Eight steps in water treatment

Whether for a new food processing plant or to upgrade an existing facility, determining appropriate water treatment is a vital first step to protect and maintain plant systems.


Determining necessary upfront water treatment is a critical step in protecting and maintaining plant systems. Courtesy: Stellar

Determining necessary upfront water treatment is a critical step in protecting and maintaining plant systems. Many plants forgo thorough analysis resulting in poorly or untreated water that can lead to scale and bacterial buildup on equipment.

These steps are required to develop the most-effective water treatment program:

1. Determine water flow rates and quality requirements:
Design engineers will establish these factors based on process and equipment requirements.

2. Analyze water samples: Chemists will conduct analysis to identify the quality of water at the facility that may impact food safety and equipment performance.

3. Establish water treatment system requirements:
The water analysis will determine the type of water treatment to control pH level, alkalinity, bacteria and removal of unwanted minerals.

4. Mineral removal: It's important to remove any minerals so water doesn't scale on heat exchange surfaces resulting in poor operational efficiency. Reverse osmosis may be necessary to reduce total suspended solids or total dissolved solids. Filtration will remove unwanted minerals from process waters, but it does not eliminate the need for a chemistry program.

5. Add necessary chemicals: Scale and corrosion can significantly impair equipment. Chemicals can be added to the plant's water to prevent scaling, corrosion and biological fouling. Biocides can also be added to kill slime, algae, and any other organisms that can grow inside piping and cause corrosion.

6. Determine boiler treatment: An oxygen scavenger must always be used to remove oxygen from the boiler water. Oxygen will cause pitting corrosion on heat exchange surfaces. Often times, a small amount of polymer is added as well, regardless of the filtration process, to help transport any remaining dissolved solids to the boiler drain during blow down.

7. Address cooling system requirements: Removing minerals such as calcium will alter the LSI (Langelier Saturation Index) value, the tendency to precipitate or dissolve calcium, of the water in a cooling system. Removing calcium from water will lower the LSI and create a more corrosive environment in the system. Even with filtration, most systems must still utilize a corrosion inhibitor. All open cooling systems must have a biocide program to treat the water for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, preventing biohazards such as legionella and listeria while also prohibiting the formation of efficiency-reducing biological slimes on heat exchange surfaces.

8. Establish remote monitoring: Water experts can log on remotely to monitor water quality 24/7 and make any necessary adjustments to maintain desired requirements.

  • Investing in upfront water treatment provides a number of benefits, including:
  • Reduced water usage: cleaner water can be cycled through the system many more times resulting in up to 60% savings.
  • Increased efficiency: maintaining a clean system by managing scale increases the operating efficiency of equipment, which results in energy savings.
  • Prolonged equipment life: adding chemicals to prevent corrosion eliminates the potential for degradation of a plant's systems and equipment.

This article was originally published on Stellar Food for Thought blog. Stellar is a fully integrated firm focused on planning, design, pre-construction, construction, refrigeration, mechanical & utility, building envelope, and total operations and maintenance services. Stellar is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Joy Chang, digital project manager, CFE Media, jchang@cfemedia.com

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me