Water Management: Controlling, Measuring, Maintaining and More

July 12th, 2016
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.

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