The year of the Cicadas – are you ready for cooling tower maintenance?

Cooling Towers Cicadas

The humming sound of cicadas is an unmistakable sign of summer. These fascinating creatures, known for their distinctive chirping, emerge from the ground once every few years in massive numbers. While their presence may be fascinating to some, it can pose challenges for various facilities and buildings that rely on cooling towers for essential operations. In this article, we will explore the impact of large swarms of cicadas on cooling towers, discuss the different types of cicadas, explore the areas in the US that will be affected in 2024, delve into the necessary equipment for cooling tower cleaning, provide info on recommended solutions for cooling tower cleaning equipment, and offer actionable steps to prepare for the upcoming cicada invasion.

What are Cicadas?

Cicadas are insects belonging to the order Hemiptera, genus Magicicada, and are known for their buzzing and clicking sounds. Around the world, there are many species of cicadas, including the North American Periodical Cicadas, which are further divided into 13-year cicadas and 17-year cicadas. As a survival mechanism, these insects spend most of their lives as underground nymphs and emerge in predictable intervals of 13 or 17 years. In 2024, the 13-year and 17-year cicada broods are both expected to emerge and will impact various areas in the United States.

Areas Impacted in 2024 & Future Projections

While the North American Cicadas are expected to have their largest presence in the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest regions, specifically Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and Indiana, other neighboring states are likely to experience an influx of cicadas as well. States such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Kentucky, and West Virginia are expected to witness increased cicada activity too. The emergence of cicada broods, whether 13-year cicadas or 17-year cicadas, brings with it a wave of adult cicadas, both male and female, that can disrupt cooling tower operations.

Equipment needed for Cooling Tower Cleaning

Maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of cooling towers becomes even more critical during cicada emergences. The accumulation of cicadas and their exoskeletons can block airflow and reduce efficiency, potentially leading to clogged heat exchangers and expensive repairs or shutdowns. Insect debris can also increase organic debris in cooling towers, leading to higher levels of bacterial growth that can trickle down into other parts of HVAC systems.

To assist businesses in procuring the necessary cleaning equipment and supplies, we recommend the following product types:

Below are some of the essential equipment needed for dependable cooling tower cleaning:

  1. Cooling Tower Fill Cleaners: Cooling tower fill cleaning systems are designed to remove scale and biological matter from the cooling tower fill, and are extremely effective when paired with high-quality chemicals.
  2. Cleaning Chemicals: Selecting appropriate biodegradable cleaning chemicals helps in effectively dissolving stubborn debris, including dead cicadas, without causing harm to maintenance professionals.
  3. Cooling Tower Vacuums: Specialized vacuums can be used to remove debris and sludge from basin, without having to drain the system or shut it down, saving time and water.
  4. Industrial Pressure Washers: High-pressure washers are ideal for removing cicadas and their remains from external surfaces. You can find quality cooling tower cleaning equipment for sale, including power washers, from Goodway and other reputable suppliers.
  5. Protective Gear: Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, goggles, and masks, should be worn during cleaning operations to ensure the safety of maintenance personnel. Prioritize employee safety by investing in high-quality PPE.

What Can You Do to Prepare

  1. Assess Your Cooling Tower’s Condition: Evaluate the current state of your cooling tower to gauge its vulnerability to cicada invasions. Identify any existing maintenance issues and address them promptly.
  2. Create a Maintenance Plan: Develop a comprehensive maintenance plan that includes regular inspections, cleaning schedules, and necessary repairs. Utilize cooling tower cleaning procedure PDFs to guide your maintenance efforts.
  3. Stock Up on Cleaning Supplies: Procure the required cleaning equipment and supplies in advance to avoid any shortages during the cicada emergence. Take advantage of cooling tower cleaning equipment for sale to ensure you have everything you need.
  4. Train Employees: Educate your staff on the proper cleaning techniques and provide necessary training to ensure everyone is prepared for the cicada invasion. Share cooling tower cleaning procedure PDFs with your team for reference.
  5. Work with Experts: Consider partnering with professionals experienced in cooling tower maintenance and cicada management to ensure a thorough and effective approach. Seek advice from industry experts to enhance your preparations.

Conclusion: Next Steps

As the North American Cicada brood prepares to emerge in 2024, businesses and industries reliant on cooling towers must be proactive in their maintenance efforts and preventive measures. By investing in the right equipment, adhering to regular cleaning routines, and staying prepared, the potential damages resulting from cicada invasions can be minimized or eliminated. Remember, early action and strategic planning are key to mitigating any disruptions caused by these fascinating insects. So, equip yourself, prepare your cooling towers, and conquer the imminent cicada invasion with confidence.

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