Rid Your Systems of Struvite and Vivianite

waste-water-plant

What is Struvite or vivianite?

Struvite is formed when ammonia, phosphate, and magnesium come together to precipitate and initiate Struvite crystallization. Struvite can present itself as a white, brown, or yellowish hardened substance.

Vivianite is a combination of iron, phosphorus, hydrogen, and oxygen and is formed during anaerobic digestion. Vivianite commonly presents as a deep blue to deep blue-green crystalized color.

Both of these formations can rapidly adhere to various equipment surfaces. Both Struvite and Vivianite crystalize and solidify to rock-like formations. Struvite and vivianite formations significantly reduce flow and functionality within wastewater treatment plants causing significant maintenance costs and loss of efficiency.

Where do you find Struvite or Vivianite?

Struvite and Vivianite are commonly found in industrial piping that has wastewater with Magnesium, Ammonia, or Phosphate. Areas within wastewater systems most prone to these formations are piping, especially 90° bends, valves, T fittings, pumps, belt presses, centrifuges, Digesters, grit screens, and heat exchangers.

treatment plant wastewater

How to get rid of Struvite and Vivianite?

The most common concern with Struvite and Vivianite is how to get rid of them without having to replace pipes or cause interruptions. When removing Struvite or Vivianite, you can either do it chemically or by hydro-blasting. While hydro-blasting has its benefits, most piping lays underground which makes this method inefficient. Making chemical solutions the most effective and easiest method of dissolving Struvite and Vivianite from pipes.  As these chemicals react with the building blocks of struvite and vivianite, they steadily dissolve formations found within the clogged pipes. The solution we suggest for wastewater operators to use for dissolving the Struvite and Vivianite is our ScaleBreak®-SS, a non-hydrochloric acid solution.

ScaleBreak®-SS can dissolve struvite and vivianite formations, restoring the flow of pipes and equipment. Every system cleaning procedure must take the specific challenges related to that particular system into account.  Depending on the severity of the Struvite/vivianite formation, these methodologies can range from static soaking to circulation to flow reversal or all three.

Next Steps:

Reach out to a Goodway expert to find the best way to get your pipes back to prime condition.

 

Legionella Now And In A Post COVID World

legionnaires disease

No doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a heavy blow on every continent in the world. Lockdowns were immediately imposed, which led to the closure of shops, offices, industries, malls, schools, and commercial buildings. However, normalcy will be restored, and gradually people will return to these buildings that were once vacant. To ensure a safe re-opening of offices and buildings, there is a dire need to carry out thorough preventive maintenance of these buildings cooling towers. This will prevent the possible outbreak of diseases like Legionella.

Reports and studies from the CDC corroborate a likelihood of legionella bacteria growing in buildings left unoccupied or unused for a long time in both the potable water systems and HVAC systems and cooling towers. It is noteworthy that legionella bacteria grows in stagnant water bodies, which is the characteristic of water in an unused cooling tower.

This is a wake-up call to Facility managers and HVAC professionals to swing into action to eliminate the possible outbreak of legionella disease. As a start, an adequate legionella risk assessment must be carried out before re-opening any building, especially those with an installed cooling tower, to ensure that water and air quality are not compromised.

Legionella In A Post COVID World

According to an article published on ACS PUBLICATION, there is a considerable risk of legionella outbreak after the COVID-19 pandemic if adequate and appropriate measures are not put in place. New recommendations must be developed and implemented as post-COVID time sets to mitigate the risk of an outbreak. These acts will be similar to what was done after the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

These recommendations will enforce and ensure that no commercial building left unoccupied or unused during COVID is re-opened without proper and rigorous inspection. Besides, across much of the country, the winter season is gradually drawing the curtain. The warm season will set in soon. Remember that legionella bacteria love warm and stagnant unused water, particularly a feature of buildings with cooling towers during COVID.

The Latest Legionella Outbreak

The need to take necessary precautions and appropriate legionella risk management measures cannot be over-emphasized. In Union County, New Jersey,  fourteen cases of legionella disease have been reported and confirmed with one death. Records showed that these cases were reported between February 3rd and February 26th.

