Three Important Parameters for Cooling Tower Water Treatment

Cooling towers are designed to reject heat from HVAC equipment and industrial plant machinery by utilising water. Therefore, proper water treatment is essential for this cooling device to operate efficiently. In addition, this practice will prevent degradation of the cooling tower components and ensure longevity. Generally, there are different elements which affect the water quality in a cooling tower, and these must be evaluated when creating an ideal maintenance program or system. Here are the most important water treatment parameters which will determine the efficiency of your cooling tower.


Scaling is a major problem for cooling towers which use hard water in the cooling process. Basically, hard water contains magnesium and calcium salts. When the water absorbs heat during the tower operations, the salts become insoluble and adhere to the walls of the heat exchange surfaces and other important components. As a result, the cooling efficiency of the tower will reduce because the skill will cause thermal insulation. Therefore, if you are experiencing scale problems or your water supply has significant hardness, you must make certain that it is treated. Water softeners will remove the hardness ions, reducing the probability of scale build-up.


Corrosion is not normally a factor related to the standard water supply. In simple terms, the water coming into the cooling system does not usually cause the degradation of the metal components of the heat rejection device. However, the chemicals which are used to prevent scaling and other forms of contamination are typically acidic. The acidic water causes chemical and electrochemical destruction of the tower and shortens its lifespan. This detriment can be prevented by the incorporation of corrosion inhibitors in the water treatment program. However, you should note that there must be a good balance between scale treatment chemicals and corrosion inhibitors for optimal cooling tower water quality.

Biological Contamination

Water in cooling tower systems is prone to biological contamination. The warm water is ideal for bacterial, algal and fungal growth. Often, these microorganisms will stick together and even adhere to the surfaces of the cooling tower. The resulting layer is known as a biofilm, and it reduces the efficiency of the cooling process. Also, dangerous bacteria such as legionella can grow and cause disease in people who come in contact. You should treat your cooling tower with algaecides and biocides to prevent this biological contamination. The correct application of these chemicals will eliminate and prevent recurrent contamination.

If you are uncertain about the right water treatment regimes, consult an experienced cooling tower maintenance technician.