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Cooling tower water is crucial to the function of many facilities and industrial plants around the country. However, it is often forgotten about when it comes to treatment. This is dangerous, as neglecting to deploy effective cooling tower water treatments can have a number of negative consequences.
These consequences range from damage to components and infrastructure at the site to severe public and environmental health risks if the water is accidentally or intentionally discharged. While a responsible approach to cooling tower water chemical treatments and other safety measures can mitigate these risks, businesses still need to be aware of the dangers of allowing this water to go untreated. Read on to discover more about the benefits of water treatment for cooling towers.
Reduce Scale Build Up in Hard Water Areas
Water is generally classed as either hard or soft. Hard water contains high levels of calcium carbonate, while soft water contains relatively little of this mineral. As a result, areas of hard water are particularly susceptible to scale build-up, which can inhibit the function of your cooling tower and cause damage to components.
Facilities based in the United States are likely to be located in hard water areas. In fact, only 15% of the landmass of the United States is classed as a soft water area — the vast majority of US locations feature limestone rock and minerals beneath the ground, which harden the water. Extreme areas of hard water are found as far west as Las Vegas and Phoenix, as far north as Minneapolis, and as far south as Tampa. For facilities based in these locations, cooling tower water treatment companies can help them to avoid the worst of the damage — for almost everywhere else, some form of water treatment will be required to eliminate scale.
Even if the facility is not based in a hard water area, there are contaminants that can cause problems within cooling towers. Sediment build-up can block pipework and cause damage to the internal structure of the cooling tower, fostering deep-seated problems.
Facilities across the country need cooling tower chemical treatments to mitigate this. They will also need to use physical separation and other methods to remove sediment from the tower water.
Avoid Corrosion of Key Components
If cooling tower water is left untreated for long periods of time, corrosion can begin to set in. Corrosion generally occurs when components of the cooling tower start to oxidize, leaving behind deposits of rust that may impact the structural integrity of the tower itself. Other chemical reactions may also cause corrosion.
Cooling tower water chemical treatments can remove many of the particles and elements that accelerate corrosion. While corrosion will still be a hazard, a responsible program of water treatment will be effective in minimizing the damage and extending the lifespan of the tower and other pieces of infrastructure.
Increase the Efficacy of the Cooling Tower
Cooling tower water treatment makes it easier for the tower to do its job. If the cooling tower water is allowed to become fouled or polluted, it will not absorb the levels of heat required to achieve effective cooling. What’s more, its flow between heat exchangers and through pipework may also be inhibited, generally decreasing the efficiency of the tower.
By treating the cooling tower water regularly, and by making sure it remains free of contaminants and pollutants, facility managers can avoid this issue. In turn, this will optimize the operation costs of the tower itself.
Support Safe Working Practices for Onsite Teams
The water in the cooling tower is not considered a hazardous material, and so there are only minimal safety requirements and considerations attached to its handling. However, water of any form can be a medium for pollutants, contaminants and pathogens. This includes cooling tower water, which is why it needs to be carefully managed.
If the water in a cooling tower is allowed to become polluted or contaminated, this can pose a significant health hazard to personnel working on the site. In the event of a spillage or leak, this could be a significant problem and one that could result in litigations relating to health and safety in the workplace and negligence. Deploying regular treatments for cooling tower water helps to side-step this problem and supports a safer working environment on site.
Achieve Environmental Compliance During Discharge
Cooling tower water does not have an unlimited lifespan. It will need to be periodically discharged and replaced in order to ensure that the cooling tower keeps on working optimally. This can be problematic if the water is contaminated or if it contains pathogens — releasing this water into the local water table will be harmful to nearby ecosystems. It may also erode the relationships you have built with businesses and communities in your local area.
Cooling water treatment helps to ensure that the discharged water is compliant with all local safety and environmental guidelines, protecting ecosystems and communities from harm. The right schedule of treatment will also help the facility to get more out of the water they are using in their cooling towers, allowing for more profitable operations.
Make Sure All Aspects of Your Business Are Protected, Including Cooling Tower Water
The importance of cooling tower chemical treatment serves as a reminder for businesses — you are responsible for every aspect of the operations at your facility. While substances like wastewater effluent and hazardous chemicals evidently need to be controlled and managed carefully, other substances, such as cooling tower water, may find themselves further down your list of priorities.
Don’t make this mistake at your own facility. Cooling tower water can cause a health hazard and pose an environmental risk if it is not properly dealt with. What’s more, it can cause damage to your onsite equipment and infrastructure, reducing the lifespan of your cooling towers and increasing your costs. Treating the cooling tower water will save you considerable money — and considerable hassle — in the long term.