Water Management: Controlling, Measuring, Maintaining and More

Industrial Water Treatment

According to National Geographic, even though water covers 70 percent of the Earth, only 2.5 percent of that water is fresh, and only 1 percent of the fresh water is readily accessible.

Meanwhile, the news is filled with threats of water shortages and pollution challenges. All of this brings significant concerns to how we are managing our water.

Effective industrial water management is crucial both in standard everyday applications such as car washes and water cooling, but also in more complex operations such as fracking and even construction projects that can impact local freshwater sources. Here is a brief overview of how companies like yours can more effectively measure, monitor and control this precious resource.

Industrial Water TreatmentManaging Industrial Water

An important part of industrial water management is accurately controlling the water flow during use. Controlling the flow is essential because having a consistent flow of water allows treatment protocols to remain consistent so that wastewater can be efficiently and effectively managed.

Several methods of flow management are available to help with controlling the water. Valves can be set to allow only specified amounts of water through at a time. When using valves, the flow must be recorded on a regular basis to verify consistency and flow volume. The use of a suitable valve is paramount in accurate water flow control.

Maintaining Industrial Water

Industrial water treatment is essential in managing the issues that can occur when utilizing large amounts of water, with the major factors including scaling, microbiological activity, corrosion and residual wastewater byproducts. It is important to manage these issues and isolate them from source waters so that the local waters are not compromised.

Scaling, sometimes known as precipitation fouling, occurs when the temperature and similar factors cause the minuscule dissolved mineral salts which are already in the water to precipitate and then form solid deposits. These deposits can build up in layers on the metal surfaces of these systems and lead to obstructions in piping and reduced flow rates.

Scaling in Water Treatment PipeThe real issue with scaling is that as the scale thickens, energy is wasted due to the heat exchangers becoming less efficient. For industrial projects, this can mean time and money wasted because increased energy is needed to pump water through tighter pipes.

To resolve this issue, you can employ polyphosphates or similar tools that coat the iron and make it difficult for these minerals to build up.

Similar to scaling, corrosion occurs when metal oxidizes and compromises the water treatment equipment. There are several ways to control corrosion, including employing orthophosphates, polyphosphates and blends of each.

It is essential to manage and eliminate any microbes that may thrive within the untreated water, as well. Many diseases have been traced back to unmanaged cooling towers, most infamously including Legionnaires’ disease. These issues must be resolved by some form of biocide before the problem becomes toxic.  Ultraviolet (UV) systems can also provide effective control of biologics.

Residual wastewaters can also be a problem addressed by water treatment. The disposal of these wastewaters from industrial plants, for example, can become a very costly problem and national guidelines have been put in place to avoid having these tainted waters enter the public water supply.

Measuring Water for Use and Treatment

It is as true with water as it is with anything – you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Proper measuring of industrial water is one of the basics of using water as efficiently as possible during these times of water scarcity. A primary solution to the issue is the use of flow meters and transmitters.

Flow meters are having a significant impact on water measurement because they improve data analytics by showing how much water is being pumped into the system and how much water is reaching customers or project sites.

When it comes to water delivery, it is essential to measure non-revenue water or water that is lost before it reaches the customer. These modern meters monitor the flow of that water with incredible accuracy, meaning that companies can keep a close track of what is being used and even use measurement to identify potential leaks or damaged piping from meter to meter.

Cities, for example, often draw their water from many different sources and require a complex system of pumping stations, meaning that the cycles of these networks must be optimized. Flow meters can test the pumps to measure efficiency then compare it to operating specifications, helping guarantee a consistent flow of water throughout a city-scale network.

In the end, the flow meter and similar data logging capabilities are becoming some of the most valuable tools in proper water management as they maximize and streamline revenue generation, cost control, and of course, conservation of this precious resource.

HydrofrackingWater Management and Fracking

Now that fracking has emerged as the massive enterprise that it is, concerns for proper water management are starting to grow in an attempt to lower the risk of negatively impacting the local water table while also fighting rising water costs.

The act of hydrofracking involves drilling deep into the earth and releasing a high-pressure water mixture at rocks below in an attempt to release the fluids inside.

As an industry, fracking consumes more than 1 billion barrels of water on an annual basis and creates half that amount as barrels of wastewater for disposal or treatment, reports Water Online. This is enough to fill 150,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Managing all this is no minor task, as Investopedia notes, and the industry will end up paying north of $6 billion in wastewater management.

Many states have made their concerns known regarding the surpluses of wastewater and corporations are being tasked with reporting how much water was used and/or dumped on a monthly and yearly basis.

Fracking companies must also take precautions as the procedure can potentially cause the release of tainted fracking water or the natural gases into the groundwater, polluting the local water table in the area around the fracking site.

Fracking has the potential to be a great source of gas and oil reserves, but proper water management during the operation is vital to ensuring the long-term viability not only of the procedure, but the local residents and animals that rely on the region’s water.

