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Are your cooling towers driving you buggy?
Favorite this: 
 
Why do cooling towers promote bacterial growth?
Simply stated – the combination of sunlight, air, warm temperatures, and nutrients are a perfect recipe for bacterial growth, making cooling towers an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
 
Biocides are expensive – are they worth it?
Here is an example of worst-case scenario. Given the rising rate of legionella outbreaks in the U.S. and its associated harm, personal injury claims and litigation are becoming more frequent. Public health notices and negative media attention can also lead to business interruption and reputation damage.
 
One example took place in 2016 in Hopkins, MN where 23 people got sick with Legionnaires' disease and one person died. Samples were taken from all cooling towers in the area and sent to a lab in New York for testing. When the results came back, the source was found to be the cooling tower at a beverage processing plant. Unfortunately, there are many other examples of legionella outbreaks in the U.S. and globally.
 
In addition to an increased risk for Legionella, leaving a system unprotected from biological growth can lead to more common problems found in systems:
  • System fouling
  • Increased energy costs
  • Expensive clean-up
  • Under deposit corrosion from biofilm
  • Plugged pipes, orrifices, valve, heat exchangers, etc
  • Reduced flow rates
  • Unsightly algae, fungi or bacteria growth 
How to prevent biofouling.
A comprehensive and well-maintained water treatment program that includes biocides can prevent biofouling. When it comes to cooling tower maintenance the benefits really outweigh the costs. It is important to have a program that relies on the right biocides. It is equally important to have a Water Management Plan to ensure there is an ongoing process of evaluation and remediation to verify your system is healthy. The water in your system is literally a moving target and regular testing is an important part of the process. Preventing serious issues such as positive Legionella results is key, but knowing how to respond in the event your system does test positive is even more important.
 
 
How can I check if my biocide program is working?
There are several ways to check the effectiveness of a biocide treatment program. The testing options vary in terms of cost and timing that it takes to get results. Below are some options to verify and validate that your system is healthy:
 
ATP UltraSnap®: This is a personal favorite because you get an instant result – expensive upfront costs, moderate costs per test. Real-Time Data.
 
 
Agar Panels: 2-3 day incubation period – most common, fairly inexpensive, but after 3 days is your cooling tower water still in the condition it was in at time of test?
 
 
Mesh Biofilm Coupons: The mesh creates an artificial landing spot for potential bacteria fouling and an easy way to monitor results. Good for analyzing fouling potential and for gauging effectiveness of a cleaning procedure. The mesh biofilm coupon is similar in size to typical corrosion coupons and can be placed in a standard corrosion-coupon rack.
 
 
Visual Inspections:
  • Check the screen above the return drain and clean if necessary to ensure proper flow.
  • Feel along the side walls at the water-line for any slime or biofilm.
  • Inspect the tower basin for sediment that can harbor bacteria and cause under-deposit corrosion.
  • Make sure the tower make-up and level controls are functioning properly and that there is no tower water continuously overflowing out of the overflow drain which diminishes biocide performance.
  • Inspect mist eliminators for scale or algae. 
 
Keep a log of your chiller’s approach temperatures – any increase in the differential could be related to bacteria growth and/or scale formation.
 
What if a biocide is not effective at reducing high bacteria counts?
If your system tests positive for bacteria, knowing the specific bacteria you are encountering can be a game changer!
 
BART biodetectors are excellent diagnostic tools to help identify the presence of process disruptors. Find out if you have bacteria creating slime layers, limiting biocide effectiveness, or discover if iron-reducing bacteria are eating your pipes.
 
By identifying the bacteria in your system your water treatment partner can help you select the biocide and corrective action that will be most effective. For a better understanding of options available read Biocides and Disinfectants – Applications, Benefits and Best Practices.
 
Do you have questions about your cooling system?
Each cooling system has unique challenges and opportunities. Watertech has a proven track-record with developing Water Management Plans for our customers to keep their facilities safe and in compliance. Would you like a system evaluation? Click the link below and fill out the form. One of our Technical Engineers will be in touch.  
 

 

 
Ed Dimler, Territory Manager - Iowa 
Ed has worked in the water treatment industry for 31 years and has experience in boiler, cooling and wastewater chemical treatment programs. Ed leads educational training events and seminars to promote better water management and improve safety. He is a member of ISHE and holds a BA from St Mary's College.
Contact him directly at 563-419-8106, edimler@watertechusa.com or follow him on LinkedIn.

