Controlling Legionella in Cooling Towers

Controlling Legionella in Cooling Towers

Treatment method trial helps hospital maintain water quality in cooling system

By Mary Wolter Glass – Dec 30, 2016

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an increasing number of people across the U.S. are being diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. Annually, approximately 5,000 people are diagnosed and at least 20 outbreaks are reported. The outbreaks have fostered tighter regulation and increased concern for cooling tower owners and operators.

In the summer of 2015, 138 residents of the South Bronx contracted legionellosis and 16 died. The source of the outbreak was tracked back to a cooling tower infected with Legionella bacteria. In response, on July 19, 2016, the state of New York issued comprehensive regulations aimed at protecting against similar outbreaks in the future. Other states and localities are adopting similar regulations to require registration, inspection and testing of cooling towers at hospitals, residential health care facilities and other sensitive buildings.

The New York regulations reflect the kinds of requirements tower owners and operators may face:

  • Registration of the tower with the designated agency and periodic updates on changes;
  • Inspection of the tower for deficiencies or problems at startup, after maintenance, and every 90 days during use;
  • Monitoring programs with routine bacteriological and Legionella sampling and analysis;
  • Immediate sampling and appropriate response to elevated Legionella levels; and
  • Reporting to regulatory and public health agencies on routine and non-routine maintenance.

Griffin Hospital in Connecticut conducted a trial to determine the best treatment option to manage Legionella in its cooling system. 

Cooling Tower Treatment Options

CDC has issued guidebooks on how to evaluate and treat a variety of water systems for Legionella, available at This general guidance is useful in gaining an understanding of the nature of the problem, but focused, pragmatic approaches for the average tower owner are needed. For some, there is a high level of urgency and uncertainty, leading to a rush to respond. Simple, effective and economical cooling tower water treatment programs are available.

Experienced water treatment professionals can recognize the unique demands of each system, large or small. “In addition to controlling Legionella, a well-executed program improves the operational and financial performance of the tower,” said Dennis Tomsheck, a certified water technologist for Jamestown Technologies, located in the New York City area. “This requires site-specific analysis of chemicals, equipment, cost, training and regulatory requirements.” It may sound complicated, but an experienced expert can quickly analyze a system and devise a practical, workable solution.

Tomsheck believes optimal programs should include:

  • Consistent testing of key cooling tower water quality parameters—conductivity, pH, temperature and oxidation-reduction potential—three times a week at two-day intervals;
  • Weekly biologic testing using dip slides;
  • Visual inspection and Legionella testing at least every 90 days;
  • Thorough tower cleaning and disinfection twice a year, including at startup or after being idle; and
  • Maintenance of written records of all of the above actions as reference for program consistency and proof of responsible tower management.

One of CDC’s key findings was that biofilm presents a significant challenge to maintaining a clean system. Bacteria attached to a surface in the system extrude an exopolymer that creates an inviting environment ideal for the rapid growth of Legionella under the right conditions. Many traditional biocides cannot penetrate this biofilm layer to eliminate the source of contamination.

Legionella Control Trial

To address this problem, Tomsheck performed a trial comparing a traditional water treatment program to a new program aimed specifically at preventing biofilm accretion using filming amine cooling water treatment with biocidal properties. The trial was conducted on a 1,000-ton rooftop cooling tower connected to a chiller plant in the basement of Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn. The tower typically was run at five to six cycles using makeup water with moderate to high hardness and alkalinity.

During the first three months, the trial was conducted using chlorine, phosphonates and molybdate to treat the tower. This treatment method achieved excellent control of bacteria counts (less than 10 colonies per cu cm). The tower then was switched to only the filming amine, Mexel 432/0, with small bromine supplements three times a week. The filming amine’s mode of action is to protect surfaces with a microscopic layer that prevents adhesion of microbes and other materials to wetted surfaces. Small doses were injected for 30 minutes daily. The amine emulsion addressed the potential for sessile bacteria to thrive in the biofilm on the surfaces while the bromine provided additional protection from planktonic bacteria in the water column.

