Water treatment is one of the staple necessities of owning and operating a cooling tower, but many building managers are unfamiliar with how the process actually works and the steps that it entails.
While state and local regulations typically make certain parts of the process mandatory, your tower—and your bottom line—can benefit from a thorough and comprehensive water treatment service that keeps your equipment functioning smoothly for as long as possible while preventing the growth of dangerous microbes.
What Does Cooling Tower Water Treatment Mean?
Cooling tower water treatment is a term that addresses the process of adjusting the constituents of the cycled makeup of the water that your cooling tower uses to operate. This program will look slightly different for everyone, since the unique features and risk factors of your local water may differ based on your location or even the time of year.
Water treatment can alter numerous characteristics of the water so that when it passes through your cooling tower, it does not cause mechanical problems over time and inhibits the growth of organisms that you do not want to see, either for convenience or health reasons.
What Issues Are Addressed by Water Treatment?
Water treatment can address a wide variety of issues. You can alter the alkalinity of water, which will impact how much calcium carbonate scale develops within your system. Similarly, water hardness, silica and total suspended solids can all contribute to scaling that compromises the integrity of your equipment and may result in fouling or less efficient use of the tower.
You can also address corrosion, which may weaken the components of your tower and lead to premature failure and replacement costs. Chlorides may corrode your machinery, with varying levels being more or less of a risk depending upon the materials that your tower is made out of.
Sulfates and total dissolved solids can also contribute to this process, and if organic matter is thrown into the mix, you could see regular fouling of critical elements of the system, impacting both the longevity of the parts and also the efficiency of the tower. When a tower is forced to work harder to produce the same effect, you will see your utility bills rise as a result.
The Process of Cooling Tower Water Treatment
When you utilize a comprehensive cooling tower water treatment program , the water will go through a series of stages. Some stages may be optional for you depending upon the quality of your water and where it comes from, but in a system that utilizes all of the possible steps, water treatment may look like the following.
First, water is drawn from whatever source you typically receive it from: well water, city water and so on. At this point, technology to remove silica, manage hardness and alter the water’s pH to a proper level are most common.
Next, it is best to filter the water before suspended solids and sediment can foul your system. You can do this in a variety of ways, from standard bag, or sand filters to ionized filters that grab materials as small as one micron or less. Which type of filter and the configuration that they are set up in will be dependent on the specific characteristics of the water you are using.
After this, some water will require softening to manage the minerals in it and prevent scaling. Corrosion and scale inhibitors may be used depending on your needs, as will biocides and algaecides to remove organic matter if needed.
If you plan on recirculating water throughout your cooling tower, now is also a good time to work on side stream filtration. If your facility is choosing to recover water after it is used, you can utilize a blowdown system that gathers solid and liquid waste while returning the water to the tower for further use.
Creating a blowdown system and managing the way in which you utilize recovered water is generally governed by its own set of regulations, so be sure to remain in compliance if this is the method that you select. This option is good for the environment because it uses less water.
Work with the Water Treatment Experts for Your Cooling Tower Issues
Water treatment programs in most cases have a great ROI when administered by a professional. Whether you are looking for assistance in evaluating your current cooling tower water treatment plans or you need help establishing a strategy for the first time, be sure to rely on experts who are familiar with the challenges of water treatment.
The professionals at Tower Water set the standard in water treatment and would be happy to assist you with developing a plan that works for your specific cooling tower. Reach out to schedule an appointment to get started.