 
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Articles
Welcome Jerry Colarossi
Welcome Jerry Colarossi, Sales Manager 
Save up to 15% on energy costs. EndoTherm can be installed into ANY hydronic heating, process, and chilled loop system. 
Technical document with tips for reopening a building after closure. 
60 Seconds with Shane Forrest
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Shane Forrest, Territory Manager 
60 Seconds with Tom Koeppen
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Tom Koeppen, Territory Manager 
60 Seconds with Julie Kutil
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Julie Kutil, Customer Service Manager 
60 Seconds with Jeff Bodendorfer
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Jeff Bodendorfer - Territory Manager 
60 Seconds with Karen Gavin
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Karen Gavin - Operations Manager 
60 Seconds with Kyle Pachowitz
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Kyle Pachowitz – Territory Manager / Healthcare Account Specialist 
60 Seconds with Liz Craig
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Liz Craig – Customer Service  
60 Seconds with Dave Kerr
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Dave Kerr – Applications Specialist. 
60 Seconds with Jason Waack
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Jason Waack – Territory Manager. 
An article from Water Conditioning & Purification that highlights various filtration media, their performance properties and best applications. 
Tufts University School of Medicine found that more than 617,000 hospitalizations from 1991 to 2006 were related to three common opportunistic waterborne pathogens. 
60 Seconds with Jeff Freitag
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Jeff Freitag – Director of Sales. 
60 Seconds with Jon Tiegs
Meet the Team – Employee spotlight: Jon Tiegs, Vice President. 
Download the annual surveys from the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network. 
CMS says WMP's are necessary to be compliant. 
CMS Memo to State Survey Directors 
This toolkit is designed to help people understand which buildings and devices need a Legionella water management program to reduce the risk for Legionnaires’ disease. 
3 Key factors to consider when feeding an emulsion polymer. 
Legionaires' Disease – A problem for health care facilities. 
CWT Brochure
When you see CWT you have one of the industry’s best working for you. 
Certified Water Technologists Code of Ethics 
AWT Environmental Statement
AWT Environmental Statement The Association of Water Technologies (AWT) is an association of over 500 U.S. and international water treatment companies that provide water treatment programs for many diverse institutional, commercial and industrial water users. 
An article from Forbes addressing the importance of water to utility industry executives. 
A guide describing a process for assuring that building design intention matches actual energy consumption. 
Map of the U.S. identifying the hardness of water in milligrams per liter in specific locations. 
Guidelines to improve boiler performance allowing you to achieve more cost effective maintenance of a steam system. 
Five examples of how a plate heat exchanger can provide benefits for process heating applications. 
Legionella guide from the World Health Organization. 
Environmental Protection Agency rules governing large and small boilers used at area source facilities. 
Causes and solutions to fouling in heat exchangers.  
Strategies to optimize heat exchanger efficiency. 
Identifying problems that a good water management system can control. 
Boiler logging will reduce accidents, downtime, and equipment loss. 
Scale in boiler water systems is a very common issue. Consult with water treatment specialists to treat and prevent it.  
A list of instrument readings to be taken daily and recorded in your boiler log. 
Energy management basics that should be a part of your everyday checklist routine. 
Partial listing of sizing and installation highlights for steam pressure system safety valves. 
Guide to achieving 50% energy savings toward a net-zero energy building. 
A guide to understanding chemical water treatment in cooling and boiler water systems. 
A brief guide to better understanding boiler water conductivity. 
Information for proper fall shutdown of cooling equipment. 
Decrease your energy costs by using these proven effective guidelines. 
Solutions for water use and energy reduction in order to increase your bottom line and protect the environment. 
Ideas to limit water use in ethanol production utilizing a "reduce, reuse, recycle" frame of mind. 
Understanding our water footprint in order to better conserve water. 
Filtration using step-down particle retention can help reduce operating costs and achieve cleaner solutions. 
Innovative chemistries, optimization of systems and water conservation as these topics relate to scale, corrosion and microbiological prevention. 
Benefits of online benchmarking systems for facilities management. 
Knowing the cost of steam to improve your bottom line. 
Understanding energy metrics to limit energy use. 
New ways to save water in dairy processing. 
Energy reduction strategies for optimizing your bottom line. 
Five helpful tips for integrating environment, health and safety into company culture. 
Different selections of pumps for boiler water applications. 
Reduce your blowdown need to zero and cycle water without limit. 
Identifying key components of the boiler system and how water chemistry relates to Key Performance Indicators.  
Piping dead-legs, source of plant maintenance and safety incidents. 
Necessary steps that need to be taken prior to starting boilers after a lay-up period. 
