Cooling Tower Filtration

01.03.23 08:15 PM Comment(s) By Patricia Kovacich

Filtration Frustration: How to Overcome 

Common Cooling Tower Maintenance Challenges.

Why is Cooling Tower Filtration Important? 

Cooling tower filtration is a crucial process that involves removing debris and contaminants from the bulk heat transfer fluid in a cooling tower system. Without effective filtration, these contaminants can lead to blockages, corrosion, and increased biological activity, ultimately resulting in decreased heat transfer rates, higher water consumption, and increased equipment failures. By removing these contaminants, filtration can greatly improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of a cooling tower system, leading to reduced water consumption, improved chemical efficiency, and decreased chemical feed rates.


What types of cooling tower filtration are available? 

There are several types of cooling tower filtration available, including:

1.  Side Stream Filtration: In this type of filtration, a small portion of the cooling tower water is continuously circulated through a filter to remove debris and contaminants. The filtered water is then returned to the cooling tower.

2.  Basin Sweeping: This method involves using a combination of nozzles and pumps to create a circulating flow of water within the cooling tower basin. This helps to remove debris and contaminants from the water and keep them from settling in the basin.

3.  Automatic Screen Filters: These types of filters use a mesh screen to remove debris and contaminants from the water. The screen is periodically cleaned by an automated backwash process to ensure that it continues to function effectively.

4.  Sand Filtration: Sand filters use a bed of sand or other media to remove debris and contaminants from the cooling tower water. As the water passes through the sand bed, particles are trapped and removed from the water.

5.  Centrifugal Separators: Centrifugal separators use centrifugal force to separate solids and debris from the cooling tower water. The separated particles are then collected in a separate chamber for disposal.

The type of filtration method used will depend on factors such as the size of the cooling tower, the type and amount of contaminants present, and the specific needs of the cooling tower system.


When should I use cooling tower filtration? 

Overall, the use of cooling tower filtration is always recommended because the quality of the water and the efficiency of the cooling tower system are important. More specifically cooling tower filtration will help remove suspended solids, growth of biofilms, and aid the corrosion inhibitors in your water treatment plan. Here is a breakdown of the benefits of cooling tower filtration:

1.  Preventing clogging: Cooling tower filtration is important in preventing clogging of the cooling tower system. This is especially important in areas where there is a high concentration of suspended solids, such as dust, sand, and other debris, which can accumulate in the system and reduce the efficiency of the cooling tower.

2.  Improving water quality: Cooling tower filtration can also be used to improve the quality of the water used in the cooling tower system. Filtration can remove impurities such as suspended solids, and corrosion by-products, scale, and other contaminants, which can affect the performance of the cooling tower and cause health concerns.

3.  Reducing maintenance costs: Filtration can reduce maintenance costs associated with the cooling tower system. By removing impurities, filters can reduce the amount of debris that accumulates in the system, which can reduce the need for frequent maintenance and cleaning.

4.  Extending the life of the system: Cooling tower filtration systems will extend the life of the cooling tower system by reducing the wear and tear caused by debris accumulation. This can lead to lower replacement and repair costs over the long-term.


What maintenance is required for cooling tower filtration? 

Cooling tower filtration requires regular maintenance to ensure the cooling tower operates efficiently and effectively. Here are some key maintenance tasks that are typically required:

1.  Strainer cleaning: The strainer removes debris from the cooling tower water before it enters the filtration system. Strainers should be cleaned periodically to prevent clogging and ensure proper flow rates.

2.  Filter replacement: Depending on the type of filtration system, filters may need to be replaced periodically. For example, sand filters may need to be backwashed periodically to remove accumulated debris, while cartridge filters may need to be replaced periodically.

3.  Chemical treatment suplement: Chemical treatment is essential to prevent bacterial growth and scale buildup in the cooling tower. Chemicals should be added regularly according to a predetermined schedule. Filtration will increase the success of a water treatment plan and help decrease chemical biocide and polymer demand. Failure to utilize cooling tower filtration can increase the need for higher chemical use in your water treatment plan.

4.  Water quality testing: Regular water quality testing is necessary to ensure that the chemical treatment is effective and to detect any water treatment excursions.

Overall, proper maintenance of a cooling tower filtration system is essential to ensure optimal system performance, prevent breakdowns, and extend the life of the system.

What are some signs that my Cooling Tower needs filtration? 

If you have an industrial cooling tower, it is important to be aware of the signs that it may need filtration. Here are some common signs that your cooling tower may need filtration:

1. Decreased cooling capacity: If the cooling tower is not able to cool water as effectively as it used to (poor or decreasing ΔT), this may be a sign that the filtration system is not working properly. A buildup of debris in the tower can reduce the cooling capacity and make it harder for the cooling tower to maintain the required water temperature.

2. Visible debris: If you notice debris in the cooling tower or in the water circulating through it, this may be a sign that the filtration system is not removing contaminants effectively. You may see dirt, leaves, or other debris in the cooling tower water or on the cooling tower's components.

3. Increased energy costs: If the cooling tower is working harder than usual to maintain the required water temperature, this can lead to increased energy costs. This can happen if the filtration system is not working effectively and the tower is struggling to maintain proper water flow.

4. Corrosion or scaling: Corrosion or scaling on the cooling tower components can be a sign that the cooling tower water is not being properly treated and filtered. Corrosion and scaling can damage the cooling tower's components and reduce its efficiency.

5. Foul odor: (dead lake or wet dog smell) If the water in the cooling tower has a foul odor, this can be a sign that the water is contaminated with bacteria or other contaminants. This can be a health hazard and a sign that the filtration system is not working effectively.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have the cooling tower filtration system inspected by your Jaytech water treatment provider and serviced as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure optimal performance.


Why should I trust Jaytech with my Cooling Tower filtration? 

1. 45-year track record.

2. Official EVAPCO partners in the Midwest

3. Jaytech offers more CWT specially qualified Reps.


For over 45 years Jaytech has been a leader in our industry. We have been consulting on cooling tower systems and water treatment plans to help our customers realize efficiency and longevity in their water systems. We have commissioned and recovered hundreds of systems during that time.


Jaytech is on the cutting edge of innovation in water treatment. Our wide variety of product offerings lends itself to giving our customers a personalized custom water treatment plan like no other water treatment company can. We have created customizable blends of traditional chemicals, ultra concentrates, and solid chemistries. Coupled with our local hands-on approach, Jaytech has earned a reputation as a trusted partner in water treatment.


Jaytech leads the water treatment industry with the most CWTs, the most highly qualified education for water treatment. There is no one more qualified to design a water treatment plan for you.  

Patricia Kovacich

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