In fact, the New Jersey Department of Health is currently investigating the outbreak’s source to prevent future occurrences. Currently, the department’s official, alongside local health workers, has identified some legionella bacteria sources and is working to neutralize and curb the growth and spread.

Legionella in Stagnant Water

How To Protect Against Legionella

An unfortunate truth is that little to or no attention is paid to the maintenance of cooling towers and water treatment in them as long as they are functioning properly.

To prevent the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease within cooling towers, you should follow a few tips for cooling tower maintenance:

  •  Monthly inspection

It is essential to keep an eye on the water in cooling towers to check any irregularities such as scale, sediments, etc. Moreover, as we approach the warmer season, inspecting twice a month is advisable to be on the safe side and remain to rest assured of the water’s purity.

  •  Treat the Water

Water in cooling towers should be treated with a variety of antiscalant and antibacterials to manage the quality and risk of legionella and other bacterial growth. A variety of water treatment companies are available to tackle this important task on an ongoing basis. But water treatment alone is not enough. Constant maintenance and cleaning are required too.

  •  Removal of Stagnant Water

After a long period of not using a cooling tower, stagnant water should be flushed out totally and replaced with fresh water. Stagnant water might harbor legionella bacteria already without you knowing.

  •  Clean the Fill

We have learned that stagnant water can breed legionella bacteria; therefore, cleaning the fill to remove slime and scale in cooling towers must not be overlooked. Cleaning the fill allows for better flow and reduces the tendency of growth of mold and bacteria. Additionally, cleaning of tower basins is essential to remove food sources from bacteria and keep heat exchanger tubes clean.

  •  Proper Water temperature

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) provides several recommendations on how to prevent Legionnaires’ disease in cooling towers. Perhaps the most crucial piece of advice is to keep the temperature of the sump water below 68 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

  •  Surface Disinfection

Disinfection with an EPA registered antimicrobial product, labeled explicitly for HVAC use, should be used to clean surfaces of all HVAC systems and add-ons. This can help keep microorganisms from flourishing between cleaning cycles.

  •  Clean Basin Surfaces

Cleaning the basin of a cooling tower eliminates the places where harmful bacteria grow. Although basin cleaning can be a part of the monthly maintenance schedule, preventing the growth of Legionella requires a thorough basin cleaning at least once every two weeks.

Guides To Follow

Also see ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2018, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems. Which clarifies compliance requirements, and is updated throughout with enforceable, code-intended language to facilitate the adoption of the standard for code and regulatory purposes.

When used in conjunction with Standard 188-2018, Guideline 12-2020 – Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems can provide prescriptive guidance for operators of water management systems to control legionellosis in building water systems.

Next Steps:

The CDC recently published a toolkit to reduce the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria.

Read more about preventing Legionella in Cooling Towers.

Discover our Cooling Tower Cleaning Solutions

Learn about Cooling Tower Fill Descaling

 

 

 

Keeping Your Cargo Safe: Refrigeration Plant Maintenance On Marine Vessels

Cargo Ships

The continuous use of refrigeration plants on a marine vessel carrying perishable food makes it one of the most important systems on the ship. The refrigeration plant supplies cooling to various parts of the ship, most importantly this includes maintaining the climate conditions of whatever cargo the ship is transporting. As a lifeline for all perishable food items, temperature-sensitive cargo, and personnel, the refrigeration plant is one of the most important systems on a ship. 

When away from the port, marine vessels are isolated, self-servicing floating businesses, and have to have great any maintenance crews. The great isolation and distance from the port reinforce the need for proper maintenance and upkeep of critical systems on the ship when is in port, but also having on-board expertise when on a voyage.

The Nature of a Marine Refrigeration Plant 

As mentioned before, the main purpose of the refrigeration plant is to avoid any spoilage or damage that could occur to the perishable cargo on the ship. Properly maintained climate levels on a ship prevent the growth of microorganisms, oxidation, fermentation, and drying out of cargo. 