During the subsequent four-month trial of the new program, the bacteria counts remained at the previous low levels, and other operating parameters maintained levels consistent with expected performance. Two Legionella tests showed no detectable levels of the bacteria. Field service requirements were simplified due to use of fewer chemicals requiring less space and monitoring. The amine emulsion was viewed as less hazardous to handle for service representatives.

This is just one example of the many simple solutions that can be made available to tower owners. The combination of experienced professionals and effective technology make it possible to significantly reduce the public health risk of Legionella at sites like Griffin Hospital.

A Better Way to Prevent Biofilm and Control Legionella

Arlington, VA – June 22, 2016 – According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an increasing number of people in the US aregetting the serious lung infection known as Legionnaire’s disease. Annually, about 5,000 people are diagnosedwith Legionnaires’ disease and at least 20 outbreaks are reported. Among the persistent barriers to controlling these outbreaks identified by the CDC is….Read More

Mexel 432/0 “Green” Water Treatment Kills Legionella in Cooling Towers and Industrial Applications

Arlington, VA – March 6, 2016 – Mexel USA LLC announced today conclusive laboratory test results proving the ability of its Mexel 432/0 water treatment to eliminate harmful Legionella pathogens in cooling towers and other industrial cooling systems. Fatal outbreaks of the disease attributable to building cooling towers in several states, have increased the urgency of implementing proven prevention methods….Read More

Will Clean Water Act 316b Regulations End Chemical Cooling Water Treatment Programs?

The implementation of EPA’s 316b cooling water intake rules for impingement and entrainment mortality certainly present formidable challenges to power plants and industrials. The effort becomes all the more daunting with uncertainty on the application of the regulations on a site-by-site basis by individual Federal and State permit writers, and the lingering potential for legal challenges that could modify the requirements in the future.  While pessimism about clearly defining Best Technology Available (BTA) may be justified, it is also possible to see the rules as an imposed opportunity to give attention to often overlooked cooling water systems whose performance can significantly impact plant efficiency.

Using the regulatory process as incentive, there is an opportunity to acquire resources necessary to rigorously review the current facilities and performance, future objectives, and evaluate the best options in light of the plant’s goals.  The process also provides for extensive consideration of non-environmental factors in determining BTA.  Some of the most important of these include: reliability and cost of electric service, plant efficiency impacts, technical feasibility, financial costs and benefits, age of the plant, and social costs.  BTA will not be an absolute number, but a demonstration of best overall environmental and other costs and benefits.  While assessing this for each 316b program option will demand significant effort, when approached as an exercise to improve plant and financial performance along with the environmental goals, the process can become a win-win rather than simply a regulatory burden.

To see a more detailed presentation with examples related to chemical treatment programs please click here!

Don’t Miss The New EPA Approved Biocide Program Introduced at AWT

The 2014 AWT Annual Convention & Exposition in Fort Worth, Texas is only a week away and Mexel USA will be introducing its products including a new, EPA registered biocide at Booth #516 (with Amchem Solutions) and presenting in a technical session. Our cooling water treatment chemicals have great characteristics for water treatment companies – powerful results, while saving both space and labor. Together with Amchem Solutions’ expertise, our environmentally superior products offer easier and safer chemical programs, especially for demanding client applications.

The brochure below introduces our products and explains how a single chemical treatment can control a wide range of fouling and corrosion problems. So please stop by our booth or join us on Saturday morning at 9:00 am for our technical session titled “Beyond Corrosion Control: Sustainable Filming Amine Technology Applications for Cooling Water Systems”.


Nominate Your Favorite Carbon Control Strategy

EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan regulations to reduce carbon emissions are having an immediate effect at the federal and state levels. Regulatory agencies responsible for energy, environment and commerce at the state and local are already engaged in studies and planning for options to meet the stricter standards for existing power plants, particularly coal. Because reducing carbon emissions can also have a significant effect on reliability and economic competitiveness, options beyond emissions control technology will be considered as part of the mix. These options can include improved energy efficiency in generation, the appropriate role for nuclear in the generation mix, improved efficiency from customers, renewables, storage, load management, etc. It will be important to fully explore all options to meet the carbon goal efficiently and with the least disruption to each state. Sometimes technologies that individually seem to make small contributions can become significant when combined effectively in a comprehensive plan.

