Keep the Water Flowing. This statement represents one of those basic rules of thumb in managing any water system. Lack of flow can lead to wide-spread system problems with microbial fouling, corrosion and even fouling from sediment. Without flow and turbulence, water systems will accumulate dissolved gases, suspended sediment will separate from bulk waters, and at the right temperatures biological/organic fouling will be initiated. Chemical inhibitors cannot do the appropriate job of passivating metal unless present in the water stream at appropriate concentrations and are flowing past those surfaces. Organisms will flourish in stagnant zones and, depending upon the length of downtime, bacteria will form masses of sessile communities ultimately leading to MIC (microbiologically influenced corrosion). It is human nature to pay closer attention to operating equipment and to lose track of off-line equipment. Systems that must be left idle for extended periods of time should receive special planning and additional PM. Steps to Take? Start system pumps for 1 – 2 hours a minimum of once weekly, test for and adjust chemical treatment levels, and clean/change any filter media or strainers. This is all simple to do, but often overlooked.
Written by: John D. Caloritis, CWT, Technology Director The Metro Group, Inc.