Cooling towers are some of the most critical pieces of equipment for a building’s HVAC system. They assist in heat exchange and make the facility habitable and comfortable.
However, because they rely so much on water to perform their functions, it is important to note that anyone who owns and operates a cooling tower should undergo regular water treatment, not only for safety reasons but also to remain in compliance with local and state regulations.
Why Perform Regular Cooling Tower Water Treatment?
Water treatment for a cooling tower is beneficial for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the most notable is its role in preventing the spread of dangerous bacteria. Legionella can cause Pontiac fever and even the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease if this type of microorganism is allowed to thrive within a cooling tower.
While Legionella is a well-known culprit behind cooling towers that fail their regulatory inspections, water treatment also helps to prevent other bacteria issues, such as the occurrence of Salmonella, E. Coli and others.
In addition to the health and safety reasons for undergoing regular water treatment, cooling towers also benefit via improved longevity and function. When water is clean and clear, the entire machine can function more efficiently, saving energy and reducing utility bills over time. And because the system is not being fouled by biofilms and other detritus, it will need to be repaired less often and will last longer.
Filtration as Part of Water Treatment
One of the most important parts of consistent water treatment is installing a filter or series of filters, depending upon what your specific cooling tower needs. Many filters come in a series, where water progresses through gradually smaller mesh screens or bags.
However, even the smallest filters will still allow some particles to pass through; this is why a comprehensive water treatment plan will also include electrically charged filters that attract these remaining particles.
Altering Water Quality
Overall water quality is composed of more than just suspended solids and debris within the water. During the development of your comprehensive water treatment plan, you will also need to consider the hardness of your water, or in other words, the amount and type of minerals within it. Softening your water helps to reduce the magnesium, iron and calcium that can contribute to buildup and fouling.
At the same time, be sure to evaluate the pH of your water as well. Balancing pH can help to keep your system safe from corrosion, which may lead to premature equipment failure if allowed to continue unchecked.
Chemicals as Needed
Whether or not your system will require chemical water treatment depends upon what you discover in other stages of the investigative process. If corrosion is an issue, you may need corrosion inhibitors , and if biological material becomes an issue it can be solved with biocides.
Cleaning and Maintenance as Part of Water Quality Improvement
Make no mistake: all the water treatment efforts in the world will make no difference if you do not adequately maintain, repair and clean your cooling tower.
Your tower’s basin, fans and other equipment can become breeding grounds for bacteria, and existing scale and corrosion may provide safe places for unwanted materials to hide.
Ensuring that your cooling tower functions as effectively and efficiently as possible is a comprehensive process that must include more than just water treatment; be sure to fully clean the system at least twice per year, with one of those instances occurring prior to the first time you start the system when the weather begins to warm up.
The basin will likely need to be scrubbed to remove sludge, and this is a great time to check the alignment of belts and fans to ensure that the tower is not degrading unnecessarily quickly.
You can rely on a water treatment and cooling tower maintenance company to assist you with this thorough process, because they have the personal protective equipment and tools necessary to make quick work of the cleaning and maintenance that you may need.
Work with the Water Treatment Professionals
Whether you are looking to establish a comprehensive water treatment plan for the first time or you would like a second opinion about your current strategy, you can work with a water treatment company that specializes in cooling towers.
Tower Water sets the standard in water treatment and would be happy to visit your location and evaluate the health and risks of your cooling tower. Reach out to schedule an appointment with a professional technician so that you can develop a thorough and effective water treatment plan that keeps your tower running safely and efficiently for years to come.