Refrigeration plants have multiple important components, all vital to maintaining performance. Some of these components are simple to replace en route, while others are more complicated and require port-based maintenance. Depending on your system configuration, maintaining components like evaporator coils or air handler coils can help keep systems operational, longer. Using proper technology to clean air handler coils, refrigeration coils, and condenser coils can help keep system head pressure within specifications and increase system efficiency. 

Cleaning and Maintaining the Components of a Refrigeration Plant

Crew and customers both rely on the dependability and functionality of the ship’s refrigeration plant. Without a well-maintained refrigeration plant, the rest of the ship is unable to perform its main function of transporting its cargo. 

Ships may rarely stay at a dock for a long enough period of time for engineers to fully service and maintain the health of the refrigeration plant. Ship engineers need to fully understand the movement schedule of a ship so that they can best plan the overall maintenance of the refrigeration plant. A common practice of ship engineers is to conduct all of their routine maintenance nearly every day at sea. Engineers save the in-depth maintenance overhauls and part replacement for the docking periods of a ship, where access to additional resources is available. 

With such a small window to conduct refrigeration plant maintenance, it is vitally important that ship engineers make the time that they have to conduct maintenance count. Proper cleaning and maintenance equipment increase the effectiveness of maintenance efforts. The key equipment to have for refrigeration plant maintenance includes coil cleaning systems and chemicals, tube cleaning systems, chemical descalers, industrial pressure washers, and surface sanitation systems. This equipment should be paired with a comprehensive maintenance plane that is also in sync with the docking schedule for the ship. 

Goodway’s experts are also on standby ready to answer any questions about marine refrigeration plant maintenance. The best refrigeration maintenance plans fully consider the port and at sea dates of the ship, and utilize this time to conduct the major cleaning, maintenance, and performance checks. Routine maintenance can be completed easily and quickly daily with numerous Goodway products that maintain the operational health of the refrigeration plant. 

 

Next Steps:

Learn more about Ship Maintenance: Descaling is Critical for Effective Heat Transfer

Find your Maritime & Offshore perfect solution

Get tips & tricks with Dealing with Scale Deposits in Maritime Environments

 

 

 

Legionnaires Mandatory Testing: Is Your State Next?

Legionnaires disease is atypical pneumonia caused by a specific type of bacteria infecting the lungs. According to the CDC, each year, between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires disease in the United States. [i] These cases are primarily from occupants of buildings with complex central air conditioning systems such as office buildings, hotels, and hospitals who breathe in aerosolized water containing the Legionella bacteria.

Signs of Legionnaires disease can remain hidden until they infect building occupants, and it is ultimately the responsibility of the building owner and management to protect occupants from infection. Some states across the country have adopted laws and regulations enforcing mandatory testing on buildings for signs of Legionnaires disease. In response to these regulations, and the general responsibility that building owners owe to their occupants, Legionnaires disease can best be prevented by creating and enforcing highly detailed and systematic water safety plans for buildings.

Where to Target Legionnaires Disease

The Legionella bacteria thrive in aquatic systems under particular conditions. Cooling towers used in industrial cooling systems, evaporative coolers, and hot water systems are the most important – and most obvious – location for a maintenance plan to target.

Cooling towers are often part of central air-cooling systems for large buildings that spread recycled and fresh air throughout the structure. Cooling towers have been found to cause almost half of the recorded outbreaks and the most outbreaks explicitly associated with the Legionnaires disease. If left unchecked, cooling towers can become a deadly health hazard when they support vital domestic and industrial water systems, heating, ventilation, and air condition systems.

How To Prevent Legionnaires Disease in Your Cooling Towers

The best method for preventing Legionnaire bacteria contamination in cooling towers is an aggressive cleaning plan paired with training, monitoring, and testing periodically throughout the year. OSHA suggests that Cooling towers should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a year; before the initial start-up of the cooling season and after shut-down in the fall.[ii] Systems with heavy biofouling or high Legionella bacteria levels may require additional cleaning (see the Outbreak Response page for more information).