At DEWCO Pumps, we are a leader in industrial water management technologies, and our suite of high-tech equipment and devices offers companies all the tools necessary to effectively manage, measure and treat their water and wastewater. Our inventory covers measurement tools, flow instrumentation, various valve options and containment tanks. We are water management experts, and we are happy to answer any of your questions. Call DEWCO Pumps today at 303-232-6861 or email us at sales@dewco.com for more information about our products and services.

Cooling Towers and Preventing Legionnaire’s Disease

Ray Brennan probably looked forward to his three-day American Legion convention in Philadelphia back in the summer of ’76 – old friends, war stories, great food and maybe a little business. He probably did have a great time, which explained away the exhaustion he felt when he returned home.

But three days later, he was dead.

Legionnaires DiseaseThe convention, held at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in downtown Philly, kicked off July 21, 1976, according to archived coverage from the Los Angeles Times. Brennan had plenty of company there: more than 2,000 American Legion members – primarily men – converged on the hotel for three days of Legion business. Conventioneers also took in Philadelphia’s historic sights, enjoyed the cuisine all over the city and spent time with each other, shaking hands, hugging and talking.

Another three days after returning from Philadelphia, the 61-year-old Brennan, a retired U.S. Air Force captain and a bookkeeper for the Legion, died at his home – July 27, 1976. The cause of death was ruled an apparent heart attack.

Three more days passed, and suddenly, four more Legionnaires were dead, also seemingly of heart attacks. The following day, the death toll mounted to 11, with all the victims suffering the same symptoms – fatigue, chest congestion, chest pain and a fever. Older adults, smokers and people with weakened immune systems were particularly susceptible.

Three of the dead men had been patients of physician Ernest Campbell in Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania, and the doctor knew all three had attended the convention just a few days before. Recognizing the dire implications of such an epidemic, Dr. Campbell contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Meanwhile, the people at the American Legion headquarters suddenly began receiving news of members’ deaths. Within a week, two dozen were dead and more than 100 were hospitalized. In total, 221 cases were reported with 34 resulting in death.

Back in that bicentennial year, most Americans hadn’t ever heard of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it soon became a household topic. The CDC launched an exhaustive investigation that lead them to rule out external culprits – a disease carrier, or something in common ingested, for example – and began to zero in on the hotel itself.

Legionella BacteriaOf course, you know the rest of the story. Months later, in January 1977, the lethal cause was identified as a bacterium the scientific community labeled Legionella. And, of course, you know where it was breeding: the cooling tower of the hotel’s air-conditioning system. From there, the bacteria then spread silently and invisibly throughout the air inside the hotel, settling in the lungs of visiting Legionnaires and blooming into a severe form of pneumonia.

“Five months after the convention, [CDC microbiologist Joseph McCade] took another look at some red sausage-shaped bacteria and concluded that they were the culprits,” Time magazine reported. “They had festered in the water of the hotel’s cooling tower and had been carried through the air as the water evaporated.”

If you’re old enough, perhaps you recall the immense relief that swept the country when the number of new cases dropped off – apparently, it wasn’t contagious. The discovery of the cause, however, spawned a whole new slate of fears because there were cooling towers in practically every building, just like the one at the Bellvue-Stratford. And it could happen again – to anyone. The fear was palpable: the public had a very loose notion of the science behind the disease and not much information on it.

Legionnaires’ disease began at least 33 years before the 1976 Philadelphia epidemic, and in the years since, it continues to claim victims.

Wikipedia offers a brief list of some of the most striking outbreaks in the past 30 years:

April 1985, England: 175 people in Stafford, England, were admitted to two local hospitals with a chest infection or pneumonia. More than two dozen did not survive. After the Legionella bacterium was found, an investigation pinpointed the source to the cooling tower on the roof of one of the hospitals.

March 1999, Holland: More than 300 people fell ill and more than 30 died of Legionnaires’ disease after attending a flower show.

July 2001, Spain: More than 800 suspected cases were recorded and six deaths reported.

September 2005, Canada: 127 nursing home residents fell ill, with 21 deaths that week. The disease was traced back to the air conditioning cooling tower.

November 2014, Portugal: More than 300 people were hospitalized and seven succumbed to the disease that festered in the cooling towers of a local fertilizer plant.

August 2015, New York City: More than 110 cases of Legionnaires’ disease and 12 related deaths were reported in the Bronx. The Department of Health determined that Legionella was found in the cooling systems of five public places, which were swiftly decontaminated.

August 2015, California: An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease was detected at San Quentin State Prison in Northern California.

June 2015-January 2016, Michigan: Beleaguered Flint, Michigan, has suffered at least 87 cases of Legionnaires’ disease with 10 resulting in fatalities.

Water Cooling TowersThe original Philadelphia outbreak, of course, triggered new regulations for the climate control industry not just in this country, but across the globe. Preventing Legionnaires’ disease requires one thing: keeping Legionella from colonizing in your water system.

