Recording Available! Webinar: Preventative Maintenance for Cooling Tower Systems

Cooling tower maintenance is a crucial part of facility maintenance. A poorly maintained cooling tower can have a negative impact on public health, overall system efficiency and operational costs. In order to provide education on this important topic, Goodway Technologies  hosted a free webinar discussing the impact of neglecting cooling towers and providing tips on how to execute preventative maintenance. The webinar, “Preventative Maintenance for Cooling Tower Systems” is available to view now.

View the webinar here.

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Infographic-Cooling Tower Maintenance: How To Guide

Did you know that drift, small water droplets, from a contaminated cooling tower can carry Legionella and other bacteria up to 2 miles from your facility? These cooling tower maintenance and cleaning steps, along with Goodway’s cooling tower products, will help keep your facility and cooling towers clean, safe, energy efficient and help you meet ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015!

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Protect Your Cooling Towers from Legionella Before Your City Does it for You

It’s happened again. Tests indicate Legionella bacteria have contaminated the water supplies of the University of Windsor, in Canada, for a second time. Facilities in major metropolitan areas may be facing a similar threat of outbreaks if they do not mandate and enforce the proper maintenance of cooling towers and water supplies. Studies have shown that 40 – 60 percent of cooling towers test positive for Legionella so the problem will likely not go away on it’s own. Is there any good news here? Well, New York City is the exception in this battle against Legionella, as their Codes to Protect Against Legionella are some of the strictest in the nation.

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Webinar: Preventative Maintenance for Cooling Tower Systems

Cooling tower maintenance is a crucial part of facility maintenance. A poorly maintained cooling tower can have a negative impact on public health, overall system efficiency and operational costs. In order to provide education on this important topic, Goodway Technologies is hosting a free webinar discussing the impact of neglecting cooling towers and providing tips on how to execute preventative maintenance. The webinar, “Preventative Maintenance for Cooling Tower Systems” will take place on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 2 p.m. EST. Register for the free webinar here.

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Infographic-Cooling Tower Maintenance: How Do You Compare?

A healthy cooling tower is essential for the health of your personnel and the public, as well as the longevity and efficiency of your equipment. Wonder how you compare to other facility managers and personnel when it comes to cooling tower maintenance? Download our infographic to find out!

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Disneyland Legionnaires Cases Raise Cooling Tower Preventative Maintenance Questions

Recent legionnaires news at Disneyland is the latest reminder that this public safety and HVAC maintenance issue isn’t going away anytime soon. As mentioned in previous posts, Legionnaires’ disease is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that affects the lungs as a severe strain of pneumonia. It can be contracted through poorly treated or untreated potable or nonpotable water and grows well in warm conditions.

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How to Future Proof Your Facility Management Career

Someday your facility’s cooling tower may be queued up to follow an automatic preventive maintenance program and actually self-clean in an effort to boost efficiencies and decrease unplanned repair costs. Cool, right? Well, there’s a growing concern within many industries that “automation” is synonymous with “job loss.”

According to a recent McKinsey & Co. analysis of 2,000 different work activities across 800 occupations, automation will change virtually every job in every occupation. Specifically, McKinsey found that in about 60% of occupations, 30% of tasks could be handed over to robots and bots. Bad news for your career, right? … Think again.

The report concludes less than 5% of global occupations will be fully automated using current technology. The remaining 95% will simply change to account for advancements in technology, connectivity and automation.

Here’s a handful of facility manager skills that’ll be in high demand due, for the most part, by these advancements.

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Goodway’s Ray Field and CDC’s Nancy Messonnier, MD on How Your Facility can Best Prevent Legionella Outbreaks

It’s likely that most facility managers in New York City have already heard the news this week about a police officer infected with Legionnaire Disease (LD). A poorly maintained water supply system at his police station was the likely source for a widespread disease that’s seen a quadrupling of reported cases in the last 15 years.

Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreaks Trending Up

As the summer heat begins to put a strain on facility cooling towers, more facility-triggered outbreaks are likely to follow. According to Ray Field, Director of Goodway Liquid Solutions, the upward trend in outbreaks will likely continue over the next few years as sub-standard maintenance practices, the wrong maintenance tools and shrinking maintenance budgets continue to hamper progress.  In a related podcast entitled Legionella Outbreaks: Preventive Maintenance Practices and Chemical Solutions to Minimize Risk of Occurrence, Ray discusses the challenges facility managers face when battling the resilient bacteria.

“What it comes down to is good industrial hygienic practices,” Field says. “And if you look at cooling towers, in my estimation, they can be neglected in terms of care or maintenance up front when they’re started, in terms of washing them down, getting rid of scale accumulation in the tower fill that causes the air/water intimate contact that causes the cooling with the fan. Both chemical and mechanical solutions are really the best way to approach it, followed by a well-maintained water treatment program.” This is consistent with statements in the recent American National Standards Institute approved ASHRAE Standard 188 – 2015 entitled “Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems.”

Just recently, the CDC arrived at a similar conclusion after analyzing 2,809 confirmed LD cases reported from 20 states and NYC. The report summarized that the number one way for facility managers to mitigate LD risk is to better manage and maintain the building’s water supply system. The study also revealed that roughly 80% of LD outbreaks in facilities were preventable and healthcare facilities in particular were more susceptible due, in part, to their more vulnerable populations and more complex water supply systems.

Here are three additional takeaways from the study:

• Legionella grows well in building water systems that are not adequately managed such as those in which disinfectant levels are low or water temperatures are warm.
• The size and complexity of the facility’s water system may increase the risk for Legionella growth.
• Effective water management and maintenance programs are highly recommended to prevent Legionella growth in buildings with large or complex water systems.

Facility Water System Components Susceptible to Legionella Growth

Legionella can grow in parts of building water systems that are continually wet, and certain devices can spread contaminated water droplets via aerosolization. Examples of these system equipment, components and devices include:

  • Cooling towers
  • Hot and cold water storage tanks
  • Water heaters
  • Water-hammer arrestors
  • Pipes, valves, and fittings
  • Expansion tanks
  • Water filters
  • Electronic and manual faucets
  • Aerators
  • Faucet flow restrictors
  • Shower heads and hoses
  • Centrally-installed misters, atomizers, air washers, and humidifiers
  • Non-steam aerosol-generating humidifiers
  • Eyewash stations
  • Ice machines
  • Hot tubs/saunas
  • Decorative fountains

How to Implement a Water Supply Management and Maintenance Program

To help facility managers and building owners prevent future outbreaks, the CDC also prepared a comprehensive thirty-six page water supply management guide to implementing industry standards. Facility managers who have previously implemented a risk management system will be familiar with its structure and the recommended stages:

  • Describe your building, its use and occupants, the plumbing and water handling equipment, with special attention to dead-legs or low flow areas, and outlets that form droplets
  • Analyze your water system to identify points where Legionella might grow due to suitable temperatures, or post-heating destruction of disinfectant, increased contaminants or other factors.

Here’s a helpful building water supply system flow diagram provided in the guide:

Working Smarter and OutSmarting Bacteria

Cooling tower and other equipment susceptible to bacteria growth (hot tubs, showers, fountains, air conditioning) may require a complete shut-down that takes time, inconveniences patrons and costs money.  However, “clean-in-place” (CIP) maintenance solutions may drastically decrease the time, labor and burden of maintaining a water supply management program. For example, with the Goodway Cooling Tower Vacuum there’s no need to drain the tower – you can clean it while the tower is still online. Cooling demand is not interrupted, nor is the comfort of occupants. CIP solutions are typically more efficient and effective when compared to non-CIP solutions. For example, Goodway’s TFC-200 Cooling Tower Fill Cleaner used with a ScaleBreak Gel Descaler begins dissolving scale and grime from cooling tower fill on contact. This low viscosity acidic product is formulated specifically to adhere to and descale mineral deposits from cooling tower fill.

