Saving money, time, and reducing accidents in distribution

As one of the largest stock distribution centres in London, our customer was keen to optimise their water softener’s operation. The frequent manual loading of bagged salt was a drain on their maintenance resources, and the bagged salt was proving to be an expensive operating cost. Hydro-X Engineering (HXE) was engaged to implement an efficient solution that required less resources, improve health and safety, whilst also being future proof.

  • A large retail distribution hub that handles stock for over 80 supermarket stores around London.
  • Water Softeners for Cooling Towers required frequent salt top-ups.
  • HXE implemented a solution that reduced the resources required for maintenance.
  • HXE established a means to generating brine solution at a lower cost.


Our customer is a large supermarket chain with over 1,400 store locations. To accommodate their large stock demands for London alone, a 700,000 square feet distribution centre located in the outskirts of London was established. The centre has large refrigeration systems for the vast amount of food and groceries being stored. These refrigeration units are cooled down using multiple cooling towers.

The Make-up water for cooling towers is softened to prevent scaling and ensure the heat transfer from the coil to water is efficient. Cooling towers require a substantial amount of water, particularly on hotter days, to remove the heat from the condenser. Softeners treating the water consume a sizeable amount of salt to create the brine solution. Topping up these brine tanks requires staff to manually load bags of salt into the tank, which is a time-consuming and a significant injury risk.


HXE proposed the use of a tailored salt saturator that would be situated outside the building. The unit would be topped up, as required, directly from a lorry. To avoid salt particles  being ejected from the saturator, particularly when new salt is being pumped in, a dust control system has been built into the salt saturator.  The salt saturator generates brine water, which is pumped directly into the brine tank adjacent to the softeners. The saturator is also installed with a level probe that can send an alarm to the customer in the event the salt levels are below minimum capacity. The installation of the unit has drastically reduced the risk of injury for employees by eliminating the manual handling of bagged salt.


Installation of a salt saturator at the Distribution Centre has eliminated the need for staff to carry and manually load the salt bags. The customer will be automatically notified of a low salt level via their Building Management System (BMS). The risk of injury for employees has been eliminated, which would’ve otherwise cost the customer in missed workdays. Overall, the Salt saturator has considerably diminished risk of operation, while also reducing resources required to maintain the softeners. This has translated to economic and safety benefits for our customer.

If your company also relies on water and energy to drive your processes forward, contact Hydro-X Engineering to discuss how together, we achieve better and safer systems.

Discuss your project with one of the Hydro-X Engineering team today.


Salt Saturator
Salt Saturator close up

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