On November 22, a vendor in charge of maintaining a fountain at a Smithsonian museum ordered four reverse osmosis (RO) membranes from Products Direct, which is MPW’s e-commerce website for industrial and commercial water products and services.
Products Direct Specialist Anna Carr said the membranes are likely replacement parts for a system that prevents scaling in a specially designed fountain in The National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“After I received the order, I researched the delivery site,” Carr said. “It’s interesting that it was for such a unique exhibit in a place I wanted to visit.”
In part of an area of the museum called the Contemplative Court, the cylindrical fountain showers into a shallow pool in the center of the room, which is illuminated by a skylight. With bronze-colored glass walls, the room contains a core of luminous mesh, with a subdued internal radiance. The falling water creates a sound that has been described as “calming, relaxing and a space for deep thoughts and meditation.”
Carr said the membranes, which are each 4 inches in diameter, would be critical components in the museum’s RO system, removing dissolved solids, such as minerals and salts, from a municipal water source. She said this would improve the aesthetics and performance of the fountain.
“These types of membranes are fairly common and are among Products Direct’s top-selling items,” Carr said. “More common applications for these parts would be the spot-free rinse at a car wash, or a much larger RO system at a power plant.”
Launched at the end of 2016, Products Direct specializes in direct-to-consumer cartridge filters, media, ion exchange resins and replacement parts for a wide range of water systems. The site has grown to include more than 73,000 users worldwide.