The final rule is expected from EPA June 1, 2015. State implementation plans are expected to be submitted by June, 2016, but the development of basic strategy is happening now. Stakeholders from all segments and levels in the energy and environmental communities should engage now at the federal level to assure workable federal carbon control rules are developed and at the state level where the specific solutions are starting to be crafted. For more information on how to comment on the EPA rule, click here.

More EPA regulation of your pond or outfall?

September 10th, the US House of Representatives passed HR 5078 prohibiting EPA from expanding its definition of “US waters” to be regulated under the Clean Water Act. Potentially more wetlands, intermittent streams and other seasonal surface waters could be included. This could impact large and small cooling water system discharges, along with recently announced 316b rules. This may be something you want to know more about and EPA is still accepting comments on the proposed rules

For different points of view, try:

National Association of Counties Policy Brief:

Trench Warfare:

Mexel and Biodiversity

While protecting Endangered species and their habitats is an important goal implicit in the new 316b rules, many utilities are understandably concerned about what standards will be applied and when this will come in the permitting process. Because actions under the rules will affect listed species and critical habitats that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have responsibility for, these agencies may be involved in the process at points that have not been clearly defined. Further, non-governmental groups may use these issues to challenge permits.

Developing a sound plan that appropriately balances the protection of listed species with allowing reasonable operation of plants will be a site-by-site challenge. The 316b regulations already specify the specific studies and technologies required, but the evaluation of that data will be critical. The good news is that a great deal of study has already been conducted in the field and laboratories on specific plant sites and technology. One of the best tools for assessing the impacts are biodiversity studies that help evaluate the health of existing defined ecosystems to changes in conditions over a period of time.

For example, four studies of bottom-dwelling organisms in the discharge canal of a power plant were conducted over ten years. Looking at the combined effect of chemical and thermal discharge, water velocity, and sedimentology characteristics, no deterioration of biodiversity was observed throughout the period a few hundred yards from the discharge. In evaluating the effects on complex and constantly changing ecosystems and target species, these “real life” assessments tell us much more about the real impacts of cooling water intakes and discharges. Assembling a database of similar information could be of great value is implementation of 316b proceeds.

For more information on Mexel’s low toxicity and ability to maintain biodiversity click here!

2014 EPRI Debris Management Interest Group Annual Workshop Abstract

The adoption of the new Clean Water Act 316b intake structure regulations issued in May 2014 adds a significantly expanded challenge to provide “green” technology in power plants while maintaining efficient and reliable plant operations. In developing compliance plans, a number of technologies have been endorsed by EPA as acceptable for use to control impingement mortality. In contrast, each plant will also need to develop its own program to find the Best Technology Available (BTA) to lower entrainment mortality based on site-specific factors. With the burden now on individual plants, the determination of BTA will also include consideration of economic and qualitative factors including plant efficiency. Current practice at many plants includes chemical-based programs to control a wide range of fouling problems and ensure reliable operations. These practices will come under increased scrutiny, but may in some cases constitute BTA compared to other technologies and be essential to ensure reliability of plant operations.

The role of chemical treatment programs in the context of comprehensive compliance planning will be examined. New regulations will allow state permit writer to look in every case at a wide variety of factors that will be discussed. They will also review more closely at the use of chemicals and justifications may need to be presented. Documentation on how the chemicals can be used alone or in combination with mechanical devices will need to be provided and documented as part of the compliance research and planning process. Comparisons with other chemicals in general and/or specific chemicals with regard to certain species of concern may be required.

For more information on Mexel and Clean Water Act 316(b) click here!

Beyond Corrosion Control: Sustainable Filming Amine Technology Applications for Cooling Water Systems

A Distributor’s Perspective – Mary Wolter Glass, Mexel USA, LLC


Innovative filming amine blends offer a new paradigm in cooling water treatment. They are the leading edge Green Technology for cooling towers and once-through systems to control corrosion, biofouling, and scaling with one biodegradable emulsion that can be safely used in the environment. Extensive laboratory research, supported by almost two decades of commercial use around the world, has demonstrated its efficacy. With increasing regulation of chemical discharges to the environment, successful adoption Green Technologies that meet higher standards will fall on AWT members. This paper will address the science behind filming amines and their environmental benefits. Then, the field experience and treatment programs from companies that have used and rigorously tested the amines will be shared. Using filming amines in cooling water systems provides a treatment method that is different from traditional chemicals which treat the entire water column.

