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Water Quality Improvement

Category: Process
Need: Water Quality Improvement
Customer: Expanded Polystyrene Plant
Challenge: Improved microbiological control in the cooling tower water

A large expanded polystyrene plant in Florida was experiencing product contamination which they believed to be caused by direct contact with either their steam or cooling tower water. After an in depth evaluation of the plant's boiler and steam system, it was determined that contact from the steam was not a contributing factor to the product contamination. Instead, it was discovered that the cooling tower water did not have an adequate microbiological control program and there was an incompatibility issue between one of the components in the product and one of the cooling tower treatment chemicals.

For improved microbiological control in the cooling tower water, a microfiltration system was installed to remove a majority of the food source while an ultraviolet disinfection system was used to control microbiological activity along with a minimal amount of chemical biocide.

After installing this equipment and redesigning the cooling tower chemical water treatment program, the bacteria in the cooling tower water was reduced by 237% and the product contamination which had been costing this facility more than $500,000 annually for the past 14 years was eliminated.