July • 2014
Water Treatment for Commercial Buildings
The majority of large commercial buildings and industrial
facilities are using water cooling and heating mechanical equipment. Although they use these systems they aren’t always informed of the necessity of water treatment for this equipment, and how vitally important it is. Throughout this article, three important topics regarding chemical water treatment will be discussed. First, what exactly water treatment is and why it is important. Second, how lack of water treatment effects the equipment and the air quality and third, how properly treating water can save energy and money in the long run.
Understanding what water treatment is, and why it is important, is the first step. The term water treatment is most easily described as treating or cleaning water to make it most acceptable for the end use. The water treatment process is to remove existing contaminants in the water, or reduce the concentration of those contaminants so that the water becomes proper for end-use. This can range anywhere from the water you drink to the water used in large mechanical or industrial equipment.
Water is an extremely important aspect to the mechanics of heating and cooling. Not only is it important to machines that cause heating and cooling to the air, but also machinery used to heat and or cool production equipment or ingredients necessary for production. What type of job the water is used for will ultimately determine the type of treatment required. Something so minor, as using the wrong treatment or using untreated water may cause critical problems to the systems being used. Treating water is straightforward. Most water treatment companies use test kits and chemical dispensing systems which make testing and treating water much quicker and simpler.
How can this affect the equipment that you currently have? Not only will improper or no water treatment increase your energy consumption, therefore increase your cost, it will also decrease the effectiveness and life expectancy of the equipment, again increasing your cost.
Three areas of equipment where it is imperative to concentrate on the water treatment systems include, but are not limited to, a steam boiler, a centrifugal chiller and a cooling tower. Without using properly treated water in these three systems, water scale will build up and corrode areas within the system. This can cause problems ranging from increased fuel use, prevention of heat transfer to the most serious and fatal complication, and Legionnaires disease, which can be caused from the increase in bacterial growth.
Probably the most intriguing to most people, is saving money. By using properly treated water, it saves in several areas, including energy and extra maintenance cost, as well as downtime and lost revenue due to having to repair or replace equipment. Avoiding such problems as, bacterial slime and material deposits is as simple as using the properly treated water in your system, can save you immense amounts of money in the long run.