Some Filming Amine History

Filming amines have been used for decades, particularly in boiler condensate systems, to control corrosion. The amine group of the molecule is hydrophilic so it will attach to wetted surfaces, while the “tail” is hydrophobic providing protection of the metal surfaces from corrosive condensates. Amines have been developed in a number of formulations over the years. Octadecylamine (CH3(CH2)16CH2NH2) has been the most widely applied amine salt in the past. Although amines have been successfully used with volatile oxygen scavengers in previously corroded systems, they are most effective in preventing corrosion in new systems. Historically, filming amine programs have required careful management to avoid a variety of problems including clogging and blockage of traps.1

Dosing programs for filming amines in condensate systems were based on the internal surface area of the system rather than system volume. These programs work have worked well in feedwater that was highly alkaline or had air in-leakage because they did not attempt to neutralize the CO2. In water with a pH above 8.0 or below 6.5, previous amine regimes sometimes required additional chemicals to condition the water for the amines to be effective. Treatment programs typically started with low levels of amines, gradually increasing to desired residual concentrations that are effective without potential adverse impacts, such as developing sticky masses (“gunk balls”) that can clog the system.2,3

Amine programs and products have evolved over time and a large number are now available for condensate treatment and other fouling problems. Cocoaalkylamine and diaminepropane have
been deployed in products designed for open and closed cooling water systems to control corrosion and as a molluscicide.4

As the newest innovative filming amine blends have continued to evolve, they now offer a new paradigm beyond boiler condensate treatment to new applications in cooling water treatment with a strong focus on prevention and low environmental impact. Their unique features provide leading edge “green technology” for cooling towers and once-through systems. Unlike single purpose amine blends, some are blends that address multiple problems.

Multipurpose filming amine applications to cooling water – An Example

Cooling water treatment programs for cooling towers and once-through applications are designed to address three common forms of fouling that decrease the efficiency of heat transfer. Depending on the site-specific requirements, traditional chemical treatment programs have included chemicals to control corrosion, prevent or remove silt and/or mineral deposits, and control or remediate biological growth. Corrosion inhibitors include filming and neutralizing amines, metal-based inhibitors (e.g. molybdates and salts of zinc) and nonmetal-based inhibitors (e.g. inorganic phosphates, phosphonates, aromatic azoles, nitrates, etc.).5 Control of deposits from various constituents found in the cooling water is often achieved through the use of polyphosphates, organophosphorus compounds such as phosphonates, chelants, polymeric agents and other chemicals.6 Control and remediation of bio-fouling is also a critical concern in a cooling water treatment program due to its pervasive nature and significant effect on the efficiency of heat transfer. A wide variety of oxidizing and non-oxidizing biocides are in use including the popular chlorine and bromine. The frequency of application and concentrations of chemicals used for treatment vary widely, depending on the site-specific problems, equipment configuration, operating parameters and regulatory requirements.

New specialty blends of filming amines offer single products that can address all three major areas of concern for fouling of cooling water systems. One product, Mexel 432/0, exemplifies how this is accomplished and the potential benefits for water treatment professionals. The filming amine emulsion provides a molecular coating to the wetted internal surfaces of the water circuit in a manner similar to filming amines in condensate systems. In doing so it prevents all three kinds of fouling, keeping the cooling systems cleanliness consistently high, and maintaining efficient heat transfer. This particular product can be employed in fresh, salt and reclaimed water, and is most effective in new or newly cleaned systems. Some remedial effect on existing systems has occurred over time as shown in the figure below. Unlike most other amine emulsions targeted at cooling water systems, this emulsion has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a biocide for use in cooling water systems – open and recirculating.