When system components and especially cooling towers go out of service for a period of time, it is critical for maintenance staff to seize the opportunity to clean the component or tower thoroughly. When new equipment is installed, it is vitally important that the new systems are cleaned and disinfected. Construction material residue can contribute to Legionella bacteria growth in new systems and equipment.

When cleaning cooling towers, it is critical that maintenance personnel follow specific steps and procedures to ensure the safe removal of bacteria-laden material, and possible disinfection of the surrounding surfaces. The two most vital safety steps to complete at the very beginning of the process are to shut off the cooling tower and to provide the proper protective equipment to the workers who are performing the cleaning. Once the cooling tower is off and maintenance workers are properly outfitted, the maintenance crew should start with the manual removal of mud, silt, and debris from the cooling tower basin. The Goodway CTV-1501 TowerVac® is a popular choice for industry professionals. Once the debris has been removed, any visible limescale deposits should be removed from the cooling tower fill using an acidic gel compound and spraying system. Finally, the disinfection of all exposed hard non-porous surfaces can be completed.

States Leading the Example

New York is leading the way in the regulation and fights against the prevalence of Legionnaires bacteria. According to the New York law, any building owner with a cooling tower is required to register their tower. All cooling towers on the New York State Cooling Tower Registry must be maintained and update registries every 90 days if the tower is operational.[iii]

Florida has made steps to follow New York along the path to policy, preventing the spread of Legionnaires disease. Florida Senator Joe Gruters, R- Sarasota introduced SB 1190, which is intended to protect the public from Legionnaires disease contracted from cooling towers by requiring owners to regularly clean, maintain, treat, sample, and report results. If a cooling tower contains Legionella growth, it must be reported to the health department, possibly requiring a public notification.

The decision of these two states to have mandatory testing for Legionnaire bacteria indirectly mandates the need for businesses to have comprehensive maintenance and prevention plans. Though these laws at first glance may seem to be added trouble for businesses, by regulating compliance, they are protecting business owners from severe outbreaks from occurring. Any severe outbreak that happened would be significantly more financially detrimental to property owners than the cost of running a maintenance plan.

Solutions for Targeting Legionella Build Up

Reducing and preventing Legionnaire disease requires strict adherence to a maintenance plan. Numerous companies and building owners have already developed the right policies and procedures, but it is essential for those remaining to improve. Goodway has multiple tools and equipment that can help you establish and maintain a maintenance plan. Some of the tools that Goodway offers include a BioSpray Tower cooling disinfectant, the CTV-1501 Cooling Tower Vacuum, installing the cooling tower water fill station, utilizing the cooling tower filter system, and the cooling tower fill cleaner.

 

[i] Legionellosis – United States, 2000—2009Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 60(32), 1083-1086 (2011).

[ii] https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_iii/otm_iii_7.html

[iii] https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/legionella/cooling_towers.htm

 

Next Steps:

Watch our webinar on Cooling Towers.

Read more on Quick and Easy Removal of Cooling Tower Fill Deposits.

Discover all Goodway’s Cooling Tower Cleaning Products.

Problems with Scale, General Fouling, and Bacteria in your Cooling Towers? Get Tips & Tricks.

The True Cost Of HVAC Scale

What can you, as the facility maintenance manager, do about limescale? Limescale and other water-formed deposits can cause major loss of efficiency, increased operating costs, and minimize the life expectancy of capital equipment. But first, as a Facility Manager, how can you tell if your HVAC system is suffering from limescale build-up?

Signs of Increased Cost from Scale Buildup

Some of the symptoms will be gradual because limescale deposits build up over time. But small changes in equipment efficiencies can be a sign of limescale growth. Here are some additional signs that show you need to tackle your limescale problem:

  1. Rising operational costs (including tube or pump failures or the chiller shutting down due to high head pressure)
  2. Increased equipment downtime
  3. Progressively growing heating and cooling energy costs
  4. Poor equipment (boiler, chiller, heat exchanger, or tower) performance, including high head pressures or pump reading more elevated than usual

Rising operational costs

If your HVAC gas or electric bill is rising with no change in facility operational hours, there’s a good chance you’ve got limescale problems. Scale deposits can lead to significant increases in energy costs by reducing the heat transfer surface on both cooling (chiller) and heating (boiler) systems. Consequently, more energy is required to achieve the same level of heating or cooling when limescale fouling is impeding the energy coefficients. Also, the reduction in pipe diameter means your pumps work harder to move the same amount of fluid. This not only increases electricity costs but may lead to premature pump failure. Increased fuel costs mean increased building operating and maintenance costs, which affect the profitability of your business.

