With the impact of COVID-19, the ongoing partnership between plant personnel and your water treatment provider is more important than ever. Water systems, such as cooling towers and boilers, are dynamic systems by design. In today’s environment, they may not be operating as consistently as before with entire processes or facilities being shut down with little warning and, just as quickly, started back up.
A lot can happen to impact a water program’s success, including cooling towers overflowing, pumps losing prime, valves sticking open or closed, softeners going hard, water stagnation, and unwanted microbiological growth. Specific shutdown and startup procedures may be necessary. Routine monitoring by engaged site personnel has always been important to help identify and communicate problems and conditions that develop between your water treatment provider’s service visits.
Changes in plant or system operation, such as shutdowns and startups, should be communicated promptly. Ideally, facility heating and cooling water systems should be kept operational with treatment protocols in place to address operation under low load or standby conditions.
Where facilities or systems may be shut down, specific procedures are required to help protect offline equipment. Specific start up procedures may also be necessary. For example, cooling tower systems should be disinfected prior to startup to reduce the potential for health risks related to Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease.
It is important to communicate any changes in site access protocols that may impact the ability to provide site service visits or have chemical shipments delivered (e.g., new screening procedures, PPE requirements, receiving hours, etc.).
On-site monitoring has always been an important part of any water treatment program. Site access limitations have increased this importance to new levels. Plant personnel must record inventories, check pumps for proper operation, look for leaks, and relay all concerns to the water treatment supplier. System waters should be visually inspected and documented. Excess water losses need to be addressed and the system retreated as necessary. Critical tests such as hardness of water going to the boiler are required since hard water can cause a boiler failure in a short period of time. If your water treatment supplier is restricted from entering the facility, arrangements should be made to provide water samples for off-site analyses and recommendations.
Stay in Touch
Good communication is more important than ever. While still reporting the normal water-treatment items, these fluid times require enhanced communication to keep all parties in the loop and ensure effective water treatment programs. The enhanced responsibilities and site protocols may be a cause of additional stresses, but always remember that your water treatment partner is only a phone call, email, text away, or virtual meeting away. Accurate monitoring and timely dialogue will help ensure your assets are always properly protected providing some comfort in these difficult times.
For questions or more information, please contact your Chem-Aqua representative today.
Witten by: Jeff Lazor