Ice control and different ice formations in various types of cooling towers. 
Important connections and opportunities between water and energy. 
Guidelines for maintaining optimal water quality in evaporation cooling equipment. 
A checklist for monthly cooling tower maintenance. 
Table of conversion factors. 
10 ways that you can save time and money, prevent litigation and illness, and maybe even save a life as they relate to Legionella.  
Free cooling helps you reduce refrigeration energy consumption by using evaporative cooling equipment to produce chilled water in cool weather. 
Explaining the different types of boiler logs, what these logs can tell you, and who is all responsible for these logs. 
Benefits of using liquid polymers in water-treatment applications and accommodating their unique characteristics. 
Criteria you should consider when evaluating your next cooling tower purchase. 
Tips from Chemical Processing to make fullest use of its hot water, and thus cutting energy consumption. 
Part 1 - Describing some potentially catastrophic events that power and recovery boilers are prone to if not properly maintained. 
Part 2 - Describing some potentially catastrophic events that power and recovery boilers are prone to if not properly maintained. 
Part 3 - Describing some potentially catastrophic events that power and recovery boilers are prone to if not properly maintained. 
General water management guide for facility managers. 
Strategies for reducing energy savings in large office buildings by up to 50%. 
Sustainable and operational benefits of molded, HDPE cooling towers. 
Maintenance requirements to prevent scale from occurring in your boiler. 
Optimization efforts taken by several chemical manufacturers to reduce their water footprint.  
Understanding the key components of cooling towers and how to improve water efficiency. 
How to prevent/minimize Legionella in your water systems. 
Blogs
How to manage bacterial growth in cooling towers. 
Aquafilm-V delivers some dramatic results and improvements. 
Many businesses are experiencing delays, shortages and price increases in the wake of the pandemic. 
The regulations are coming. What are you going to do about PFAS / PFOS? 
If you are relying on a municipal water source a dechlorination process may be necessary prior to discharge. 
Is Your Plant’s Pre-Treatment Equipment A Top Priority? For Watertech, it is!  
Guidance and recommended actions for returning water systems to regular use. 
Watertech offers a complete range of flexible business solutions to manage our customers’ needs.  
Watertech offers products and solutions to help meet your sustainability efforts.  
Use these calculations to help determine if it might be time to consider using an Anti-Scalant. 
Being proactive and thorough in your approach to maintenance saves time and money in the long run.  
HVAC cooling tower shutdown and cleaning recommendations from Watertech, OSHA, CDC and CTI.  
Stagnant water in a plumbing system can drastically increase the risk of exposure to Legionella and other harmful water borne pathogens. 
Watertech: Swipe right to build a great vendor relationship! 
What is the Impact of an RO System on a Boiler Water Treatment Program? 
Improving condensate return can save on water, energy and chemicals. 
EndoTherm is an additive that is proven to reduce energy usage in heating and cooling closed loop recirculating systems.  
The Impact of Stagnant Water on Industrial and Potable Water Systems 
Why should water treatment automation be a top priority? 
Maximize the Potential of Pretreatment 
Happy 40th Anniversary Watertech! 
How to manage your boiler system when results are out of range.  
Give Thanks for Water 
5 Deaerator problems to watch for to help ensure high quality feed water. 
Learn how the salt you choose can have a significant impact on system performance. 
Filming agents prevent scale and corrosion by forming a protective layer on all metal surfaces. 
Tips to keep sensors clean and working effectively to help avoid operational challenges that are costly to correct.  
The number one threat to business development is access to fresh water. This has prompted more to seek careers in the water industry. 
How to manage your cooling system when results are out of range.  
Advancements and innovations in water treatment equipment and controllers make life easier, but more importantly, provide ways to achieve better and more accurate results. 
When boiler water turns to steam solids are left behind. Bottom blowdown and surface blowdown are two methods to reduce solids and help maintain your system. 
Side stream filtration is an important but often overlooked component of an effective cooling water treatment program. 
January is a great time to reassess business strategies and include some water treatment resolutions that could improve the health of your company. 
Biocides can be used for many applications including healthcare, food & beverage, industrial, and commercial. Choosing the proper disinfection technology is critical. 
Water and energy are very much interrelated and dependent upon one another, this co-dependency is called the Water-Energy Nexus. 
Are you considering a chemical-free, cooling water treatment solution? It is important to fully understand your system design and the unique characteristics of your application when making a decision. 
Canned Water for Kids (cW4K) is a great local charity that is making a global impact to help ensure all children have access to clean, safe drinking water. 
Ordering and receiving a glycol delivery should be a fairly straightforward and easy process; however, it takes some insight and planning to avoid complications.  
Making changes in how you use salt in your facility can help protect our fresh water resources, and potentially reduce your operating costs.  
