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Should Cooling Towers be Cleaned?

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) strongly recommends that plant operators clean their cooling towers at a minimum of twice a year. These guidelines suggest implementing this cleaning in periods of weather change, meaning that scheduling a routine cleaning in the fall and the spring is wise. However, this twice-per-year cleaning is only a minimum recommendation. The administration, along with many other health and safety experts, caution against letting cooling tower cleaning fall to the wayside, as a dirty cooling tower can have disastrous effects on the building it heats and cools. An unclean cooling tower might operate slower, but it also can more pertinently serve as a breeding ground for hazardous bacteria, such as Legionella.


How are Cooling Towers Cleaned?

Cooling towers should be cleaned by using both chemical cleaning agents and manual treatments. The manual treatments can work to remove debris and other mineral solids left behind by water evaporation; these manual cleanings can be helpful to ensure quick water flow and overall efficiency of the cooling towers’ systems. These manual treatments should be combined with chemical treatments, which work on the microbial level to remove bacteria and other small germs. Chemical treatments can tackle hard-to-access areas that physical treatments struggle to, making the two processes a symbiotic combination for an efficient, effective cooling tower.


What are the Dangers of Only Using Manual Treatment?

As mentioned above, only using manual treatments to clean cooling towers poses a risk, as chemical cleaning processes can ensure the most thorough and intensive disinfection programmes. Certain hard-to-access areas can be overlooked by only manual cleaning processes, as, for example, a manual cleaning will certainly remove debris but might bypass dangerous Legionella bacteria. Thus, using only a manual cleaning system might give the appearance of cleanliness and function, but bacteria could still be thriving in the warm, moist environment of the cooling tower. Manual treatment of cooling towers is undoubtedly valuable and can serve a very useful role in ensuring the speed and efficiency of a cooling tower, but it is most effective when used in tandem with a chemical treatment multiple times per year.


What Chemical Treatment is Best for Cooling Towers?

PureLine’s PureMax precursor, a blend of sodium chlorate and hydrogen peroxide in water, is an incredibly effective chemical treatment for cooling towers. Chlorine dioxide is produced by the efficient reduction of the sodium chlorate with hydrogen peroxide under acidic conditions, and the chlorine dioxide is then able to reach potential affected areas within  cooling towers. PureLine’s chlorine dioxide solutions are trusted by experts across industries, including many large-scale water treatment operators. Chlorine dioxide can rapidly disinfect bacteria such as Legionella at its source, making it an optimal chemical treatment for cooling towers, where Legionella is often a grave concern. To learn more about PureLine’s PureMax precursor, or our CG Series Chlorine Dioxide generator designed for cooling towers, fill out the form below.


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