The product is injected into the cooling water using a chemical pump with automated control of the dosing rate and timing. Because the emulsion replaces several chemicals, is in a concentrated form, and requires only small quantities, the equipment and space used is minimized. Biweekly or monthly monitoring includes visual inspection, chemical residual measurements, feed calibration, and adjustments as needed. Metrics monitored include conductivity, pump calibration, feed time, corrosion, pH, and total bacteria counts. Periodic Legionella testing is also conducted.

Laboratory testing has determined that this emulsion is effective in forming films on all common cooling and heating equipment internal surfaces including metals, plastics, weldings and concrete. Extensive testing has also determined that the emulsion has no detectable adverse effect on materials used in typical cooling water systems. This specific amine emulsion is not volatile and does not burn or explode.

Since 2007, the amine blend has been in commercial use in more than 30 chiller/cooling tower applications in the Mid-Atlantic region preventing corrosion and scaling significantly lowering cleaning requirements, while maintaining good biological control. It has also been used in once-through cooling water applications at the heating and cooling plant for a large DOD facility and a major Naval base in the Mid-Atlantic area, as well as a power plant owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Other operating experience over two decades of commercial use around the world, has further confirmed its efficacy. In a large cooling tower at a nuclear plant in France, the emulsion reduced pathogenic amoeba by factors of 8 to 10 by removing the habitat that fostered biological growth. In Poland, two cooling towers at a fertilizer factor used the product to stop pitting and new perforations to heat exchangers by reducing corrosion to less than 0.1 mm/yr. In addition, it stabilized the water pH at 8.6 and reduced sediment by 50% while acting as an effective bacteriostatic agent. The product has also been used in ships, offshore oil platforms, oil fields, geothermal, hydropower and fire-fighting equipment.

New filming amine emulsions vary significantly in cost but, based on overall program costs, are comparable to traditional programs on an annual basis. Secondary financial benefits from the ability to maintain cleanliness of the system can also accrue. These include improved heat transfer efficiencies that can be significant in chiller systems, along with reduced maintenance and annual cleaning costs. Estimates of annual savings from fully effective chiller water treatment for a 300 ton chiller range from $13,000 to $20,000. Other secondary benefits result from lower risks to employee health and safety (as well as the public), from non-volatile amines which are less dangerous to handle, and transport than some chemicals.

Why filming amines are “green technology”

Environmental performance and safety have always been important components of any water treatment program. Increasingly, there is a focus on using “green technologies” and customers are specifying them in their designs and procurement planning. Water treatment specialists must respond with sustainable water treatment programs that are equally effective and cost competitive. New alternative treatment programs, such as specialized filming amines, are now being demonstrated that can make a more significant positive impact on environmental performance than previously recognized.

Using Mexel 432/0 as an example again, filming amines can reduce the total chemical load in surface waters by 1) providing a single chemical that replaces the use of multiple chemicals to treat common fouling problems, and 2) providing an alternative to some traditional chemicals that have been identified as problematic when discharged to surface waters and/or are more hazardous to workers and the public. The emulsion is designed to work effectively at the lowest level of lethality to aquatic organisms possible.

The method of action of the amine emulsion is different from most conventional treatments.
The product is not focused on delivering a lethal dose or aggressively trying to remove fouling that has built up over time due to ineffective on-going control. Used on a cleaned system, the Mexel 432/0 is intended to prevent and control fouling from progressing. This film prevents biofilms from gaining a foothold that can lead to corrosion, deposits, and poor heat transfer. It also helps prevent the build-up of layers of fouling that are hard to penetrate and allow some microbes become resistant to conventional treatments. When these problems are prevented, the amount of chemicals required and introduced to the environment for routine treatment, remedial chemical treatment, and other special maintenance (e.g. acid tube cleaning) is substantially reduced.

Because of the product’s filming characteristics it is readily adsorbed onto organic material in the cooling water. Upon discharge, it rapidly disappears from the water column and then is readily biodegradable in the environment and does not form hazardous byproducts. Further, extensive laboratory and field testing have shown huge safety factors relative to humans and benign environmental impact of the amine product when used as directed. In addition, because the amine films are chemically bonded to the interior surfaces, continuous treatment is not required. Instead, short daily doses of extremely small quantities reduce the potential for chemical exposures.

