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Why do Cooling Towers Need to Be Cleaned?

Cooling towers can serve as efficient, cost-effective systems for regulating temperature in industrial buildings, but the powerhouses come with a risk of spreading bacteria. The towers are kept at a relatively warm temperature, meaning that they can quickly become a prime spot for potentially dangerous bacteria, such as Legionella, to duplicate and spread. Because of the risks associated with contamination in cooling towers, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) strongly recommends cleaning cooling towers at least two times a year. OSHA recommends timing these cleanings with notable changes in temperature, namely in the fall when a building will need heat instead of air conditioning, and vice versa in the spring. OSHA’s recommendation is to combine a manual cleaning with a chemical treatment, as a manual disinfection alone often isn’t sufficient.

Benefit #1: Chemical Treatment of Cooling Towers Kills Bacteria Like Legionella

Indeed, a benefit of implementing chemical treatment in the regular maintenance of cooling towers is its ability to kill bacteria that hide and multiply in hard-to-access areas. Not all forms of manual cleaning alone, such as vacuuming and pressure washing, can similarly access hard-to-reach areas of cooling towers nor can they kill bacteria in the way that some chemicals, such as chlorine dioxide, can. Chlorine dioxide is an effective chemical to apply in numerous water treatment systems, especially in cooling towers given its ability to kill Legionella bacteria, which is a concern that’s typically top of mind for cooling towers.

Benefit #2: Chemical Treatment Can Reduce Damage Risks Associated With Manual Cleaning

Some mechanisms of manual cleaning can damage the interior of cooling towers, further contributing to rust or other unwanted processes. Vacuuming and pressure washing can be effective in removing solid buildup, which is important for purposes of maintenance, but they can physically be harsh on the building’s interior. Manual cleaning can play an important role in cooling tower treatment, but by opting for a combination of chemical and manual maintenance, some of these risks can be mitigated.

Benefit #3: Regular Chemical Treatment Can Minimize Large-Scale Bacterial Outbreaks

By implementing a routine chemical disinfection of cooling towers, ideally beyond OSHA’s recommended twice-per-year maintenance, industrial sites can choose a more preventative stature instead of a merely reactive approach to water treatment. Chemical treatments can easily be scheduled ahead of time, meaning they can be put on a schedule for site operators looking to take a more active stance in treating their cooling towers and water sources.

PureLine’s PureMax Precursor is an Effective Method for Treating Cooling Towers

PureLine’s PureMax is a blend of sodium chlorate and hydrogen peroxide in water. The efficient reduction of sodium chlorate with hydrogen peroxide under acidic conditions produces chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide–a chemical compound made up of simply chlorine and oxygen–services are used across industries such as food safety, oil and gas, healthcare, but the chemical is especially favored by those seeking effective, quick water treatment via chlorine dioxide. Cooling towers are an excellent candidate for chlorine dioxide disinfection, and PureLine’s PureMax precursor can be utilized in both PureLine chlorine dioxide generators along with competing brand generators to produce ClO2 on-site for cooling tower treatment.. Fill out the form below to explore the potential of PureLine’s chlorine dioxide services in treating your cooling tower.

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