Some key findings on the costs of scale are:

  • Energy consumption is increased up to 11% for just 1/16-inch of scale, according to the American Society of Plumbing Engineers
  • Equipment failure rates increase due to scale
  • Scale often necessitates the use of chemicals to counter hard water use. Detergent usage increases by 2-4% percent per 1,000 gallons of water.

Want to find out what scale is really costing you? 

Increased equipment downtime

When left to build up inside HVAC components, scale deposits will eventually require removal for the equipment to function. Depending on the amount of build-up, the equipment may experience downtime for days or weeks. This downtime quickly cuts into the operational capability of a building, and if all HVAC systems serving a building are down, the building may have to cease operation entirely until the problem is fixed.

Preventing equipment downtime is one of the most significant concerns of facility managers, yet some may not realize that they need to practice correct preventative maintenance plans on their systems to prevent downtime. Naturally, all equipment will experience some sort of downtime for maintenance, but when equipment downtime sharply increases for cleaning, it may be evidence of a larger scale build-up problem.

Progressively increasing heating and cooling energy costs

Progressively increasing heating and cooling costs can be a reliable indicator of scale build-up inside HVAC components affecting the performance and efficiency of HVAC systems. This is especially true when heating and cooling costs increase despite a relatively stable period of climate and building usage.

Facility managers are certainly in tune with the energy costs that a building accrues. Energy costs are often one of the most significant operations and maintenance budget items that a facility manager is concerned about. If patterns of rising heating and cooling costs show a decline in efficiency, it may be time to clean the system entirely of scale build-up.

Poor equipment performance

Poor equipment performance – like on boilers, chillers, heat exchangers, or cooling towers – is often first noticed by monitoring the key performance indicators of your systems. Things like the pump and head pressures should be monitored daily to identify baselines. This way, any disparency can quickly indicate scale issues.

Scale build-up inside the boiler, chiller, heat exchanger or cooling tower may be causing the lack of performance out of the system. Poor equipment performance will not only deliver inadequate heating or cooling results but also end up costing many multiples of the maintenances costs for replacement.

Preventing Scale Build Up

There are different methods for removing limescale build-up. These methods generally fall into two categories chemical and mechanical.

A combination of water treatment programs along with chemical or mechanical descaling is necessary to keep scale in check.

Chemical descalers are fluids that react with the calcium carbonate, sulfate, or silica build-up to break it down and flush it out of the system.

Mechanical include using rotary tube cleaning or projectile-based systems to remove scale deposits mechanically. They work to remove the mineral deposits plaguing the tubes of HVAC chillers, fire or water tube boilers, heat exchanger tubes/coils, and condenser tubes.

To slow the scale accumulation, water treatment solutions are often employed. Depending on the chemistry of your water source, a water treatment company will come up with the right treatment solution for your boiler or cooling tower. Regular tests and checks are essential to ensure the water is receiving the correct dosage of treatment chemicals. However, no chemical treatment will prevent scale deposits entirely, and so vigilant monitoring of system performance is required.

Next Steps:

If you haven’t been taking preventive action against HVAC limescale, today is an excellent time to start. It is never too late to begin, and you may be amazed by the results you will achieve. While there are many different options on the market today, choosing the right solution for your system is essential.

Get started by maintaining a daily logbook of your system parameters like head pressures, pump pressures, etc. The set up an annual or biannual maintenance cleaning program. This will help you get a handle on your scale problem. Next, get guidance from a reputable descaler manufacturer so you can make the right choices for addressing scale in your facility. With their expertise and products, soon your facility will realize lower running costs and a more efficient HVAC system.

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