To understand that, let’s take a look at how a cooling tower works. It’s made to extract heat using water. Hot air intakes pass through the water, transferring heat from air to water and causing some evaporation, which rises and, when cooled, collects at the bottom of the tower and recycles for reuse, though there are restrictions for reuse in certain circumstances. Warm water is Legionella’s comfort zone, and cooling towers provide the perfect storm for this bacteria to multiply, infect silently and kill.

Proper cooling tower disinfection and maintenance practices are the key to preventing another outbreak and adding to the unfortunate death toll. Of course, a large part of that is having the proper equipment. You’ve probably got some questions and concerns about controllers and related equipment now, so give us a call at 303-232-6861 or email us at sales@dewco.com. At DEWCO, we have a selection of water treatment solutions and closed systems that can help prevent this swift and silent killer from affecting your operations and taking any more victims. Give us a call today and let us help figure out the best solution for your building.

The Importance of Wastewater Sanitation for Microbreweries

Brewing Your Own Beer

Water quality matters. In fact, it matters more than that; water is essential to our health and well-being, and is one of the first steps we can take to bettering the environment, bettering the world around us. Of course environmental concerns comes first in terms of water quality and our health is intertwined with that, but water quality is an important part of certain businesses so much so that if the water quality is bad or improperly managed, that business can sink rather quickly. One such industry that is quickly rising in prominence is microbreweries. In some cities around the country, it seems a new microbrewery is popping up every week or so. It is that booming. Did you know that the glue that holds many of these microbreweries together is water quality?

According to Keith Gribbins of Craft Brewing Business, “Water quality is at the forefront of brewing. Not only do craft brewers use water to make their delicious beer products (in millions of barrels per year), but the sanitation of wastewater effluent is an enormous part of the environmentally conscious brewing business.”

Yes, out of all the rising industries in the world, microbreweries are the most environmentally conscious, but there still major areas that can be improved, with still many small breweries not monitoring their wastewater going down the drain. In other words, there are no treatment programs in place and there is no pre-treatment of the wastewater going down the drain. Although some microbreweries feign ignorance, the industry as a whole is aware of the sanitation of wastewater problem understanding the connection between it and large-scale business success. Vinnie Cilurzo, brewmaster at Russian River Brewing Co., says, “From an operational standpoint, it, along with a handful of other pieces of equipment, is the first thing I check in the morning. If your wastewater is not operable, your brewery is not operational.”

Those are some strong words. It seems then that wastewater is the lifeblood of the microbrewery business affecting the surrounding community and world at large. If the wastewater sanitation equipment is not adequate or somehow not operational, the brewery will quickly collapse under the weight of poor water quality not to mention negatively affecting human and environmental health.

At Dewco Pumps, most of our products are designed to be used in the water/wastewater arena and can help keep your microbrewery not only operational but also successful. Contact us today to see how we can help you and your business out.

Maintaining Water Quality in the Rocky Mountain Region

Rocky Mountains on a Clear Day

We are DEWCO, welcome to our new blog! Before we get into a little of what we do, let us first talk about water.

Although water is so essential for life and that it is almost everywhere we look, including oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, and more, we do not think about it all that much. We are so used to it being around that we never really question its availability or quality. That ingrained lack of awareness, however, might be changing, in large part due to the California drought – and how the media is covering it.

Let us just look, for example, at this Mercury News article. Paul Rogers writes, “Hope to hose down your driveway one day? It might never happen again. Even when California’s historic drought finally ends, many of the water conservation rules put in place this year to cope with the emergency may be here to stay.”

Long story short, because of the drought, Californians and America as a whole are more conscious of water conservation. We think about water more. In other words, we are now reevaluating how we live our day-to-day lives, if we are wasting anything. This reevaluation also deals with the quality of water. That is just one of our jobs at DEWCO as we proudly serve the fluid control needs of the Rocky Mountain Region, which we have been doing since 1974.

Simply put, we are a distributer of controlled fluid control products like metering pumps and ball valves, and we support many different industries, including oil and gas, power, chemical, water treatment, wastewater treatment, automation, HVAC, cooling towers, boilers, mining, manufacturing, biotechnology, food and beverage, brewing, wineries, environmental, and much, much more.
For our first blog post, we want to focus on water quality, because from October 26-30, we had a booth at the Wyoming Water Quality & Pollution Control Association (WWQ-PCA) Annual Conference, where we were busy conferencing and conducting pump training sessions.

What is the WWQ-PCA? Well, according to the WWQ-PCA’s Facebook Page, “Wyoming Water Quality and Pollution Control Association works to design training opportunities for Wyoming water and wastewater system operators.” The WWQ-PCA is responsible for increasing the proficiency and productivity of Wyoming water and wastewater system operators. This is essential in maintaining quality water statewide and in order to educate these water workers, the WWQ-PCA relies on organizations like DEWCO to provide equipment and training sessions, and we are happy to play a role in that process.

Helping various industries maintain a high quality of water is just one of the jobs we do at DEWCO. Stay tuned with our blog, thank you for checking it out!

 

Welcome!

Welcome to our new blog.