Final Thoughts: Clean Upfront

Whether a facility manager is in charge of an enormous water supply system or a modest system, cleaning up front takes priority over establishing a water supply program. In other words, basic preventive maintenance (PM) as equipment comes online for the first time or back online for the season must be your first step. That means using vacuums, pressure washers and the proper chemicals to safely and effectively remove scale.

Remember, your upfront PM should consider chemical and mechanical solutions that minimize labor costs and maximize effectiveness. Only then do you follow up with a well-maintained, measurable water management and treatment program. 

Next Steps:

 

Latest Cooling Tower Legionella Outbreak Underscores Cleaning Solution Challenges and Importance of Ongoing Maintenance

Another Legionella outbreak linked to cooling towers this week re-emphasizes the urgent need for facility managers to develop an effective cooling tower maintenance program. As we mentioned in part one of this two-part blog series on cooling tower cleaning solutions, various studies strongly suggest 40% to 60% of cooling towers test positive for legionella.

This latest outbreak of the potentially deadly disease was caused by poorly maintained cooling towers in buildings around the central business district in Melbourne, Australia.

Five people between the ages of 51 and 71 were hospitalized. Authorities in Melbourne are analyzing 92 building systems in an attempt to lock down the source of the outbreak. While all five people have been discharged and are recovering, one had been on life support in intensive care.

Cooling towers with heavy limescale buildup on their cooling tower fill can be the perfect breeding grounds for legionella. Once the bacteria gains a foothold, it can infect the entire system. That means sick buildings and sick people, or worse. Short of sickness, dirty cooling towers can make your building smell bad, driving customers away. And there’s also the cost to your company’s image, which might never recover.

Limescale buildup in cooling tower fill isn’t just unsightly, unpleasant and dangerous. Dirty cooling towers increase costs, big time. Limescale buildup can dramatically decrease cooling tower efficiency. That’s potentially thousands of dollars added to your electricity bill for significantly reduced performance.

Still, cleaning dirty fill is a giant headache. It’s filthy, labor-intensive work, especially when done the old fashioned way, scraping limescale off by hand. Cleaning a heavily scaled up cooling tower usually requires multiple tools. Changing tools adds more time to an already labor-intensive process. No wonder so many businesses put off cleaning cooling towers.

However, there is an all-in-one solution available to help you keep your cooling towers clean that’s simple to operate. First, rinse down the cooling tower using an integrated power washing function. Then use an integrated chemical applicator to apply a powerful, yet safe, chemical descaler gel. The gel immediately reacts with limescale deposits to help dissolve and remove them, on contact. The final step is using an integrated turbo nozzle that includes a unique spray pattern to power clean the deposits. If limescale isn’t the issue with your cooling tower fill, use a foaming cooling tower fill cleaner and turbo nozzle combination to remove biological matter and dirt.

Check out this video to get a better sense of the simplicity and effectiveness.

An all-in-one solution means fewer man hours spent cleaning cooling towers and less downtime. That means you won’t have to put off cooling tower cleaning until the last minute, saving your company tens of thousands of dollars in reduced electricity costs annually — and no bad publicity for being the source of the latest outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

How Clean-in-Place Cooling Tower Solutions Reduce Hassle, Cost and Liability

Every year about 25,000 case of Legionnaires’ disease and 4,000 Legionnaires’-related deaths occur in the United States primarily due to poorly treated water systems. And your cooling tower’s hot, grimy water is a key contributor, according to a consortium of water treatment experts.

Why? When a cooling tower’s water reaches around 95 degrees in the hot summer months, legionella pneumophila, a ubiquitous aquatic organism, thrives.

Given such sobering facts, not to mention recent negative press, facility managers are certainly trying to be vigilant about cleaning their buildings’ cooling towers.

In a podcast on how to prevent legionella outbreaks, Ray Field, Goodway’s Liquid Solutions Director, says various studies strongly suggest 40% to 60% of cooling towers test positive for legionella.

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