The frequency of application and concentrations of chemicals used for cooling water treatment can vary widely, depending on the plant-specific requirements, from occasional, concentrated “slug” dosing for remediation to continuous low level dosing for prevention and control. Since the mid-1970’s, extensive research studies conducted by the EPA have recognized the adverse impacts of chlorine on aquatic species (Hergott, et al., 1978). One study found that even routine, short term exposure of larval and juvenile fish to short-term exposure to chlorine levels of <0.2 ppm produce “significant biological effect” (Gentile, et al., 1976). The same study identifies complete growth inhibition at 0.3 ppm after only 5 minutes in some algal species. Many large cooling water systems now have a limit on chlorine use to 0.2 ppm for no more than two hours per day, but some states (e.g. Maryland) are currently seeking further reductions in discharges, or de-chlorination before discharge. Chlorine gas is toxic to mammals by inhalation; very hazardous to workers; has the potential for significant community hazards in the event of a release; and can vaporize creating human health and explosion dangers that are difficult to control. Chlorine based pesticides are also physically unstable and very corrosive to many materials. The breakdown of chlorine based compounds can form a variety of hazardous chemicals, including haloacetic acids, trihalomethanes, bromamines, and chloramines. Other chemicals used in cooling water applications including biocides, corrosion and scale inhibitors, and water conditioners can have additional adverse environmental effects. An AWT Member’s Experience – David Boyle, Chemstar

International Chemstar Incorporated, trading as Chemstar, is a regional water treatment company and AWT member. Chemstar first became aware of filming amine technology for cooling water when we lost a few accounts so that our customer could run a trial with this new technology.

When we found out the small amounts of the Mexel 432/0 that would be fed, only once daily, we predicted it would fail. But by the end of the first season the customer was so pleased with the results they expanded the number of sites to use this new treatment and we lost more business.

Adopting an “If you can’t beat them, join them!” attitude, we were able to start offering this filming amine emulsion to our own customers. We have evaluated the product’s performance and have tried to learn all of its limitations. We developed an economical feed system, adopted a lower cost test kit, and experimented with biocides that we can use in conjunction with the product.

We have been using this filming amine technology for 4 years. The products advantages over conventional water treatment have been well received by our customers and prospective customers. We’ve learned quite a bit from our experience in the field with alternative treatment regimens and are confident of its efficacy.


We currently use filming technology in cooling towers of in office buildings, medical centers, Federal and local government buildings. It is also used in cooling water for large air compressors that have bleed off that goes to outfalls that go to environmentally sensitive creeks and rivers. We also use an EPA Registered product filming amine emulsion in a once-through system to control Asiatic Clams. The largest once-through application is for reduction of Copper corrosion rates and therefore Copper discharges. Without treatment the Copper discharges were in violation of permitted limits. Azoles were used previously to lower the corrosion rates but were replaced with filming amine technology.

In many of these applications little or no microbiocide is used. However, we do use a microbiocide to assure the customer that the program has an EPA-registered microbiocide to control legionella bacteria.

How this technology can be used in cooling water.

In cooling towers we determine or estimate the volume of the system. The required dose is dependent on the surface area in the system. The treatment protects the surfaces. This correlates to the volume. Water quality and cleanliness of the condenser water system are also factors on the demand for treatment. The estimated dose is added to the system where it can be dispersed rapidly. Control tests are run every 5 minutes to see how high it goes before it disappears. The feed rate is determined and the pump and timer is set to feed that amount each day. Similar to microbiocides, the bleed is locked out for 20- 30 minutes after feeding. By the time the bleed reopens all of the treatment is attached to surfaces in the system. This results in no detectable discharge.
In order for the service representative to retest the dosage on service calls they must be there when the timer activates the pump or manually start a timed feeding before sampling. After establishing a feed rate the control test can be run as infrequently as the service representative feels comfortable with as long as he can verify that it is being fed. That is why we feed the product out of a calibrated column to show exactly how much has been feed since the last service call.

After the feed rate is established a future service call would include :

Recording the amount fed since the last service call

• Calculating the average daily feed rate
• Refilling the graduated columns
• Make feed adjustments if needed.
• Water Analysis- testing of treatment level is optional

Utilizing this technology simplifies the service call and can eliminates the need for multiple, separate chemical deliveries.

