Arc Water Treatment is fully committed to the Green Movement, assisting customers in managing their buildings to be as green as possible. While Arc has implemented appropriate internal changes, such as joining the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), switching to diesel vehicles, and recycling much of our trash, the important commitment is how Arc Water Treatment helps you, our customer, go green.
Arc is actively participating with the local chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, and studying the criteria in the LEED (Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design) Standards for both new and existing buildings. In coordination with the leading Consulting Engineers in the area, this has led to alternative ways of thinking about power and water consumption on almost all projects, and to creative solutions where appropriate.
For those renovating existing buildings, even greater opportunities exist for energy and water savings, and to achieve more LEED points in managing cooling tower operation. Arc Water Treatment can identify new approaches to controlling water use in towers.
We at Arc are prepared to work with building owners, managers, and engineers to design and implement the best water treatment solution for your project, as you seek to make your building greener.
How Green is Traditional Water Treatment?
Traditional chemical-based water treatment remains the accepted standard for most building engineers, in that it is the proven method for maintaining HVAC systems in peak operational conditions. Time-tested techniques and formulas have shown their reliability, when paired with a strong service program, to ensure water-based systems run for years as efficiently as possible. This is especially true for treating cooling towers.
The first step towards a green water treatment program is to install a dual-biocide controller to manage bleed-off and maintain a clean system. A controller that monitors conductivity is the best means for reducing tower water usage through controlled bleed-off. Some writers encourage operating the tower in a more continuous, slower bleed-off mode, by installing a control valve to limit the volume of bleed-off, and further save water usage. These techniques lead to savings in the volume of make-up water and count towards making the tower more green.
Similarly, regular site visits by a trained technician will help spot leaks, overflows, and other conditions that lead to water wastage. Arc Water Treatment’s Service Technicians are trained to spot these conditions, write them on our work orders, and report them to building management. Our monitoring of chemical usage helps identify leaks in closed systems as well as the visual signs of problems with open cooling towers.
The USGBC rating system for existing buildings awards the first credit for efficient cooling tower water management to having the bleed-off managed by an automatic controller. The second credit is then available for using alternative water sources for make-up water. Our research shows that this could be from filtered rainwater, captured graywater (waste water discharged other than from toilets), or stored ground-water (i.e. pumped from underground garages). Some techniques could also be eligible for a third credit for innovation. Arc Water Treatment has the resources to analyze these alternative water sources, suggest a pre-treatment program (using traditional filter) and advise your consulting engineers on designing a workable system to have the tower make-up water mix the alternative source with city water for meeting the tower’s needs. Similarly, if your green building has any water stored for other alternative uses, there may be a need to treat that water before using it, especially if it is stored for a lengthy period of time, and Arc Water Treatment has the experts to help you.
Another way in which Arc Water Treatment is leading the green movement is in identifying alternative chemicals for use in the tower that might be considered friendlier to the environment. Many of us in the water treatment industry have traditionally used a molybdate-based inhibitor chemical, but molybdate is classified as a heavy metal and not suitable for discharge to storm sewers. We are testing a phosphonate-based alternative treatment program, that could be made available to those buildings that require chemicals to be more green. Similarly, there are biocides on the market which have a shorter effective life period and are considered more green. For those interested, a greener chemical program can be custom designed by our sales team to meet your specifications.
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