Softeners are a critical component to the water treatment system. They help remove minerals to reduce scale and build-up in piping and heat transfer equipment. 
Sloppy sludge is a challenge in wastewater treatment. It pays to be informed on treatment equipment and how chemicals can impact this process. 
Having a team that has been trained in proper safety procedures and practices ensures not only their own safety, but also the safety of customers. 
The water characteristics of Waukesha’s existing water supply and Lake Michigan water are quite different and will require users to consider how they manage their boiler and cooling water water treatment.. 
Learning how to properly install and maintain your boiler conductivity electrode will help improve the performance of your boiler. 
A holiday blog highlighting 12 days of service in the water industry. Happy 2017. Thank you for your partnership. 
Have You Hugged Your Boiler Today?
How you maintain and operate your steam boiler has a direct effect on the amount of energy, water and chemicals it uses. 
Now is the time to ensure your system's HVAC coils are freeze protected and working properly. A frozen coil not only causes water damage, there is also the replacement cost and downtime for repairs when it is least convenient. 
This article outlines a few common problems that can damage or destroy a boiler. Providing proper water treatment and regular maintenance can help prolong equipment life.  
Industrial facilities use large amounts of fresh water. By reducing water usage, facilities also achieve reduced energy cost, chemical cost savings, and other benefits. 
While it is important to be compliant with the latest laws and regulations, the focal point of any effective Water Management Plan should put patient safety first.  
Sanitizers are required in food and beverage facilities. Choosing the right sanitizer can impact wastewater treatment.  
When a vendor relationship is built on trust, good communication, and a sincere investment in your business, it will drive meaningful value and a sustained competitive advantage. 
Choosing the right biocide saves money, by reducing downtime and maintenance costs, and increasing production efficiency.  
The time invested in preparation for cooling system start-up can pay big dividends later in the season. 
Proper preparation in the preseason is critical to ensure system efficiency, sustainability, and dependability. 
An effective employee training strategy can help employees be more productive, confident and boost moral. 
Bioaugmentation can be a game-changer for wastewater management, breaking down organic matter and cleaning up waste streams.  
A comparison of feedwater tanks and deaerators for storing and treating boiler feedwater. 
Waste-to-energy initiatives can greatly benefit communities by mitigating various environmental concerns like pathogen control, odor control, and groundwater contamination.  
A site audit can identify ways to reduce water, chemical, and energy usage.  
Watertech an Exhibitor at the 2016 WHEA Technical Exhibition
Watertech is an exhibitor at the 2016 WHEA Technical Exhibit in Green Bay 
Automation allows facility managers and water system operators to be more efficient.  
Driving down the cost of water through initiatives that reduce and recycle water is good for business and good for the environment.  
Lombardi Walk/Run To Tackle Cancer
Vince Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer - Milwaukee 
Between the price volatility of water, a growing concern for freshwater supply, and the necessity of water use in production processes, maintenance, and human consumption, it can be difficult for business owners and facility managers to manage water use in a way that is both good for business and good for the environment.  
Are you showing your cooling tower the TLC it needs to be running at its peak performance efficiently? 
If proper care is not taken during the shutdown stage, these solids can settle out in drums and tubes and dry to a hard, tightly held deposit that could require chemical or severe mechanical cleaning. 
The CDP or Continuous Blowdown method of boiler layup consists of piping continuous surface blowdown from the operating boiler to the bottom of the stand-by boiler.  
Your water treatment specialist can help you determine what the maximum number of cycles is for your system. 
Your water treatment company can help you set surface blowdown conductivity control limits that maintain the dissolved solids in a safe, economical range. 
June 28th Symposium and Open House
On June 28th Watertech of America celebrated our first annual Symposium and Open House! 
Don’t be dissuaded by new regulations designed to reduce phosphorus in the Great Lakes Region watershed. Take a holistic wastewater management approach to meet discharge limits and keep you in regulatory compliance. 
Preferred method of performing the bottom blowdown. 
Increasing your feedwater temperature to above 180 degrees F will help reduce your chemical usage of oxygen scavenger, increase your efficiency and reduce thermal stress.  
Water treatment programs should maximize the frequency at which its water is cycled to prevent scaling.  
Hopefully you have been busy getting your cooling water systems ready for the demand of the coming months 
As the water evaporates in a cooling tower system, it leaves behind all of the dissolved solids that were present in the fresh makeup water used to replenish system losses 
What is a target temperature for your feedwater? 
It is well known that one of the greatest threats to the integrity of a steam system is corrosion due to the effects of dissolved oxygen. 
OSHA aligning their Hazard Communication System (HCS) with the UN's Globally Harmonized System (GHS)