THE COSTS OF WATER TREATMENT
If you are an engineer or facilities manager maintaining water systems like cooling towers, steam boilers, chilled water or heating systems, you will no doubt have asked
Why does water treatment cost so much?
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you are paying for (and how to get more for your money)
COST No1 – CHEMICALS
Scale and corrosion inhibitors, biocides, oxygen scavengers, dispersants – the list seems endless, and the drums pile up.
Do you really need them all – do you understand what they are all for?
Suggestions would be to review the water treatment chemicals you use and see if there are better alternatives.
Review the volumes of chemicals you use – are you using more than you should be? And check your £spend – are you getting everything you are paying for?
COST No2. SERVICE
This usually includes a service engineer coming to site and carrying out water tests with a kit – the results of these tests will guide your entire programme, so they are important. Make sure you get good, clear advice about what the results mean and what you need to do. Getting this wrong can result in major problems and serious costs.
Part of the service package you are paying for may include cleaning water systems periodically. Its important that this work is planned and carried out properly. Always inspect the system after it has been cleaned to check you are happy with the standard of work.
Review the frequency of cleaning – could you carry this out less often? This could save you time, disruption, and money. (link to cooling tower cleaning article)
Many water treatment programmes include laboratory samples for bacteria including legionella, or sometimes for chemical levels. These results can be a great tool in managing and optimising your water system but often, results are just ignored and filed away. If you are paying for the tests, make sure you understand the results and get value from them.
Do you need to take as many tests, or any at all?
Part of the cost of your programme is for your provider to produce reports showing test results, summary reports, recommendations etc, and for a system to keep the records in. This should be user-friendly – you need to be able to access this information to manage the system, and you may need to call upon it as evidence of your compliance.
If you are paying for a comprehensive record keeping system – make sure you understand it and can make use of it, otherwise consider a simpler more cost-effective system.
IN SUMMARY, OUR SUGGESTIONS ARE
- Make sure you understand your costs – get a breakdown from your service provider
- Review your programme – do you need everything you are paying for?
- Track chemical usages and review often – are you using more than you need to?
- Congratulate yourself and enjoy the peace of mind!