The importance of Water Treatment in industry


Courtesy of Feedwater Ltd

Water treatment is an important industry requirement and comes under 4 main branches which include boiler water treatment, cooling water treatment, water purification and the treatment of wastewater effluent. It is considered that these cover the majority of Water treatment processes in the UK and Internationally. Water treatment is often seen as an additional cost on top of an already very expensive industrial processes and a bit of a business luxury if the price is right. However water treatment can be hugely beneficial to your business not least because it can save you tens of thousands of pounds per year in operating costs but because of reduced maintenance it can also increase efficiency and output. It is an industry which can quickly pay for itself and give back in spades. As well as the financial benefits it is also important to remember with use comes wear which is why it is hugely important with vast operating plants to have your machinery operating efficiently and safely as not only is your operation at risk but the safety and well-being of your employees is too, efficiency and safety come hand in hand.

Boiler water treatment is a popular treatment process in industrial plants because of the problem caused by scale formation and corrosion within the system which comes with stream. This at best can cause increased energy costs and a much decreased level of efficiency and a shorter plant life. At worst this can lead to a catastrophic failure with the damage of machinery and more seriously injury and loss of life. Boilers have to work with incredible pressures as water heated in to steam expands in volume over 1000 times and has to travel down narrow steam pipes at over 100 kilometres an hour. Water treatment is an important aspect in making sure this process is kept safe and efficient.

As with Boiler Water, Cooling Water processes also suffer from scale formation and corrosion but also can be subject to fouling as they easily become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria such as Legionella. This form of pneumonia is the cause of Legionnaires Disease which comes with the inhaling of water droplets which in most cases proves fatal. In addition to this, untreated cooling water will more than likely reduce the efficiency of and shorten your plant’s life, this can lead to unreliable and unsafe plant operation. Left untreated you could be wasting £10,000s in energy, chemicals and water charges every year. Specialised water treatment chemicals can prevent the build-up of scale and corrosion thus preventing and reversing the effects on industrial processes.

Chlorine Dioxide has these days become the favourite method of water purification in industrial and commercial processes; this is because of a number of the advanced and unique disinfection properties it carries. These include its powerful, yet selective nature unlike Chlorine and Bromine ClO2 is unaffected by changes in pH and is incredibly effective against biofilms. It can readily permeate and penetrate biofilms that are normally resistant to most disinfectants and chlorine. Legionella as stated before is a serious danger should your water remain untreated and Chlorine Dioxide has been seen to be extremely effective in the control and disinfection of the Legionella bacteria.

As you can see Water Treatment is a wide ranging industry and there is a need for it in most industrial and many commercial sites, cost and safety are inexplicably linked and in most theatres cost increases with investment in safety but not with water treatment. Operational costs are guaranteed to decrease in the long term as your plant’s life is lengthened and maintenance is required less frequently.

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