If you are reviewing your water treatment plan, you might be wondering what goes into cooling tower water treatment systems and what makes it work. Options to reduce the contaminants and corrosion in your cooling tower water vary depending on your needs, but one of the most consistent options that tend to perform very well is a water treatment system specifically designed for cooling towers.
What Is In A Cooling Tower Water Treatment System?
Water treatment for cooling towers is made up of an arrangement of multiple types of treatment options that all work together as one larger system. This system’s purpose is to remove damaging particulates from the water that goes into your cooling tower feed, circulation, and blowdown.
Exactly what the water treatment system looks like will depend on a number of factors unique to your cooling tower, such as what type you have (once-through or closed-loop, as examples) and what types of contaminants you are seeing in your feed water. You will also need to consider any regulatory requirements that you need to meet, whether you are treating blowdown to be reused, and what kind of heat exchanger you are using. Lastly, the space available to install such a system.
What Does A Cooling Tower Water Treatment Control?
Cooling tower water treatment systems are made of multiple parts that work in unison, so they are able to control a variety of water issues all at once. How many of these you will need depends upon the condition of your water, but a skilled water treatment expert can give you an analysis of the best options based on the water quality of your cooling tower. In general, the most common factors that a water treatment system will control include:
Alkalinity is water’s ability to resist any changes in its pH that would make it more acidic than it already is. When water is at the wrong pH, it can cause scaling as a result of calcium carbonate, and this scaling can reduce efficiency and contribute contaminants to the water.
How a water treatment system handles chlorides will depend upon what the cooling towers and other equipment are made of. Chlorides can corrode metals, but not all metals are susceptible. Depending on what your cooling towers and other equipment are made of, you may need to more closely regulate or change the level of chlorides in the water to prevent corrosion and the introduction of corroded particulates into the water system.
Water “hardness” refers to the quality of water—specifically, how much magnesium and calcium are dissolved in it. Hard water has high mineral content, and over time, the hardness of the water used in a cooling tower can cause scaling on the materials in the tower, including the heat exchangers, coils, and other high heat transfer surfaces.
If your cooling tower water is high in iron and a phosphate water treatment is used incorrectly. Iron can foul equipment when combined with phosphates, and this can degrade your cooling tower and reduce efficiency and water quality.
Any time that organic matter is allowed to grow in water supply, there is always a risk of corrosion and systemic issues as a result. Microorganisms that grow in the water supply contaminate it and can spread to critical pieces of equipment. This can also lead to the accumulation of potentially harmful bacteria such as Legionella.
Silica is notorious for causing hard scale deposits when it is present in water. A glass-like film would form in the presence of high silica. Best practice suggests that it be removed using water treatment.
In many ways, sulfates are similar to chlorides when it comes to water lines. Like chlorides, sulfates are responsible for corrosion that can eat away at materials quickly, compromising the system.
Total Dissolved Solids
Often simply referred to as TDS, total dissolved solids are the molecular contaminants that are floating in the water. Because they interfere with water quality, they are often responsible for accelerating corrosion, scaling, and even foaming.
Total Suspended Solids
Total suspended solids (TSS) are contaminants in the water that are not dissolved, such as pieces of rust or organic matter. They can enhance corrosion and scale by falling onto pipe surfaces or depositing into low flow areas. Biofilm also can find its way onto these suspended solid and cause even more harm to a system.
Speak To An Experienced Cooling Tower Water Treatment Company
When reviewing your water treatment options for a cooling tower, it can be very difficult to get a clear idea of what sort of contaminants, pH, and other important factors are influencing your water quality. For this reason, it is important to reach out to experienced water treatment experts who can guide you on exactly what water issues you need to treat and how.
Tower Water sets the standard in water treatment and would be happy to speak with you about your options for effectively managing your cooling tower water. Reach out to schedule a discussion and create a strategy to more efficiently use your cooling tower water with less waste, greater cleanliness, and improved longevity for your equipment to prolong its life and improve your cooling tower water treatment.