Where we see this technology as a good fit:

Systems with environmental concerns.

In cooling towers and once through systems the environmental impact is very low to none. The treatment is fed at low dosages 4-5ppm for only 20 minutes a day. The treatment is consumed forming a barrier on surfaces of heat exchangers, piping, and equipment.

Applications where environment is a concern.

Very little, if any, treatment is released to the environment. Our experience has been that where NPDES permits are required, the Department of the Environment in those States (Maryland and Virginia) has approved its use.

Applications where space is a concern.

Another advantage that customers like is the small amount of space that is required for the feed system. Only a small amount of product is needed on site. Some customers that like the solid feed systems due to the small foot print in mechanical rooms. This technology offers the same advantages.

Business Perspective

There is no shortage of competition in the water treatment business. As there is more competition selling the same old technology the profit margins decrease. Smart water treatment companies try to differentiate themselves from their competition. Nalco has always relied on new technology that they develop and then patent. Then, they would market it and maintain higher margins while keeping out the competition. Some examples of this are Transport Plus and Trasar Technology.

In a search for “green”, easier to use treatment programs, some water treatment companies have gone back to selling solids instead of liquids. It comes packaged in different ways and the feed methods vary. The cost of the feed systems can be expensive and troublesome. Some of the advantages of solids are lower shipping costs, easy to handle, no big storage tanks and a smaller footprint. At the end of the day, however, it is still the same treatment program chemistry that is normally offered.

Filming amine emulsions in cooling water work in a totally different way than standard cooling water treatment. Due to the low dosages and no detectable level of discharge, it is as close to not using “chemicals” as you can get without being a NCD (Non Chemical Device).

The “no chemicals” advantage of NCD is often used to replace standard water treatment accounts. There are a variety of disadvantages to NCD’s but one of the greatest is high capital equipment cost. Filming amine technology in cooling water offers the key advantages of both solid treatment and the NCD. Recent efforts to make this technology available to smaller water treatment companies created an opportunity to offer something new and Green to your prospects. It gives the salesmen something new to talk about to the prospect.

1. Ashland Chemical Company, Drew Industrial Division, 1994. Principles of Industrial Water Treatment, p. 230-231.
2. Nalco Company, 2009. The Nalco Water Handbook, Daniel J Flynn, Editor, Third Edition, p 13.19-13.20.
3. Deborah M. Bloom, “Advanced Amines Cut Condensate Erosion”, 2001. Power Magazine, July/Aug. 20001, Ondeo Nalco, Co.
4. Colin Frayne, CWT, Aquassurance, Inc. The Analyst, 2009. Association for Water Treatment, Volume 16, Number 4 p. 24-33.
5. Ashland, 1994, p. 13.19
6. Ashland, 1994, p 15.32

Chlorine – leak even in well run nuclear plant. See alternatives – effective, safe to ship and use.

On May 28th there was a chlorine leak at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant and luckily there were no injuries. See:

The US nuclear power industry has one of the best safety records in the world with strict oversight, strong industry initiatives to continuously improve safety and performance, and an excellent track record in safety. However, even in the well-run plants, there is always the possibility of undetected problems and human failure to adhere to procedures. For this reason, the use of potentially hazardous materials such as chlorine need to be carefully considered. Not only are there hazards at the plants, there are hazards to the public from transport and use of chlorine. An article in Environmental Health News, “Special report: Chlorine accidents rupture life for workers, townspeople”, notes that the US Department of Transportation and the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration have documented the high risks of chlorine. See

We can do better! Much safer alternatives to chlorine exist for power plants. Mexel products are documented to be much safer, but are still as effective a biocide as chlorine. In addition, Mexel 432/0 addresses other fouling problems such as corrosion, scaling and sedimentation in cooling water systems. Aimed at preventing fouling using a coating mechanism, Mexel is effective at lower toxicity levels. Mexel 432/0 will not volatilize or cause severe damage to those who inhale the fumes so, in case of a leak, no breathing apparatus is even required. Mexel cannot burn or explode and cannot be weaponized for malicious use. Doesn’t it make sense to try something new?