What is Cooling Tower Water Treatment?

Cooling towers are used in various industries.  Common applications for cooling towers include cooling circulating water used in chemical plants, oil refineries, petrochemical plants, and power plants. These systems are also used for HVAC systems in cooling large facilities.

Cooling systems are typically necessary in these applications to ensure an effective heat dispersion process to maintain the longevity of the service equipment. Without treating water in a cooling tower, several things can occur. These things include microbiological growth, corrosion, fouling, and scaling. These conditions, can create several problems for a company. These problems include, notable reductions in plant productivity due to unplanned downtime for equipment maintenance and reduced longevity of plant operational equipment.

How does a cooling tower treatment system operate and how can it help a company to increase its productivity?

A treatment system for a cooling tower is designed to operate based on the configuration of the cooling tower. Additionally, the quality of the feed water as recommended by the cooling tower manufacturer is considered. Other considerations include  regulatory requirements of the cooling water discharge among other things.

Cooling tower water treatment systems are designed to reduce the contaminants in a cooling tower. These contaminants include, bacteria, silica, hardness minerals, and other inorganic/organic compounds that can reduce the efficiency of the cooling tower operations. It can also reduce the efficiency of equipment utilizing the cooled water in its process.

What are the typical treatment processes employed in a cooling tower water treatment system?

Typical treatment processes that are implemented in a cooling tower water treatment system are based on the composition of the source water and circulatory water in the cooling tower. However, treatment processes typically employed are filtration, clarification, softening, coagulation, chloride removal, and disinfection. These system processes are typically monitored via sample ports. Testing water via the sample ports ensures that the treated water meets required standards set by the cooling tower manufacturer. It can also reduce operating cost and increase longevity of this equipment.

Based on the contaminants within the source or recirculating cooling water, several of the above treatment processes would be required. This requirement is to ensure compliance with the established standards for proper cooling tower operation. Therefore, it is strongly advised to discuss with your water treatment expert on how to best treat your specific cooling tower water stream. This is to ensure that you meet the guidelines established by the cooling tower vendors to reduce any productivity losses associated with maintenance downtime.

What are the typical contaminants that a cooling tower water treatment system reduces?

Based on the source water analysis, cooling tower water treatment systems are typically designed to handle the following typical contaminants:

  • Hardness and associated alkalinity

  • Silica

  • Chlorides / Salts

  • Organics

  • Microbiological contaminants

  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

  • Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

  • Sulfates

  • Iron

Where are these treatment systems typically implemented in the cooling tower?

These treatment systems are typically used to treat the makeup water for the cooling tower. Makeup water for cooling towers can come from different sources, such as city water, well water, surface water, or treated reuse water.

Cooling tower water treatment systems are also typically used for cooling tower blowdown water or the bleed from the cooling tower. Blowdown water from cooling towers will need to meet certain requirements. In meeting these requirements, this water can be recycled back into the tower or discharged accordingly after several cooling cycles.

What typical technologies are used to treat cooling tower water streams?

Typical technologies include:

Genesis Water Technologies has many years experience in providing specialized treatment systems for cooling tower makeup water for industries including chemical plants, power plants, and oil refineries among others.

Want to improve the efficiency and performance of your cooling tower system process? Contact Genesis Water Technologies, Inc. at 877-267-3699 or you can reach us via email at customersupport@genesiswatertech.com for a no cost initial review of your application.