If you are examining the types of cooling tower water treatments available to you, you may be feeling overwhelmed with your choices and about how to pick the one best for your situation. Water treatment for cooling towers depends heavily on the material that the tower system is made of, as well as the properties of the water in your area. A skilled water treatment expert can give you an overview of the type of system you may need, but most cooling tower water treatment will include a few specific features most of the time.
Cooling Water Tower Treatments
The water treatment option that is best for your cooling tower will depend on what type you have (for example, closed loop versus open circulating), the chemical makeup of the circulating water, and whether you reuse blowdown for the cooling tower. The following types of treatment are generally the most commonly recommended:
Most water that is used in cooling towers will need clarification. Clarification removes the sediment, particles, oils, and organic material from water so that it can move on to more advanced treatment steps. For this reason, clarification tends to be the first step in water treatment for cooling towers.
Filtration & Ultrafiltration
Filtration is an important part of the treatment process that goes hand in hand with clarification. Filters will work to catch any remaining suspended solids and debris like sediment. Not only is this important for improving the quality of water, but filtration and ultrafiltration early on in the process is critical because it prevents fouling later. In other words, if particles in the water are not caught early, they can move on to more sensitive equipment like ion exchange resins, where they can become stuck and built up, causing system issues.
Ion Exchange & Softening
Once the water has been filtered of its suspended solids, you may need to move on to ion exchange and water softening depending upon the quality of the water you are working with. Water hardness refers to how much of the water is made up of dissolved minerals—harder water has more mineral content.
Over time, an abundance of minerals in the water—and especially magnesium, calcium, and iron—can cause rust and scale deposits on equipment, which will impact the effectiveness and longevity of cooling tower equipment. To prevent this, ion exchange can be used to soften water and remove the minerals.
An ion exchange resin is placed in contact with the water, and as calcium, iron, and magnesium pass by, the resin will begin to act. Because the resin has a higher affinity for these minerals than it does for the sodium it contains, it will release the sodium in order to grab the particles of magnesium, iron, and calcium. In this way, the water is softened and the materials are cleaned from the water as it passes by the ion exchange resin.
Depending on water quality, it will be necessary to add chemicals to the water via chemical feed. If acidity or prolific microorganisms are a problem in your local water supply, you will need to add corrosion inhibitors (like bicarbonates) to neutralize the acid and protect against damage. Similarly, you can include algaecides or biocides like bromine to reduce the occurrence of biofilms and other organic growth, or you can opt for scale inhibitors like phosphoric acid to keep your equipment running over the long term.
Thanks to constantly advancing technology, you may now have the option to hand off the monitoring of your water treatment to an automated system. This will help to ensure that processes are flowing smoothly while providing you with critical data should you need it. The automated system will add chemicals when needed and even alert you to fouling in the system or the need to change or clean filters, among other things.
Reach Out To A Professional Cooling Tower Water Treatment Company
If you are evaluating your water treatment plans for your cooling towers, it is important to talk with an expert who can examine your water and give you detailed advice about your specific situation. Tower Water sets the standard in water treatment and would be happy to discuss your current cooling tower treatment plans to make sure you have the right system in place for your needs.
With a cooling tower water treatment plan that is tailored to you, you can expect an increase in efficiency, effectiveness, and consistency in your water. In addition, taking care of your cooling tower the right way will help it to remain fully functional for as long as possible, meaning fewer repairs and headaches. Reach out to discuss your options and create a plan for the long-term health of your cooling tower water.