Services: Analytical and Technical Services

By: Aquachem  05/12/2011
Keywords: water systems, water quality, Cooling Tower

AquaChem provides a full range of test kits, replacement reagents and log sheets tailored to each site to help customers to prevent problems of scale, corrosion and biological fouling in water systems for on-site testing and control in between our routine service visits.

A full range of corrosion, scaling and fouling monitoring equipment is also available for use on customer sites.

On site testing is supported by planned service visits using trained qualified chemists and building services engineers who carry out chemical and microbiological tests at agreed frequencies to maintain water conditions and to help customers to reduce water and energy costs whilst minimising waste.


 

Boiler Water Testing

Independent on-site testing using a portable laboratory from raw water, pre-treatment plant, feedwater, boiler(s) and condensate. Tests carried out include:

  • Hardness
  • Alkalinities
  • Oxygen scavenger
  • pH
  • Total dissolved solids
  • Iron
  • Condensate Testing

Handwritten or electronic service reports are issued to customer and remedial action discussed and implemented so that scale and corrosion free conditions are maintained in the boiler and condensate system.


Cooling Water Testing

Tests are carried out on site with a portable laboratory at a minimum of monthly intervals and would typically consist of:

  • Calcium hardness
  • pH
  • Alkalinity
  • Corrosion or scale inhibitor level
  • Conductivity (total dissolved solids)
  • Iron
  • ATP Measurement for biological content
  • Water quality from pre-treatment plant

AquaChem fully complies with requirements laid down by UK H.S.E. and Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) on the operation of cooling towers. Handwritten or electronic service reports together with corrective actions to protect systems and reduce operating costs are prepared and stored in the Cooling Tower Water Hygiene Logbook.

Water Services Hygiene and Monitoring

AquaChem  provide analyses, products and services for all waters to ensure they are fit for the purpose and does not constitute a hazard to health. Services are provided to comply with Irish HPSC and UK L8 Guidelines including temperature monitoring, cleaning and disinfection and supply of our AquaTreat SHD shower head cleaner and disinfectant in one product.

Vending machines and bottled water coolers

Vending machines and water cooled dispensers deliver water for hot water drinks machines and for cold water drinking. Many cold water samples from these machines give poor microbiological results mainly due to poor maintenance of the equipment especially from the dispensing taps. The advice of the Automatic Vending Association and The Bottled Water Cooler Association should be adopted on cleaning routines to ensure hygienic conditions are maintained. The UK Water Supply Regulations 2001 for the quality of water used for human consumption states that drinking water should contain no micro-organisms which pose a danger to human health. Whenever Pseudomonas auriginosa, E. Coli, or coliforms are detected in a vending machine, it usually indicates that the cleaning of the machine is inadequate and it is recommended that the machine is taken out of service, cleaned and disinfected before re-use. The quality of the water supplied in the bottles for bottled water coolers should be covered by The Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Water Regulations 2003 and as such should be satisfactory but poor maintenance of the dispensing equipment can contaminate the water.

Hot and Cold Water Services

Hot and cold water services are particularly subject to the National Guidelines for the Control of Legionellosis in Ireland, 2009 and the UK Health and Safety Commission Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) 'The control of legionella in water systems' (L8). Legionellosis is the combined name for Pontiac Fever and Legionnaires Disease. A Risk Assessment must be carried out for all hot and cold water services to assess the risk of exposing  occupants of a building to the Legionella bacteria. For further details go to our Risk Assessment and Water Hygiene Logbook System.

As well as the microbiological tests that will monitor the efficacy of the control measures, the principal method of control is to monitor the water temperatures at the hot water plant and selected outlets monthly.

AquaChem provide this monitoring service where maintenance personnel do not have the time or resources available. This monitoring is just one part of the requirements to control the growth of legionella and it should be part of a complete management system that is covered by our Risk Assessment and Water Hygiene Logbook System for Hot and Cold Water Systems.

Microbiological Water Quality Testing


Microbial tests for water quality are carried out in an independant UKAS or ILAB approved laboratory. Only instant ATP/AMP or dip slide tests are carried out on site.
These following microbiological laboratory tests can be carried out:
 

Tests for drinking water quality
Total Viable Bacteria Count at 22 and 370 C

No maximum control set for these but if they increase dramatically further action may be necessary.

Total and Faecal coliforms including Escherica coli

Testing for coliforms is a test for faecal contamination that originate from human and animal waste.

Clostridium perfringens

Clostridium perfringens is the last indicator of faecal contamination. It determines whether recent or intermittent contamination occurs as the spores can persist in the environment for a considerable time.

Testing of all water systems where aerosols (water droplets) are produced
Legionnaires disease bacteria including sero typing

The presence of Legionella in buildings and cooling tower systems presents a serious risk to human health. The testing will confirm the absence or presence of Legionella in a water sample, and will also provide the serotype of the organism isolated.

Test for bacterial spoilage in water systems

The following tests are mainly required for closed industrial heating or chilled water systems where the bacteria described can cause large amounts of corrosion if left untreated.

Sulphate reducing bacteria

These bacteria are capable of breaking down sulphate to sulphide with the resulting problems of formation of hydrogen sulphide. Hydrogen sulphide is a toxic gas in large quantities and will also contribute to corrosion of pipework in a closed system.

Nitrate and nitrite reducing bacteria

Organisms in this group are capable of using nitrate and nitrite containing compounds as an energy source, which in turn produces nitrogen gas. Again the action of these organisms can cause problems such as corrosion in a closed industrial system.

Pseudomonas spp. including Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pseudomonas spp. are common environmental organisms. However, they can easily colonise water systems including closed heating and chilled circuits forming thick biofilms which can affect the taste and colour of the water, and indicate a dirty system that requires cleaning. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen which can cause illness. This organism should be absent in manufacturing plants, hospitals, swimming pools, and other places that have regular human contact.


Corrosion Monitoring

Most water systems are in continuous use, so it is rare to be able to inspect the internal condition of pipework and equipment for the efficiency of corrosion inhibitor chemicals. One of the more common methods to check these systems is to use

Weight Loss Coupons

The coupons are made of the same material as the pipework or equipment being monitored and are accurately weighed and then exposed to the process for a period by being inserted into an external "rack" in the main circulating loop. When it is removed, carefully cleaned and re-weighed, the change in weight is used to calculate the metal loss that may then be expressed as an annualised rate of loss (mils or millimetres per year). The external rack is configured to allow the simultaneous testing of up to four different metals in the system.

 

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Keywords: Cooling Tower, Cooling Water, Health Protection, water hygiene, water quality, water systems

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