Post-Hurricane Sandy Series: Cooling Towers and Flooding

This week we continue our Post-Hurricane Sandy Series, as we discuss cooling towers and how they can be affected by flooding. Next week we’ll finish up the series when we give you FEMA resources to help you fully restore your facility after the disaster.

Flood waters carry debris that may get pulled into towers. So it’s crucial to a thorough recovery and clean-up process after flooding not to forget about cooling towers.

Cooling towers should be cleaned regularly regardless to keep them free of insects, dust, pollen and other debris. However, it’s particularly important to clean the towers after a flood to ensure that sediment and other debris doesn’t harshly affect the cooling tower. Debris can block screens, strainers and other parts of the cooling tower, possibly causing the system not to operate properly. But even more concerning is when debris, or layers of slime and scale, build up on the basin floor, potentially allowing life-threatening bacterias such as Legionella to grow.

As we mention in our post Cooling Tower Cleaning: Look to ASHRAE For Guidelines on Reducing Legionella, “[T]emperatures between 77-108 degrees, stagnation of water, the presence of scale or sediment, biofilms and the presence of amoebas,” all contribute to the growth of the Legionella bacteria.

Additionally, after a flood, a cooling tower may be shut down for some time. Because Legionella likes stagnant, warm water, it’s crucial to clean the tower if it has been shut down for any length of time to prevent bacterial cultivation. The key recommendations to keep a cooling tower from becoming an incubator for Legionella is to clean the system and use a biocide to prevent future bacterial growth, according to ASHRAE.

We at Goodway have ALL the tools and products you need to keep clean your cooling tower free from bacteria-harboring debris after it’s affected by a flood. Our Tower Vacuums are used to remove slime, mud, algae, bacteria and other contaminants from the sides and floor of the cooling tower basin.

Our accessory kit offers additional hoses and various brushes to reach all parts of the cooling towers. Spraying our foaming detergent, TowerShine, on the tower dissolves tough deposits. MoldTek or MoldTek-XC can be used on cooling tower surfaces to kill Legionella and other bacteria, or added into the water before cleaning.

ScaleBreak can be added into the water after cleaning to minimize contamination and prevent scale buildup. Adding a biocide product to the tower water after cleaning the basin prevents bacterial growth. Download our “How To Clean Cooling Towers” checklist for full details on the step-by-step tower cleaning process.

Next Steps:

One comment


  • Flood waters are so dirty because it is a mix of everything that the water comes in contact with. It easily sleeps to just about anything it reaches which can be bad for equipments and machinery. Good to know that there is a company that deals with these situations.

    January 4, 2013

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