Case Study: University Cooling Towers and Boilers

Situation: A large eastern university had been using liquid water treatment chemicals to treat the water in their cooling towers and boilers for a number of years. But in 2001, the university was faced with implementing a host of OSHA safety mandates associated with their water treatment program.  Among these were retention areas, eye wash stations and showers. Estimates for these improvements ranged from $30,000 to $70,000 each for the Main Campus and Medical Campus.

Solution: Prior to making a decision about funding the expensive OSHA mandated safety improvements, the university facility management team decided to do a one-year test to compare several water treatment methods. Solid water treatment chemicals from APTech Group was among the alternatives included in this test.

After a one year testing, the university decided to go with a solids water treatment program, with APTech Group solid products comprising a major component of the program. The following APTech Group solid products are being utilized as part of the program:

For Cooling Towers:

  • C20V-C – for scale reduction; contains Versaflex One, PBTC & HEDP phosphonate, HPA & POCA corrosion inhibitors, terpolymer, azoles; good for high hardness, temps and stressed systems

For Boilers:

  • BCO1 – oxygen scavenger containing catalyzed sodium sulfite
  • B-ACMDC-C – steam line, triple component Morpholine, Cyclohexylamine & DEHA amine product
  • B-ALK+ –  alkalinity builder containing a solid form of Hydroxide Alkalinity
  • B301-C – scale inhibitor for soft water, low-level phosphate-polymer and alkalinity builder

Results: With nine years of experience and performance data in hand, the results of the switch to the solids focused program on the main campus and subsequent addition of the Medical Center have been nothing short of dramatic.  The APTech Group solids program along with equipment control has produced significant savings; reducing total costs on water treatment by 80% compared to the previous liquids program. Plus, because of the transition, the university did not have to implement the OSHA mandated work, saving the university up to an additional $140,000 in investments for showers, eye wash stations and the like.

In addition to the financial payback, the university has benefitted from a significant reduction in required maintenance of equipment, meaning longer equipment life. For example, the boilers are inspected twice per year, with good results every time. In fact, according to one facility management team member, “the inspector said I’ve never seen boilers look this good.”

And finally, the facility management team has been impressed with how environmentally friendly the new system is. Comments from team members include:

  • “I was totally against it (changing to solids), but now I’m totally convinced.”
  • “Much easier to use than carrying or lifting drums.”
  • “The solids program is cheaper, more efficient, easier to operate.”