drastically favor a central ultrapure water system (both in terms of initial capital expenditure and ongoing maintenance costs).

Atlas’s central ultrapure water system solution was 62% less expensive than the solution previously contemplated by the university: a central pretreatment system feeding twelve laboratory polishers.

In addition, the facility would save $30,000 per year in ongoing maintenance costs by opting for the central ultrapure water system. Over a 5-year operating period, this yields over $150,000 in operating costs for the university.


Service agreements feature Atlas’s same day emergency response guarantee. Atlas is the only ultrapure water systems and service provider in New England that guarantees same day emergency service. Atlas’s guarantee is supported by our team of 15 field service technicians (the largest technician base in New England), which ensures that expert service is provided as swiftly as possible to our customer base.

The end result is a flexible and economical solution installed in a tight time frame. As the largest independent ultrapure water systems and service provider in New England, Atlas has the experience and expertise to deliver trusted service for the long-term.