Why does a closed loop system need a filter?

The fluid in a closed system usually contains a suspension of fine, abrasive particles which are harmful to equipment (i.e. pump seals), and leads to unscheduled shutdowns and increased maintenance.  There are various sources of these particles, mostly resulting from corrosion. Side stream filtration and scheduled filter changes are necessary to minimize the risk of damage.

Should water be clear in a closed loop system?

Closed loop water should be almost clear and colourless.  Dark brown or black water indicates a serious corrosion problem.  There should be very few solid particles collecting at the bottom of the sample container.

How can I tell if I have leaks in a closed system?

If leaks are suspected, installation of an inexpensive totalizing water meter in the make-up line will provide early detection. Regular testing of the water can also detect leaks.

Can a cooling tower freeze in the winter?

You should always be prepared for the possibility of a freeze-up which could damage valves, pipes and other outside equipment. Either arrange for the system to circulate continuously during these “cold snaps” or use insulation or heat tracing to protect exposed items.  If the operation of the cooling tower is not required for the duration of the winter months, then a complete shutdown and draining of the tower may be considered.

What is Legionella?

Legionella pneumophila is a very common organism, capable of being present in appreciable numbers in almost all ground and surface water sources.  Legionella tend to grow in biofilms or slime on the surfaces of lakes, rivers and streams and very adaptively, within water distribution systems such as cooling towers and evaporative condensers. The mere presence of Legionella does not by itself result in infectious disease.  However, when certain Legionella multiply, (increase in population density) and transmit to a susceptible human host, they can cause Legionellosis infections.

Can proper treatment eliminate the risk of legionella pneumophila?

No, treatment will not eliminate the risk but it can certainly minimize the risk of legionella.  Small amounts of legionella pneumophila can be present in the water supply so chemical treatment alone cannot completely eliminate all risk. Treatment is designed to minimize the risk by preventing legionella from multiplying within the cooling tower, decreasing the likelihood of transmission to people.