Cooling Tower Fill: The Dangers and Precautions

29 November 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Cooling towers are structures designed to allow water to circulate, meeting the water with the air. These cooling mechanisms are made of fill. This fill matter greatly affects the efficiency of the cooling tower as well as the environments they inhabit. If the fill is damaged, the heat transfer is incapable of working and can result in several dangerous situations, such as the creation of potentially fatal bacterial build-up, and other negative impacts of bioactivity. The good news is that fill can be replaced by a qualified professional. The importance is crucial.

Never neglect fill replacement

Letting fill sit in a water basin too long can have extremely dangerous ramifications. Sometimes the fill crumbles or freezes without routine check-ups and creates a situation where the tower is unable to cool the water as needed. Stagnation of water can cause excessive amounts of bacteria, like Legionella, to grow. The contaminated water turns into an aerosol, which is then ingested by humans. Legionella infestation can lead to severe cases of pneumonia and aspiration.

Water tower workers need to be careful

Some of the people most at risk of Legionella are the contractors trying to fix a neglected tower's toxic fumes. Often, when there are not safety precautions in place by major water management organisations, their workers come down with serious illnesses. Unfortunately, the trouble with sick workers doesn't end there. The medical expenses are extremely costly to the families of the workers and to the companies with litigation and insurance expenses.

Consider all replacement factors

Cooling towers require many different parts to keep them running well. Gear reducers, fan belts, gear oil and the fill itself have to be up to code. Keep in mind that there are differing types of fill. There is a generic brand, manufactured by most factory-assembled water towers. There are also lighter weight stainless steel fills for corrosion resistance. Depending on your cooling needs, you will need to take into consideration what type of fill is needed and how often it needs to be replaced.

Don't forget the cost of replacement

Maintenance of a cooling tower can be awfully expensive. Contracting services ought to be able to have an economic perspective as well as operational. If the cooling tower fill is changed too frequently, it can become a ghastly and unnecessary expense. However, if an inspection is overdue, and there is damage, there are not only safety ramifications but high cost-related issues as well.  These repairs may extend over an excessive period of time. Time is money, and water management is best when it finds an appropriate balance with routine fill-replacement.

Contact a company like Marley Flow Control Pty Ltd to learn more about cooling tower fill replacement options.